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Natural magick, 1669

The son of a learned Italian nobleman, Giambattista della Porta first published Magiae naturalis in 1558. Its immense popularity prompted a revision that expanded it into 20 chapters in 1589, as well as translations into many languages, including an English edition, Natural magick, in 1658. His research and writing combine both science and magic—common in his time—to explain the mysteries of the natural world. The book expands on practical arts, such as winemaking, hunting, and planting, as well as the mysterious technique of writing invisibly on eggs, making sleep potions, and counterfeiting gold.

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Title page of a book.
  • Creator:

    Giambattista della Porta (ca. 1535–1615)