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Devices, Proverbs, Emblems: Hadrianus Junius’ Emblemata In The Light Of Erasmus’ Adagia

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Chapter Summary

Proverbs and emblems share a common feature: the use of metaphors and images. Proverbs, or pithy sayings in general express some worldly wisdom, are usually informed by imagery. The main subject of this essay introduces a learned epigone of Erasmus, Hadrianus Junius, of Hoorn, a city to the north of Amsterdam. As regards Alciato and Erasmus, two points need to be made. Firstly, while they certainly admired each other's works, their relationship cannot be described in terms of friendship and cooperation. Secondly, it shows that Erasmus' adage in its emblematic adaptation by Junius furthered the spread of an extremely popular theme. Erasmus himself remarked that it is unsafe to bring up political matters such as the territorial claims of monarchs. Junius, on the other hand, who published his Adagia after the accession of Philip II and during the Council of Trent, had to reckon with a steadily increasing repression.

Keywords: Adagia; emblems; Erasmus; Junius; proverbs

10.1163/ej.9789004209145.i-320.54
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