THE HYPNEROTOMACHIA OF POLIPHILO, IN WHICH
IT IS SHOWN THAT ALL HUMAN THINGS
ARE BUT A DREAM, AND MANY
OTHER THINGS WORTHY
OF KNOWLEDGE AND
An illustrated book - published 1499, attributed to Frances Colonna -
about the strife of love in a dream. Poliphilo falls asleep on a deserted shore
and dreams himself traveling through a strange land full of extravagant architectures and
antique rituals. He searches for, and then finds, his love Polia, at which point the book
branches into stories within stories and dreams within dreams.
Polia at first rejects Poliphilo, but after many tribulations, she declares her love and then dissolves;
the dawn's light awakens Poliphilo.
The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili was fully translated into English for the first time
in the year 1999, by Joscelyn Godwin. The lateness was due to the extreme difficulty
of translation: the original is written in an idiosyncratic hybrid
of Latin, Italian, and Greek, with many invented or rare words. Godwin's complete translation
was published with all of the original illustrations in honor of the book's 500th anniversary.
The book has had a diverse set of influences on later art and literature: