Alciato's Book of Emblems
The Memorial Web Edition
in Latin and English
The emblems (Latin) The emblems (English)
The emblems (Latin-English parallel) [frame]
1 | Page 2
Title list and searching Table of emblems Commentaries
Alciato Editions Secondary Material on Emblems
About Alciato Project descriptionOther sites
Andrea Alciato's Emblematum liber or Book of Emblems had
enormous influence and popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a
collection of 212 Latin emblem poems, each consisting of a motto (a
proverb or other short enigmatic expression), a picture, and an
epigrammatic text. Alciato's book was first published in 1531, and was
expanded in various editions during the author's lifetime. It began a
craze for emblem poetry that lasted for several centuries. We use the
Latin text and images from an important edition of 1621 and we give a
translation into English.
Notes on use
The emblems may be read in sequence, in Latin
or in English, or in Latin-English parallel. If you
know a title or a motif that you might be looking for, use our title and searching files. If you know an emblem number,
go directly to it via the table of emblems.
Though all the Alciato emblems have commentary files, only a few have
proper explanatory commentaries. We also
have a short note on Alciato, and bibliographies
of early editions and secondary sources. Among other supporting documents, we
have texts imitated by Alciato from the Greek
We have complete texts of the
emblems, in both Latin (93k) and English (99k).
These texts are very handy if you wish to download for reference or search
for words in context.
Finally, a few other sites of interest.
We have installed all the illustrations
from the editions of 1531, 1534, and 1546, source material from the Greek
Anthology, the whole of Whitney's Choice
of Emblemes (1586), and direct links for particular emblems in
the French edition of Lefevre now on line at the Glasgow University Emblem Website.
All this material is linked through the commentaries for each emblem in
Alciato, where appropriate. We also give a list of emblems in Thomas Palmer's
Two Hundred Poosees (a manuscript emblem
book of c1566) with the links to Alciato, but we do not reproduce the
We give the Alciato and Whitney
emblems in two sizes. Click on the smaller to get the larger.
We have a working bibliography on the Hypnerotomachia
Poliphili, and will continue to add other ancillary material.
And, for your further
entertainment, we have an edition of Gratiae
Ludentes a 17th-century jest book prepared by William Barker,
Yvonne Hann, and a group of undergraduate students in English.
What's to come
will be adding the essay by Mignault De symbolis. We also have
forthcoming some notes for a full checklist of Alciato editions, and,
finished for now, a short essay on Alciato editions
used as alba amicorum.
Site last modified 26 April 2005
William Barker, Mark Feltham,
and Jean Guthrie, with the assistance of
Allan Farrell of Memorial
University's Arts Computing
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