From the moment the printer Hieronymus Galler lifted its pages from his press, Atalanta fugiens has
been an intriguing, demanding book. With its multiple typefaces, music, and etchings, it is a virtuoso specimen
of early modern print technology and a prime example of the beautiful engraved
books produced by the renowned publisher Johann Theodor de Bry and illustrated by Matthäus Merian.
The book unfolds as a series of fifty emblems, each containing multiple parts: a motto and epigram in German and
Latin, a copperplate etching, a fugue for three voices, and a Latin discourse that expands on the emblem’s
themes. Atalanta fugiens presents an alchemical realm where deities, heroes, and mortals mingle within
fantastic landscapes and elaborate interiors. Some of the emblems depict identifiable laboratory processes,
encoding alchemical practice and the marvels of material transformations in allegorical images. The layout of
the book itself is elegant in its symmetry. The musical scores on the left mirror the images on the right;
together with the surrounding text and subsequent discourses, each emblem set makes a neat package of music,
image, and text.
The content of Atalanta fugiens is no less masterful, invoking a kind of erudition that was prevalent
enough among scholars in 1618 but is rare today. Maier’s title page gestures to an Ovidian legend — the tale of
the fleet-footed huntress Atalanta, whom Hippomenes hopes to best in a race by dropping three distracting golden
apples in her path.1 In Maier’s hands, however, Ovid’s
central characters become chymical materials,2 while their interactions and transformations turn the ancient myth
into a multimedia alchemical allegory designed to engage the ear, eye, and intellect. Only a reader equipped
with a deep knowledge of classical myth, alchemy, natural history, music, mathematics, steganography, and
medicine (not to mention the ability to read musical notation, German, and Latin) would have been up to the
challenge of grasping the full significance of Maier’s clever text in 1618. As intimidating and kaleidoscopic as
Atalanta fugiens may seem, however, its proposition is simple: all of the book’s parts are meant to
work together, combining synergistically to reveal — or even produce — new insights into nature’s secrets. A shrewd
reader could hope to acquire alchemical techniques for making powerful medicines
or precious metals, and even knowledge about the origins and transformation of matter. In 1618, Maier offered
his readers a puzzle, a game, a chance to test out their own virtuosity and to uncover nature’s secrets. In
other words, Michael Maier invited his readers to engage with the text in ways that might today be considered
playful — and they have been playing with Atalanta fugiens ever since.3
While we recognize and celebrate the fact that Atalanta fugiens has had an unusually long and rich
afterlife as an intellectual, musical, and aesthetic object, the following essays approach Maier’s text first
and foremost as a historical artifact whose playfulness must be understood in the intellectual, cultural,
political, and religious context of early seventeenth-century Europe. Our exploration of Atalanta
fugiens emerges out of an intentional multidisciplinary collaboration among scholars of early modern
print, music, art, philosophy, mathematics, and alchemy. We explore how Atalanta fugiens both
contributed to and was shaped by early modern debates about epistemology and the senses, cryptography, humor and
ludic culture, and print as an instrument for producing knowledge, as well as debates about the status of alchemy in a period in
which it was deeply contested.4
Our starting point is the assertion that if in 1618 Maier could reasonably expect a single reader to have the
wide-ranging erudition and skill set to engage his book, then unpacking the riches of Atalanta fugiens
today requires multidisciplinary collaboration. For example, some modern scholars may read Latin but not German
(or vice versa), while others may understand the visual conventions Maier draws on in his emblem landscapes but
be entirely unfamiliar with the Phrygian mode in early modern music. Anthropomorphized images of philosophical
sulfur or mercury are old hat to historians of alchemy, while to others they might look like bizarre flights of
fancy. In short, the fracturing of expertise into disciplinary bodies of knowledge means that scholars today can
only grapple fully with the many dimensions of Maier’s ambitious text through multidisciplinary collaboration.
We view Atalanta fugiens, therefore, as an invitation and a challenge to reassemble collectively the
expertise that Maier’s book demands. This approach departs from previous scholarship on Atalanta
fugiens in several ways. First, this collection of essays is framed as a multidisciplinary conversation.
Existing scholarly studies of Atalanta fugiens have tended to highlight a single element of the
book. For example, the major
English-language study, H. M. E. de Jong’s 1969 Michael Maier’s “Atalanta fugiens”: Sources of an Alchemical
Book of Emblems, focuses primarily on the intertextuality of the book. De Jong’s crucial insight was to
identify the corpus of alchemical, medical, mythological, and natural historical works from which Maier drew
both explicitly and implicitly, and her study makes clear the extent to which Atalanta fugiens is a
masterful work of textual synthesis. Maier’s authorship, she shows, lies primarily in his ability to weave
together well-known alchemical aphorisms and to juxtapose them with new frameworks (not least the Ovidian tale
of Atalanta and Hippomenes). De Jong’s attention to the literary elements of Atalanta fugiens, however,
leaves open the relationship between Maier’s text and the book’s images and music. Meanwhile, other scholars have maintained a tight
focus on the music, select images, or Maier’s philosophical commitments.5
All of these studies have advanced our understanding of Atalanta fugiens in important ways, and
certainly deep disciplinary expertise is crucial for situating Maier’s project in specific philosophical,
artistic, literary, or musical contexts; however, approaching Atalanta fugiens from the perspective of
one or two disciplinary perspectives at a time also has its limits. Maier’s intention, after all, was to
integrate sight, sound, and intellect, and so we, too, must grapple with the connections, synergies,
and also tensions he laid out.
