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Hypnerotomachia The Strife of Loue in a Dreame   By: (-1527)

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Hypnerotomachia The Strife of Loue in a Dreame, written by Francesco Colonna in the late 15th century, is a remarkable and enigmatic tale that intertwines love, art, and mystery. This timeless work transports readers to a world where love serves as the driving force behind a quest for eternal beauty.

The book revolves around the dream-journey of its protagonist, Poliphilo, who embarks on a quest to find his beloved, Polia. Throughout the narrative, Poliphilo encounters a series of breathtakingly described architectural marvels, lush landscapes, and enchanting encounters with mythical beings. These vivid descriptions allow readers to vividly imagine and immerse themselves in the dreamlike setting created by Colonna's prose.

However, it is not just the captivating imagery, but also the intricate symbolism and intellectual depth that make Hypnerotomachia an engrossing read. Colonna seamlessly weaves together classical myths, folklore, and arcane philosophical concepts, challenging the reader to untangle the hidden meaning beneath the surface. The book becomes a labyrinth of enigmatic symbolism, leaving readers both mystified and intrigued.

Furthermore, Hypnerotomachia showcases Colonna's deep appreciation for the arts. Incorporating elements of architecture, sculpture, and painting, the author presents a cornucopia of artistic inspiration, employing elaborate and ornate language to describe the intricate details of each artistic creation encountered by Poliphilo. Colonna's prose evokes a sense of the surreal, mirroring the dream-like quality of the narrative itself.

While the story unfolds primarily through Poliphilo's perspective, there are also detours into various tales, myths, and allegories that further enrich the reading experience. These diversions serve as intellectual interludes, providing readers with moments of reflection and an opportunity to ponder the deeper layers of meaning within the narrative.

It is worth noting that the style and language of Hypnerotomachia pose a challenge for modern readers. Colonna's use of archaic language, along with his inclusion of Latin and Greek phrases, may prove daunting for those unfamiliar with these languages and their literary conventions. However, for readers willing to invest time and effort, the book offers a rich and rewarding experience.

Hypnerotomachia The Strife of Loue in a Dreame is a testament to the power of the written word to transport and captivate readers across time. Its intricate blend of love, art, and symbolism makes it a truly unique work, standing as a remarkable example of Renaissance literature. Francesco Colonna's genius in crafting an emotionally charged and intellectually stimulating narrative makes this book a must-read for those who seek a literary adventure beyond the conventional.

First Page:

[Transcriber's Note:

Typographical errors are listed at the end of the text. Side/footnote labels in lower case ([a] [b]...) are original; labels supplied by the transcriber are capitalized ([A] [B]...).

For this Latin 1 text, Greek has been transliterated and placed between marks. Hebrew text is similarly marked.]

Number 87


Its Record in Early Printed Books Published in Facsimile




London 1592

Da Capo Press Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Ltd. Amsterdam 1969 New York

The publishers acknowledge their gratitude to the Curators of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for their permission to reproduce the Library's copy.

S.T.C. No.5577 Collation: A Z (4º), Aa Cc (4º)

Published in 1969 by Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Ltd., O. Z. Voorburgwal 85, Amsterdam & Da Capo Press · a division of Plenum Publishing Corporation ·

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