Music from 'Atalanta fugiens' emblem 17

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 17

A fourfold fire-ball controls this work.


Epigram 17

You who imitate the work of Nature must look for four balls,
In which a bright fire is active.
Let the undermost have reference to Vulcan, but let the second one show Mercury well,
The third circle spans Luna;
The fourth, yours, Apollo, is also called the fire of Nature:
Let this chain guide your hands in art.

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