This is a remarkable book on a remarkable individual and his work. In character with its subject, it is also erudite and ambitious, written by a scholar who has searched many archives and libraries and obviously has read widely in various languages and on many topics as he followed the travels and thoughts of Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz (Madrid, 1606–Vigevano, Lombardy, 1682). Caramuel, who wrote books on subjects ranging from theology to mathematics, typography, and linguistics, is best known, especially among architectural historians, for his three volumes of Architectura civil, recta y obliqua (a fourth volume was never published and is lost), the focus of this publication. However, Caramuel and this treatise probably have not been understood so well in our times as they are in this volume.

Caramuel was a Spanish subject at a time when that could signify many identities. His own identities had their origins in his...

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