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The Symbolic Literature of the Renaissance

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[These pages are under construction. Contributions are welcome and will be acknowledged.  For details see here]

Altus Mutus Liber philosphia hermetica figuris hieroglyphicis *G I, 88

Becanus, G.B. Hieroglyphica Antwerp: Plantin, 1580

Bolzano, Valeriano Hieroglyphica Frankfurt: Kirchner, 1678

Casalius, Joannes Baptista De profanis et sacris veteribus ritibus Frankfurt & Hannover: Hauensteinius, 1681

Caussin, Nicholas De Symbolica Aegyptiorum Sapienta 1618

(On the Symbols of the Wisdom of the Egyptians) The language of the hieroglyph was again seen as a manifestation of the divine language which could reveal the nature of God. This book contained a reprint of the Horapollo (see below)

Chaeremon Hieroglyphs

Chaeremon was a historian living in Alexandria in the first Century AD and tutor of the Emperor Nero.  There are several references in the Renaissance to Chaeremon’s book on hieroglyphs but only fragments of the work appear to have survived.

Coelo, Augustino A Hieroglyphica Basle 1567

Dee, John Monas Hieroglyphicorum Antwerp: Salvius, 1564

de HoogeSacris Notis & Sculpuris Paris: Kerver, 1551

Horapollo, Romeyn Hieroglyphica oder Denkbilder Amsterdam: Arkstee, 1744

Erasmus Adages

‘Hieroglyphs are symbols by means of which it was possible to express the true significance of things.’

Flamel, Nicholas Le Livre des figures hieroglyphiques 1414

Fraunce, Abraham Symbolicae Philosophicae Liber Quartus et Ultimus Ed Manning Tr. Haan  AMS  1991

----------------------Insignium armorum, emblematum, hieroglyphicorum et symbolorum….Explicatio London: 1588 

(Book of Arms Hieroglyphs, symbols and Emblems) B

Herwath von Hohenburg, Johann Georg Thesaurus Hieroglyphicorum Munich: J.G. H von H, 1610 *Graesse 


----------------------Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1505

First edition in Greek

----------------------Augsburg: 1505

First Latin translation by Bernardino Trebazio. Reprinted in Basel: 1518, Paris: 1530, Basle: 1534, Venice: 1538, Lyons: 1542, Lyons: 1626.

----------------------Bologna: Hieromus Platonides, 1517

Latin translation by Filippo Fasanini

----------------------Vienna MS: 1512

Unfinished Latin translation by Willibald Pirckheimer containing 67 hieroglyphics from Book I, and the first from Book II.

----------------------Paris: Pierre Vidoue, 1521

Latin and Greek edition by Jean Angeli

----------------------Paris: Kerver, 1543

First French translation with 197 engravings attributed to Cousin.

----------------------Paris: Hieroglyphica Robert Estienne, 1530

----------------------Venice: Ferrari, 1547

The only Italian translation by Fivizzano

----------------------French MS

Translation by Nostradamus 1543 to 1547 MS BNF Francais 2594

----------------------Paris: Kerver, 1548

Greek, with a Latin translation by Jean Mercier. Another edition 1551 from a manuscript of Guillaume Morel. This edition was laid out like an emblem book and is usually categorized as such.

----------------------Paris: Kerver, 1553

Another edition of the 1548 Latin translation, with a French translation, probably by Jean Martin.

----------------------Basel: Petri, 1554

German translation by the Swiss Johann Herold

----------------------Valencia: Sanahuja, 1554

Greek edition by Palmireno

----------------------Paris: Galliot du Pré, 1574

A reprint of Kerver's 1553 Latin by Trebazio with 11 additional hieroglyphics

----------------------Augsburg: Pinus, 1595

Greek edition translated by D. Hoeschel

----------------------Rome: Aloisii Zanetti, 1597

A Greek-Latin version by Giulio Franceschini. Reprinted in 1599.

----------------------Rome: Vulliettum, 1606

----------------------Paris: 1618

Greek and Latin edition Nicolas Caussin. Further editions in Cologne in 1622, 1631, 1654 and Paris 1634 and 1647.

-------------------------Orus Apollo Niliacus Venice: Jacobo da Borgofranco, 1538

Early 5th edition in Latin.

Kircher, Athanasius Oedipus aegyptiacus Rome: Vitalis Mascardi, 1652-4

------------------------Sphinx mystagoga Amsterdam: 1676

------------------------Obelisci Aegyptiaci Rome: Varesii, 1666

------------------------Obeliscus Pamphilius Rome: Grignani, 1650

First edition

Lackner, Christoph Hieroglyphica Sopron: 1610

-----------------------Coronae Hungaricae Emblematica descriptia Lavingen: 1615

Langlois, Pierre Discours des Hieroglyphes Aegyptiens, Emblemes, Devises & Armoiries. Aveques Plusieurs Interpretations des Songes et Prodiges Paris: Abel l'Angelier, 1584

Langlois, Pierre Discours des hieroglyphs egytpiens Paris: 1583/1584 *B 29091

---------------------Tableaux hieroglyphiques Paris: Langelier, 1598

First edition 1583

Licetus, Fortunius (1577-1657) Hieroglyphica 1653   

Philosophical book illustrated by gem engravings.   

Maier, Michael Arcana Arcanissima London?: Creede?, 1614

Mantovani Benavides, Marco (1489-1582) Zographia sive Hieroglyphica Padua: Pasquati, 1566

Masen, Jakob Speculum Imaginum Cologne; Kinckii, 1650 

On theory of symbols and emblems. Makes use of the four aspects of rhetorical inventio and tries to make emblem theory into a branch of rhetoric. Discusses emblems, hieroglyphs, enigmas and symbols.

Mercati Michele (1541 – 1593) di gli obelischi di Roma 1589

An extensive chapter on hieroglyphs.

Niphus, Augustinus Ori Apollinis Niliaci de hieroglyphicis notis Basel: J. Hervagius 1534.

Pignoria, Lorenzo Vetustissmae Tabulae Aeneae Sacris Aegyptiorum Simulachris Coelatae Accurata Explicatio Venice: Rampazetto, 1605

First edition.

Pignorius, Laurentius (1571-1631) Characteres Aegyptii Amsterdam 1608 (Brunet 29085)

A commentary on the Bembine Table.
Another edition Amsterdam: Frisius, 1669
Another edition 1670 

-----------------------Vetustissmae Tabulae Aeneae Sacris Aegyptiorum Simulachris coelatae accurata Explicatio Venice: Rampazetto, 1605 

First edition

Sandaeus Theologica Symbolica 1626

Scamuzzo, Ernesto La Mensa Isaica Rome: Museo di Torino.

Simson, Archibald Hieroglyphica animalium Edimburgo: 1622

Typotius, Jacobus De hierographia, 1618

Valeriano, Pierio Hieroglyphica 1556

Le Heiroglyphes Lyons: Creux for Paul Frellon, 1615. First edition of best early French trans. by Montlyard.
Another edition, Lyons: Giovanni Piero, 1626. Another ed. Frankfurt: Kirchner, 1678

----------------------Commentaires hieroglphiques ou Images des Choses Lyon: Honorat, 1576

First French edition

Van Gorp, Jan Hieroglyphica Antwerp: Plantin, 1580

Wendelin, Marcus Admirande Nili 1623

Westerhovius Hieroglyphica of Merkbeelden (de Hooghe) Amsterdam: van der Woude, 1735

Witsius, Herman Aegyptica Amsterdam: 1696 *B V, 1487

Another edition entitled Herbornae 1717