Book Series Imago Figurata. Editions, vol. 4

Andrea Alciato, Jeremias Held

Jeremias Held. 'Liber Emblematum' (Frankfurt-am-Main 1566)

P. M. Daly

  • Pages: 238 p.
  • Size:160 x 235 mm
  • Illustrations:301 b/w
  • Language(s):English, Latin
  • Publication Year:2008

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52539-6
  • Hardback
  • Available


This work by Jeremias Held (Henry Green, no. 74) is the second German translation of the emblems of Andrea Alciato, who is rightfully known as pater et princeps of the emblem. The first German translation was written by Wolfgang Hunger and published by Chrestien Wechel in a bilingual Latin-German edition in Paris in 1542. Held's version, printed in 1566 and 1580, has never before been offered in its entirety in a modern reprint. It, too, is a bilingual edition with the Latin texts followed by Held's German version.
Jeremias Held produced this, the second German translation, which appeared in a 1566 and a 1580 edition. The 1566 edition was printed in Frankfurt-am-Main by Georg Raben for Simon Hüter and Sigmund Feyerabend. The colophon is dated 1567.
Held's version contains 132 woodcuts in text to Alciato's 212 emblems, and they are numbered i-ccxvii. The numbering of the emblems has caused some confusion. Henry Green (190) hastily called the number 217 a misprint, but it is not. The number 217 is correct and derives from the separate numbering of the alternative versions of the epigrams, which Alciato had labled “aliud,” to four of the emblems.
Held's written German is simple and colloquial. In fact it is sloppy. In matters of orthography, we cannot know if the typesetting accurately represents his intentions, but it probably does.