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| Letter to the Reader | Treatise on Symbols | Commentary on 'In deo laetandum' |


Claude Mignault of Dijon

Theoretical Writings on the Emblem: a Critical Edition, with apparatus and notes.

By Denis Drysdall

E-mail: frch0188@waikato.ac.nz

Title of Plantin's 1577 edition, from Glasgow University Library SM48.

The basis for the following text and translation of Claude Mignault’s Letter to the Reader, his Treatise on Symbols and the Commentary on the emblem 'In deo laetandum' is the edition of Alciato's Emblems produced by Plantin in 1577.[1] This version is chosen because it is the first edition of the ‘Syntagma,’ which replaced the much shorter preface of 1573;[2] subsequent modifications in the editions of 1581,[3] 1583, [4] 1590[5] and 1602,[6] which were minor, are indicated in the notes. The letter is virtually unchanged from 1573. The commentary on emblem 4, whose introduction constitutes something of a poetic manifesto, includes in 1577 material which in 1573 had appeared in the supplementary notes.

The text follows the copy in the British Library, 12305.bbb.36. Ligatures have been expanded, accents eliminated, '&' has been replaced by 'et' and the usage of i, j and u, v have been modernised. The translation seeks to be as literal as possible, rather than elegant. The notes to the Latin text contain the critical apparatus and indicate Mignault's immediate sources. Those to the English text are reserved for commentary and, where necessary, translation of the sources.

The texts are presented in parallel columns. Page numbers from the original edition are indicated in brackets. For full consultation a Unicode-compatible browser is required to read the Greek texts, using a Unicode font (such as Arial Unicode, Athena Unicode, or Gentium) . In due course downloadable pdf files will be available for those unable to consult the html files fully.

The help of Graeme Cannon, Stephen Rawles, and Ian Ruffell of the University of Glasgow, is gratefully acknowledged.


Letter to the Reader

Treatise on Symbols

Commentary on the emblem 'In deo laetandum'


1 Leon Voet, The Plantin Press, 1555-1589 : a Bibliography of the Works printed and published by Christopher Plantin at Antwerp and Leiden (in collaboration with Jenny Voet-Grisolle), Amsterdam: Van Hoeve, 1980-1983. 27 [back]

2 Voet, 25 [back]

3 Voet, 29 [back]

4 Paris: Marnef/Cavellat. Alison Adams, Stephen Rawles, Alison Saunders, A Bibliography of French Emblem Books [BFEB], Geneva: Droz, 1999-2002. F.057 [back]

5 Leiden: Raphelengius. [back]

6 Paris: Richer. BFEB, F.064. The best study of Mignault and his symbolism is to be found in Florence Vuilleumier Laurens, La raison des figure symboliques..., THR 340 (Droz, 2000), especially part 2 chap. 4, and a critical editions of the 1602 text in L'Université et la librairie à la fin du XVIe siècle, 'Le Syntagma de Claude Mignault', to be published soon, also by Droz.[back]


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| Letter to the Reader | Treatise on Symbols | Commentary on 'In deo laetandum' |

Page editor Stephen Rawles (S.Rawles@hatii.arts.gla.ac.uk)
Last updated: 16 August 2003