Music from 'Atalanta fugiens' emblem 14

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 a motto, an epigram 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.

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Atalanta Fugiens

Emblem 14

This is the dragon which devours its own tail.


Epigram 14

An atrocious hunger taught the Polyps to gnaw at their own legs,
And taught men to feed on human flesh.
Now the dragon, while it bites itself in its tail and devours it,
For the most part itself, becomes food for itself.
This dragon will have to be conquered, by the sword, hunger and imprisonment,
Till it devours itself and spits itself out, kills itself and generates itself again.


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