Dissertationes de admirandis Mundi Cataractis supra et subterraneis, earumque Principio, Elementorum Circulatione, ubi eadem occasione Aestus Maris Reflui. Vera ac genuina causa asseritur, nec non terrestri ac primigenio Paradiso locus situsque verus in Palaestina restituitur…

Amsterdam, Janssonius van Waesberge, 1678 4° (196x162 mm). [16, including frontispiece], 267, [17] pp. Engraved allegoric frontispiece, four plates (2 folding depicting the rivers of Eden, and the Trollhättan waterfalls in Norway), 21 fine half-page engravings in text showing European places and waterfalls, among them the Marmore Falls in Umbria, and the rapids of Danube and Rhine. Contemporary leather, spine richly gilt and lettered. Excellent copy. The rare first edition of the first systematic work about the nature and causes of rivers, springs, waterfalls, and whirlpools. After the studies in Wittenberg, the Silesian-born naturalist and Lutheran minister traveled through Germany, Switzerland and Holland, observing meanders, waterfalls, rapids, caves, and subterranean flows, later described in his Dissertationes. Herbinius was the earliest direct follower of Athanasius Kircher’s theories on the earth’s underground, with a central eternal fire, and water and fire channels. He called the earth a terraqueous globe, full of holes, cracks, opening and galleries, in which water from the subterrean abyss circulates continuosly. He also investigates how natural elements and actions cause volcanoes, and among the causes of all these natural wonders ‘on and below the earth’ he list “the continous movement of water in the subterranean abyss, which, by virtue of motion drives the water up to the surface of the earth; angels; stars; the spirit of the earth; and air enclosed within earth”. One of the plate depicts the Paradise – situated by Herbinius in Palestine - with his rivers. A very interesting and rare work, lacking to many bibliographies. Wellcome iii, 25 (947); P.E. LaMoreaux, Historical Development, in P.E. LaMoreaux-J.T. Tanner (eds.), Springs and Bottled Waters of the World. Ancient History, Source, Occurrence, Quality and Use, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York 2001, pp. 20-21.
€ 3.000