At first a professor of ethics and mathematics at the Univ. of Würzburg, he later became a (1635) professor of physics, mathematics, and Oriental languages at the College of Rome, resigning in 1643 to devote himself to archaeological research. His studies with the microscope led him to the belief, which he was possibly the first to hold, that disease and putrefaction were caused by the presence of invisible living bodies. He also perfected the aeolian harp and wrote a noted book on musicology. His remarkable collection of antiquities became the nucleus of the Museum Kircherianum of the College of Rome. His writings fill 44 folio volumes and include an autobiography.
See biography by J. Glassie (2012); studies by P. C. Reilly (1974), J. Godwin (1979), and D. Stolzenberg (2013).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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