Monday, November 14, 2005


The compass wasn't introduced to the west until the 13th century. Prior to then, cartographers included wind roses on their maps for orientation. The above wind rose images come from a 1601 treatise by Fabrizio Padovani called Philosophi ac medici. I could find no information about him on the web save for a mentioning with respect to a world map from the same year.

Franz Reizer was a Jesuit professor at Linz and published the emblem book, Meteorologia philosophico-politica at the end of the 17th century. The many engravings were done by Wolffgangus Josephus Kadoriza.

"First published in 1697, this remarkable and striking book is meteorological, astrological, and political all at once. It presents a series of 12 dissertations, generally based on Kircher, dealing with, among other things, comets, meteors, lightning, winds, fossils, metals, bodies of water, and subterranean treasures and secrets of the earth. From these dissertations, subdivided into 84 “questions” or considerations of various phenomena, the author draws conclusions about appropriate political policy and behavior."
I noted (half way down the page of this essay, Theological Efforts to Crush the Scientific View - an interesting read) that Reizer quoted the bible when refuting Newton's explanation about comets. It would appear that Reizer considered that comets were responsible for a great deal of phenomena in life.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration ('NOAA') have a photo website with images from quite a number of rare texts from their library. I will definitely be revisiting this site of (seemingly) disparate curiosities.


White Rabbit said...

Your site is fasinating to me!

peacay said...

Just discovered that the Library of Congress have this as a page-turner with large excellent quality images (they spell his name as Reinzer.

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