KIRCHER, ATHANASIUS (1602-1680), German Jesuit. In 1630 he became professor of philosophy, mathematics, and Oriental languages at Würzburg, and from 1635 to 1643 he was professor of mathematics at Rome. His endeavors to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics bore no fruit but aroused interest in ancient Egypt. His Coptic studies, Prodromus Coptus sive Aegyptiacus (1636) and Lingua Aegyptiaca Restituta (1643), were successful.
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