Book Series Imago Figurata. Editions, vol. 3

Hieronymus Ammon

Imitatio Crameriana (Nuremberg 1649)

S. Mödersheim (ed)

  • Pages: 130 p.
  • Size:160 x 235 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:1999

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-50780-4
  • Hardback
  • Available

This book is an edition of Hieronymus Ammon´s Imitatio Crameriana, which is a compilation of forty heart emblems in imitation of Daniel Cramer´s Emblemata Sacra, and in the context of contemporary Nuremberg as a thriving centre of culture important as a theory of learning and translation.


In 1649 Hieronymus Ammon, a town lawyer in Nuremberg, published a sophisticated bilingual emblem book in Latin and German under the title Imitatio Crameriana. The book is a compilation of forty heart emblems, imitations of Daniel Cramer's Emblemata Sacra. At this time Nuremberg was a centre of economic and political power, and boasted a thriving culture. The town's poets had a serious interest in rhetoric and poetics, and they showed an appreciation for the vernacular culture that was being promoted by the Sprachgesellschafften. In this context the notion of imitatio is important as a theory of learning and translation. Imitating classical patterns was considered a means to develop style through independent variation. Cramer's heart emblems were considered by Ammon and his friends as an ideal model. Even more so because they adhered to orthodox protestant dogma. Thus these emblems fulfilled the expectations of erudition and wit, while satisfying protestant principles of scripture. Most of the biblical mottoes were texts used for daily sermons in the Lutheran church. The substantial introduction is followed by a list of Ammon's Latin mottoes which are juxtaposed with their source mottoes in Cramer's emblems and accompanied by English translations; there is also a second list of the key motifs in the emblem pictures.