Emblems: With Many Images from Ancient Works; by Ján Sambucus of Tyrnavia in Pannonia


Emblemata: Cvm Aliqvot Nvmmis Antiqvi Operis (Emblems: with many images from ancient works) is by the notable Slovak poet, polymath, publisher, collector, and university professor Ján Sambucus (also known as János Zsámboki, 1531−84). Born in Trnava (also referred to as Tyrnavia) in western Slovakia, Sambucus was considered to be the outstanding humanistic personality of Central Europe. He maintained contacts with many European scholars, with whom he collaborated in his publishing and collecting activities and his historical research. A substantial part of his life was spent at the imperial court in Vienna, where he obtained the titles of court historiographer, physician, and royal advisor. He devoted himself to translating the Greek classics. In collaboration with the most important publisher of humanist literature of the time, the Antwerp printer Christopher Plantin (1520–89), he prepared editions of works by ancient and contemporary European authors, with commentary. Sambucus published a substantial number of his works with Plantin. Sambucus also owned a vast library, which contained rare manuscripts and printed works. Emblemata contains allegorical images with verse narrative commentaries in elegiac distich. Books of emblems were a favorite literary genre in Europe in the 16th–18th centuries. Pannonia, referred to in the title, corresponds to present-day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, northwestern Serbia, Slovenia, western Slovakia, and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Christopher Plantin, Antwerp


Title in Original Language

Emblemata: Cvm Aliqvot Nvmmis Antiqvi Operis, Ioannis Sambvci Tirnaviensis Pannonii

Type of Item

Physical Description

18.5 x 12 centimeters

Last updated: August 18, 2014