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Caramuel, Lobkowitz y Chinese
Finding Caramuel's name in Knuth cannot be but a curious
coincidence. He was 10 when Rudolf died.
He was considered an 'enfant terrible', but perhaps not quite
weird enough to have written the VMs, even if it had been
Did he ever see the VMs? Perhaps, but then he was away from
Prague most of the time that his good friend Marci had it, and
both he and Kircher were usually in the dark about his
Caramuel's interest for Chinese (Oriental) culture is typical
for the age. It is worth remembering that Baresch proposed to
Kircher that the VMs was of Oriental origin (presumably
When Marci sent the VMs to Kircher he added in his letter
that there was an alternative option: the Bacon theory as
reported by Raphael, but Marci also expressed his incertitude
about these two theories.
In De Sepi's catalogue of Kircher's museum Kircher's
correspondence is listed but not the VMs. In the same paragraph
mention is made of various oriental books...
Another witness is one Zanoni, contemporary of Kircher and
author of a book about the history of herbal medicine,
who refers to mysterious oriental books with plant drawings
owned by Kircher. Perhaps this is how K classified the VMs
despite Marci's letter...