Atalanta fugiens

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.

An English tanslation exists in the British Library MS. Sloane 3645. Clay Holden was kind enough to allow his transcription of emblems 1 to 10, and Hereward Tilton has transcribed 11 to 34, and Peter Branwin has completed the work by transcribing 35 to 50. Peter Branwin is currently working on a new translation of the discourses from the original Latin. [There is another English translation in Mellon MS. 48 at Yale in the USA.]

Back to alchemical symbolism.

Emblems 1 - 5 [transcribed by Clay Holden]
Emblems 6 - 10 [transcribed by Clay Holden]
Emblems 11 - 15 [transcribed by Hereward Tilton]
Emblems 16 - 20 [transcribed by Hereward Tilton]
Emblems 21 - 25 [transcribed by Hereward Tilton]
Emblems 26 - 30 [transcribed by Hereward Tilton]
Emblems 31 - 34 [transcribed by Hereward Tilton]
Emblems 35 - 40 [transcribed by Peter Branwin]
Emblems 41 - 45 [transcribed by Peter Branwin]
Emblems 46 - 50 [transcribed by Peter Branwin]

If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.