The Invention of the Emblem Book and the Transmission of Knowledge, ca. 1510-1610


This study draws a new picture of the invention of the emblem book, and discusses the textual and pictorial means that were developed in order to transmit knowledge. It gives a new and fresh analysis of Alciato’s Emblematum liber, focusing on his emblem poetics and on the way in which he was actually construing emblems. It demonstrates that the “father of emblematics” had in fact vernacular forerunners, most importantly Johann von Schwarzenberg who composed two illustrated emblem books between 1510 and 1520. The book sheds light on the early development of the Latin emblem book (1531-1610), with special emphasis on the invention of the emblematic commentary, by Stockhamer and Junius, on natural history, and on advanced means of transmitting emblematic knowledge, from Junius to Vaenius.
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Biographical Note

KARL ENENKEL is Professor of Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin at the University of Münster. Previously he was Professor of Neo-Latin at the University of Leiden. He has published widely on international Humanism, early modern culture, paratexts, literary genres 1300-1600, Neo-Latin emblems, word and image relationships, and the history of scholarship and science.


All interested in emblem studies, literary history, art history, especially of the Early Modern period, book illustration, word-image relationships, history of science and scholarship, 16th century studies, humanism, history of ideas, emblemata, transmission of knowledge, word and image, relationship visual arts - science and scholarship, relationship vernacular literature – Neo-Latin, classical tradition, allegory (allegorical interpretation), personification, natural history, commentary (emblematic commentary), game of emblematic interpretation, and poetics (emblem poetics)