Praetorius begins and ends his vast oeuvre as a reporter of his world. Pursuing local and global events and wonders, he writes for men and women who, like him, want and need to know. Characterized by multiple and multilayered stylistic devices and a textual hybridity distinctive in seventeenth-century writing, his texts evidence diverse ways of knowing and as many ways of telling. As a reporter, he takes up many roles: interpreter of the unfamiliar and strange; navigator through the vast terrain of intertextual constructions and relationships; expert user and consumer of news, which was at the time the most up-to-date mode of communication. His vast knowledge of and dependence on the writings of contemporaries and of authors long since dead are matched by his imaginative and creative use of endless varieties of textual forms available to him. Constructing voluminous compendia of disparate historical, mythological, geographical, political, and social sources that form a veritable hodgepodge of readings, he is able to hold on to the diverging parts of early modern culture long enough to help his readers see his and their century in all its contradictions of knowing and believing, of scientific optimism and wary curiosity. Praetorius connects the heterogeneous intellectual, moral, and social threads of his time in a tableau of words that simultaneously fascinates and overwhelms his reader with its visual and linguistic variety and wealth of information. These panoramas in print weave together the wondrous and the monstrous, the scientific and the superstitious, the sexual and the social. Excited by the increasingly detailed news about places and goings-on near and far away, his readers, sorely tried by calamities of war, hunger, and disease, were also fearful of cosmological events that, to many of them, were portents of ill fortune to come. Praetorius’s ways of knowing prove to be as expansive as they are eclectic.