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Jan Marek Marci

jan marek marciniak, jan marek marcinek
Jan Marek Marci FRS 13 June 1595 – 10 April 1667, or Johannes Greek: Ioannes Marcus Marci, was a Bohemian doctor and scientist, rector of the University of Prague, and official physician to the Holy Roman Emperors1 The crater Marci on the far side of the Moon is named after him


  • 1 Career
  • 2 Work
  • 3 Books
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Marci was born in Lanškroun, near the border between historical lands Bohemia and Moravia presently parts of the Czech Republic He studied under Athanasius Kircher,1 and spent most of his career as a professor of Charles University in Prague, where he served eight times as Dean of the medical school and once as Rector in 1662 He was also the personal doctor of Emperors Ferdinand III and Leopold I, and distinguished himself in the defense of Prague against the Swedish armies in 1648 In October 1654 he was given the nobility title falckrabě "de Kronland" anagram of "Landskron", German name for the city of Lanškroun In 1667, he was elected as a member of the Royal Society1 He joined the Jesuit order shortly before his death2


Marci's studies covered the mechanics of colliding bodies, epilepsy, and the refraction of light, as well as other topics Prior to Marci, the prevailing theory of color assumed that light was modified by the action of a medium to produce color Most theories were based upon the assumption that color was simply a modification of light varying between whiteness and blackness Marci preceded Isaac Newton in his belief that "Light is not changed into colors except by a certain refraction in a dense medium; and the diverse species of colors are the products of refraction"3 Although he thought that different colors were caused by varying angles of incidence across the 1/2 degree apparent diameter of the sun, he stated that each color was condensed or disentangled from the others after refraction into homogeneous or elementary colors of red, green, blue and purple, and that no further change in color was obtained by additional refraction of elementary colors4

Marci at some time came into possession of the Voynich Manuscript, apparently upon the death of its former owner, the alchemist Georg Baresch He sent the book to his longtime friend Athanasius Kircher, with a cover letter dated 19 August 1666, or possibly 16651 This cover letter has remained intact and was present when the manuscript was obtained by Wilfrid Voynich

He is remembered today by the award of an annual medal to distinguished scientists by the Slovak-Czech Spectroscopy Society


  • Operatricum Idea 1635
  • Idearum operaticum idea 1636
  • De proportione motus seu regula sphygmica 1639
  • Thaumantias Liber de arcu coelesti deque collorum apparentium natura ortu et causis Pragae: typis Academicis, 1648
  • Dissertatio de natura iridis 1650
  • De longitudine seu differentia inter duos meridianos 1650
  • Labyrinthus, in quo via ad circuli quadraturam pluribus modis exhibetur 1654
  • Philosophia vetus restituta 1662
  • Othosophia seu philosophia impulsus universalis 1683


  1. ^ a b c d Tiltman, John H Summer 1967 "The Voynich Manuscript: "The Most Mysterious Manuscript in the World"" PDF XII 3 NSA Technical Journal Retrieved October 30, 2011 
  2. ^ MacDonnell, Joseph Companions of Jesuits: A History of CollaborationDetroit: NU-AD Inc, 1995, p 78
  3. ^ Richard S Westfall, "The Development of Newton's Theory of Color" ISIS, Vol 53, No 3 Sept 1962 pp 339-358
  4. ^ Carl B Boyer, The Rainbow from Myth to Mathematics 1959

External linksedit

  • Galileo Project
  • Voynich Manuscript Biographies
  • 1635 Idearum operatricium idea - digital facsimile from Linda Hall Library
  • 1648 Thaumantias - digital facsimile from Linda Hall Library

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