Cologne: Iodocum Kalcoven, 1643. Item #04296
Magnets and the Magnetic Art
Second Enlarged and Corrected Edition
KIRCHER, Athanasius. Magnes sive de arte magnetica opus tripartitum quo praeterquam quod universa magnetis natura, eiusque in omnibus. Artibus & Scientiis usus, nova Methodo explicetur, è viribus quoque & prodigiosis effectibus Magneticarum, aliarumq; abditarum Naturae motionum in Elementis, Lapidibus, Plantis & Animalibus elucescentium, multa hucusque incognita Naturae arcana per Physica, Medica, Chymica, & Mathematica omnis generis experimenta recluduntur. Editio Secunda post Romanum multò correctior. Cologne: Iodocum Kalcoven, 1643.
Second edition, corrected and enlarged by Kircher shortly after the first edition of 1641 was published.
Octavo (7 7/8 x 6 inches; 200 x 152 mm.). , 797, ,  pp. Complete with the additional engraved title-page, engraved vignette on title. Thirty-two engraved plates (including full page woodcuts on pp. 196, 197, & 198) and numerous engraved and woodcut text illustrations, including music.
Contemporary yapp-edged vellum, spine lettered in manuscript. All edges stained red, later endleaves. Small expert repair (one inch square) to blank area on title-page due to removal of ownership stamp and not affecting any text on verso. Three very small marginal paper-flaws, some leaves lightly toned, a few leaves with light, mainly marginal water-stain, otherwise a complete, fine and clean copy.
This edition was rewritten and expanded from the first edition in quarto. Kircher's definitive work on magnetism and electromagnetism (a term coined by Kircher in this work), which he conceived as a universal force of nature. Kircher carefully compiled measurements of magnetic declination from several places around the world, as reported by Jesuit scholars, and particularly by his disciple Martin Martine, who in a letter suggested the possibility of determining longitudes by the declination of a magnetic needle. Recognizing the importance of this method, Kircher brought it to the attention of the scientific world. An extensive chapter discusses the magnetic properties of the planets. Kircher's Magnes is filled with curiosities, both profound and frivolous. The work does not deal solely with what modern physicists call magnetism. Kircher discusses, for example, the magnetism of the earth and heavenly bodies; the tides; the attraction and repulsion in animals and plants; and the magnetic attraction of music and love. He also explains the practical applications of magnetism in medicine, hydraulics, and even in the construction of scientific instruments and toys. In the epilogue Kircher moves from the practical to the metaphysical - and Aristolelian - when he discusses the nature and position of God: "the central magnet of the universe."
Practically all of Kircher's works begin with an illustrated title-page. Sometimes these were changed even for later issues of the same work, as for this second and greatly enlarged edition of his Magnes.
Sommervogel IV 1048.6; Merrill 5. Jesuit Science in the Age of Galileo, Linda Hall Library, 1986, n. 43.