Count Luigi Marsigli (1658-1730) was a nobleman, Habsburg general, emissary of Popes, scientist, and patron of arts and letters. His fascinating life and activities - recounted here for the first time by the eminent historian John Stoye - illuminate the many worlds of European civilization during this important period. Born in Bologna, Marsigli travelled throughout Europe from Istanbul to London, but spent much of his time in the Balkan countries and the lands south of the Danube. Stoye follows the Count through the Habsburg Empire, mapping the terrain, determining boundary lines, and participating in a train of events with a crucial impact on Bosnia and Croatia today. He shows how Marsigli pursued his varied interests, classifying mushrooms, finding geological specimens, describing Roman ruins, studying marine biology and making his place in the increasingly scientific community of the early Enlightenment. Stoye tells how Marsigli, founder of an observatory and museum in Bologna, was welcomed by academies and scientific societies throughout Europe, revealing that the interest in science and antiquity transcended national boundaries during this period. Through the activities of the Count, he sheds light on the complexities of European social, political and military life, and the contrast between conditions of war and peace in the phases of European history. Brilliantly narrated by one of the best-known authorities on the era, this account of Marsigli's life is an engrossing and highly entertaining story.