'Natural Magick' (1658)

'Natural Magick' (1658)

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 'Natural Magick' (1658). Title page for the English translation of 'Magia Naturalis' (1558) by Italian scholar and polymath Giambattista della Porta (c.1535-1615). This work had been expanded to twenty books by 1589 and went through several editions in Latin. It was translated into Italian, French, Dutch and English. It popularised the natural sciences, and covered topics such as geology, optics, medicine, metallurgy and magnetism. The corner illustrations show the Aristotelian elements: fire, air, earth and water. Chaos is at top, representations of Art and Nature at right and left, and the Neapolitan author (a resident of Naples) at bottom.

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