When you read the title “Theatrum machinarum Molarium” for the first time, the word “machinarum” seems familiar. One quickly thinks of related words in German such as “Maschinen” (machines). If you translate the title from Latin into German, you get “theatre of millstones”. This suggests that it could be about mills.
When you leaf through the first pages and try to read, it seems that a kind of preface to the reader himself and a dedication precedes the book. This is also underlined by a portrait-like picture of a gentleman (possibly an emperor) on the front pages.
Having arrived at the table of contents, there is nothing to suggest that this book is about mills. It has a total of 25 chapters, some with certain sub-chapters. (Such as different mashing mills: flour mills, barley mills, etc.).
The book is richly designed and illustrated, starting with the typeface. Which can probably be assigned to the Gothic script ,Fraktur of the 16th century. The book is also repeatedly decorated with ornamental pieces. There are also some decorative elements and signs.
But until you reach the first page with an illustration or drawing, you have to turn far back. Almost at the end you find several technical drawings (copper engravings). I think, without having read the book page by page and also to understand all drawings, but with the help of the table of contents, among other things, that the drawings are preceded by the theory, so to speak, and that they are thus enclosed and supportive as an appendix.
Johann Matthias Beyer edited and published this book based on Jacob Leupold’s ideas. Jacob Leupold was a “Mechanicius” in today’s sense of the word, an engineer. Therefore, I see the benefit of this book in the fact that it is technical and informative, which perhaps also tells about Leupold’s experiences and thus tries to explain the technology, whether of that time or also historically behind the mill.