Alciato's Book of Emblems
List of Early Editions

This is a list of the principal editions of the Emblematum liber published in Alciato's lifetime and after. Despite its being incomplete, the standard and still remarkably well done catalogue is Henry Green's Andrea Alciati and His Books of Emblems: A Biographical and Bibliographical Study (1872). The kind of refinements missed by Green are alluded to in John Manning's article on bibliography and illustration in Alciato. To supplement Green, see the work for France by Adams, Rawles, & Saunders (1999), articles by Tung, the catalogues of Landwehr and, for Plantin, the bibliography by Voet.

The most important early editions - marked in bold below - are those of 1531 (the first, though unauthorized text, with many errors), 1534 (the first authorized text, slightly expanded from the preceding, with 113 emblems), 1546 (another series of 86 new emblems), and 1550 (a last authorized collection of all but one of the previously published emblems, and adding 11 new ones).

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1529
Selecta epigrammata graeca latine versa, ex septem epigrammatum Graecorum libris. Accesserunt omnibus omnium prioribus editionibus ac versibus plus quam quingenta Epigrammata, recens versa, ab Andrea Alciato, Ottomaro Luscinio, ac Iano Cornario Zuiccauiensi
Basel, Ioannes Bebelius. This is a selection of epigrams from the Greek Anthology, some of the poems translated from Greek to Latin by Alciato. Later, 31 of the poems first appeared as emblem poems in the early editions of 1531 or 1534 and onwards. For a tabulation, see the list by Denis Drysdall. In our note on Greek Anthology we give English translations of Alciato's originals.

1531
Augsburg, Heinrich Steyner. First edition, with 104 emblems (Green 2 [Green 1 postulates an undiscovered first edition of Milan 1522, but this is now known not to have existed]; elsewhere we have a note on the edition of 1531.

1534
Paris, Christian Wechel. A slightly expanded edition (113 emblems), with approval of Alciato (Green 7). We have a note on this edition.

1536
Paris, Christian Wechel. First French translation by Jean de Fevre (Green 10)

1542
Paris, Christian Wechel. First German translation by Wolfgang Hunger (Green 20)

1546
Venice, sons of Aldus. A new collection of 86 previously unpublished emblems (Green 28). We have a note on this edition.

1547
The Lyons edition, a collection of 198 emblems (Green 29)

1548
Lyons, Sebastian Gryphius. The Reliqua opera, with 201 emblems and no illustrations, was supervised by the author, is therefore important as a text with final authorial revisions (we are still unsure whether this edition or the Opera omnia of 1549 has greater authority). (Green 30)

1548
Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé. A new order using moral categories introduced to the total of 201 emblems (Green 31)

1549
Basel, Michael Isingrin. The Opera omnia in 4 volumes (Libellus emblematum given at IV, 830ff)(Green 35)

1549
Los emblemas de Alciato traducidos in rimas espanolas
Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé. Spanish translation of the emblems by Bernardino Daza (Green 36)

1549
Lyons, Mace Bonhomme. Bartelemy Aneau's verse-by-verse French translation (Green 38)

1549
Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé (printed by Mace Bonhomme). Aneau's short expositions added to his French verse-by-verse translation (Green 39)

1549
Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé. New translation into Italian by Giovanni Marquale (Green 41)

1550
Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé (printed by Mathias Bonhomme). A collected edition of the 211 emblems (omitting Emblem 80). This edition is "denuo ab Autore recognita" and is moreover the first printing of 11 emblems. We have a short note on this edition. (Green 44) The text is reprinted, with ample commentary and translation by Betty I. Knott, Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1996.

1556
Lyons, Jean de Tournes and Guillaume Gazeau. Sebastian Stockhamer's short commentaries (Green 59)

1558
Basel, M. Isingrin. The second edition of the 4-volume Basel Opera omnia (Emblematum libellus is at IV, 819ff) (Green 62)

1566
Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé. In this edition are added short "epimythia" (Green 76; though in his introduction, p. 92, Green suggests that the first edition of these epimythia appeared in the Frankfurt 1567 edition, which is no 77 in his series)

1573
Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé. Commentary of Franciscus Sanctius, professor at Salamanca (Green 85)

1573
Paris, Jerome de Marnef and Guillaume Cavallet. A series of short notes in French ("avec briefves expositions") (Green 86)

1573
Antwerp, Christopher Plantin. First appearance of the commentary of Claude Mignault (Minos), a French jurisconsult (Green 84)

1577
Antwerp, Christopher Plantin. The notes and "posteriores notae" of Mignault from the Antwerp edition of 1574 now combined, and Syntagma added (Green 93)

1582
Basel, Thomas Guarinus. The third edition of the 4-volume Opera omnia (Emblemata are found at IV, 1098-1175) (Green 102)

1584
Antwerp, Christopher Plantin. First in a series of editions of shorter notes, based on Migneault (Green 108)

1615
Najera, Juan de Mongaston. The Declaracion Magistral, a full commentary by Diego Lopez (Green 142) [There is a discussion of this commentary by Campa (1989).]

1618
Padua, P.P. Tozzi. The notula extemporaria of Laurentius Pignorius added to the notes of Mignault (Green 149)

1621
Padua, P.P. Tozzi. The "monster commentary" (Green, p. 95) of Johannes Thuilius, using Mignault, Sanctius, and Pignorius (Green 152). Reprinted New York: Garland 1976. The verses and illustrations (but not the commentary itself) reprinted in Daly et al, Andreas Alciatus, vol 2. We have provided a short note on the 1621 edition. 1621 is the principal source of the images for this Web edition.

1621 was the 152nd edition; there were in all (by Green's count) 171 editions from 1531 to the end of the 17th century. Later production fell off dramatically, with only 5 later printings in the 18th century.

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Last revised 20 November 1997