The hypnerotomachia poliphili and renaissance egyptology

Brian A. Curran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Among the imaginary ancient monuments encountered by Poliphilo in the ‘archaeological dreamscape’ of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a significant number contain elements that can be considered Egyptian or Egyptianizing in character. These include the immense pyramid-temple topped with an obelisk (figure 1), the hieroglyph-covered obelisk intersecting the back of a giant stone elephant (figure 2), the sphinx-supported obelisk in the gardens of Queen Eleuterilda (figure 3), and a number of ‘hieroglyphic inscriptions,’ most of them of a distinctly un-Egyptian appearance, such as the one from the base of the aforementioned elephant (figure 4), the obelisk of Caesar in the Polyandrion (figure 5), the bridge into the realm of Queen Eleuterilda (figure 6) and other monuments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-185
Number of pages30
JournalWord and Image
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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