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Emblematic Literature And Related Sources

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Chapter Summary

The Renaissance emblem, as a model for disguised animal symbolism, introduces several new characteristics, in comparison with the sources we have been discussing. Bestiaries, exempla literature, encyclopedic works, epics and fables were basically literary forms; illustrations were optional. This chapter explores the sources of Renaissance emblematic literature and how did these affect animal iconography? It discusses Andrea Alciato's Emblematum libellus, the Symbola et emblemata by Joachim Camerarius, and the the traditional and retrospective aspect of the Renaissance emblem. Sambucus drew his imagery, with all its accumulated connotations, from the hallowed tradition of animal symbolism but invested it with a modernized, secular significance that was personally meaningful to him. Without knowledge of the traditional exegetic connotations, the new implications would not be understood.

Keywords: animal iconography; animal symbolism; Renaissance emblematic literature; traditional exegetic connotations



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