Alchemy in 1617: Atalanta Fugiens

From Adam McClean

Michael Maier’s alchemical emblem book Atalanta fugiens was first published in Latin in 1617. It was a most amazing book as it incorporated 50 emblems with epigrams and a discourse, but extended the concept of an emblem book by incorporating 50 pieces of music the ‘fugues’ or canons. In this sense it was an early example of multimedia.

Emblem 1

Portavit eum ventus in ventre suo.
(The Wind carried him in his belly)

Emblem 2

Nutrix ejus terra est.
(The Earth is his Nurse)

Emblem 3

Vade ad mulierem lavantem pannos, tu fac similiter.
(Go to the Woman Washing Clothes & do after the same Manner.)

Emblem 4

Conjunge fratrem cum sorore & propina illis poculum amoris:
(Join the Brother & the Sister & drink to ’em in the Bowl of Love.)

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