Earlier studies of Atalanta fugiens have also relied on an understanding of early modern alchemy that
has been significantly challenged in recent decades. Once seen either negatively, as “superstition” or
“pseudoscience,” or, more positively, as a primarily literary or philosophical project closely linked with
hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and other “occult” philosophies, early modern alchemy is now also recognized as a
fundamentally material endeavor, a set of practices deeply engaged with understanding and enacting the
transformation of matter and closely associated with early modern science and medicine.6
Informed by this new scholarly consensus in the history of alchemy, the following essays view Atalanta
fugiens not only as a literary or philosophical text cleverly adorned with music but also as an
invocation of actual laboratory technologies, potentially even a guide to the production of the philosophers’
The fact that Maier’s laboratory secrets are embedded in a such a virtuoso multimedia text, however, raises the
question of its format even more urgently — and makes clear the need for a multidisciplinary approach. If Maier
wanted to communicate something about chymical processes, then why not simply publish a more straightforward
book of recipes? There are many possible answers to this question, of course. Perhaps he wanted to hide his most
profound secrets from the untutored, unworthy, or lazy, even as he divulged them for all to see in print. Maier
also sought to elevate alchemy above its grubby artisanal roots, establishing it as a humanist, philosophical,
emblematic, courtly art with the potential to access nature’s arcana. On this count Atalanta fugiens
certainly succeeds, demonstrating that alchemy offered not just precious medicines or metals but also fodder
for mathematical games, musical riddles, artistic virtuosity, and classical erudition.
Maier’s insistence on representing his chymical secrets musically, visually, and textually suggests
that the multimedia format of Atalanta fugiens is a clue to Maier’s broader arguments. The first two
essays in this collection, from Tara Nummedal and Michael Gaudio, argue for new ways of understanding how
Maier’s audience may have read or looked at Atalanta fugiens. Nummedal explores the experience and interpretation of Atalanta fugiens through
an examination of multiple modes of reading. She reveals the structural framework that underpins Atalanta
fugiens, showing how the design of this book adheres to both a horizontal and a vertical orientation. In
one modality, the reader moves across Maier’s musical alchemical emblem book with the turn of each page; in the
other, the individual emblem requires that the eye travel down the page, an action that invites lingering and
contemplation of its textual and visual interplay in penetrating its hidden meaning. Maier’s musical alchemical
emblem book is thus designed as both codex and scroll. At the same time, Nummedal argues that these reading
practices also engage the reader’s body, making the act of reading Atalanta fugiens into an exploration
of the relationship between intellect and senses and, ultimately, of the proper practice of chymistry. In turn, the essay by
Michael Gaudio focuses on the captivating copperplate
etchings by the artist Matthäus Merian that have assured the renown of Atalanta fugiens across the centuries. Noting
Merian’s unusual concentration on landscape depiction in Atalanta fugiens, Gaudio situates this visual
feature within a broader German landscape tradition. Moreover, he suggests, the “background” landscapes in
Atalanta fugiens are a commentary on the act of seeing, representing, and measuring nature. This visual
mode of engaging nature, Gaudio argues, was an important first step for Maier, preceding the more emblematic act
of “looking more deeply” at the foreground images. Just as Maier offers multiple ways of reading Atalanta fugiens, according to
Nummedal, so too does he encourage at least two different ways of seeing nature.
Essays by Eric Bianchi and Peter J. Forshaw deepen our understanding of how Maier conceptualized Atalanta
fugiens by examining the set of classical and contemporary sources that informed Maier’s use of music and
mythology. Eric Bianchi provides us with access to the intellectual
context and social milieu of Maier’s musical world in a reconstruction of his musical philosophy. Atalanta fugiens evolved within a multifaceted
cultural environment in which it participated in lofty mathematical abstractions about cosmic harmony even as it
reflected commonplace professional music practices. Maier’s approach to music was thus speculative and
performative, and Bianchi’s essay navigates between these seemingly opposed cultural forces. He discusses
Atalanta fugiens as a work of music theory in terms of the relationship between its “sounded” music and the “silent” music of Maier’s later work Cantilenae intellectuales
(Intellectual songs, 1622). As to the performative possibilities of Atalanta fugiens, Bianchi explores
how the visual is rendered audible through the musical technique of text painting, or “madrigalisms.” This vocal
feature of the music also constitutes an important element of Maier’s sensorial delivery of chymical arcana,
pointing to underlying relationships among Maier’s music, image, and text — how the images influenced the fugues,
for example, or vice versa. Maier’s use of personifications in his musical scores merge Ovidian characters with
alchemical philosophy, and the essay by Peter J. Forshaw presents a
rich intertextual examination of Maier’s use of myth in the context of alchemy. Forshaw
elucidates a long tradition of alchemical interpretations of ancient myths, the literary genre known as
mythoalchemy, which extends from the classical into the early modern period. This historiographical framework
sheds new light on Maier’s adaptation of an Ovidian legend as the matrix for Atalanta fugiens. Maier
understood hieroglyphs and myths to be transmissions of ancient knowledge and wisdom from the Egyptians to the
Greeks, presenting a coded language in which chymical secrets were embedded. Forshaw’s essay places Maier’s use
of emblems and the Atalanta story in relation to his earlier mythoalchemical work Arcana arcanissima (Most
secret secrets, 1614), which Forshaw argues is the core of a mytho-chymical project that plays out across
several of Maier’s published works. Atalanta fugiens is thus set within a wider alchemical program in
which Maier uses myth and symbols to hide knowledge from the vulgar yet at the same time to reveal knowledge to
The final group of essays by Loren Ludwig, Richard Oosterhoff, and Donna Bilak explore Maier’s incorporation of
music and mathematics into Atalanta fugiens. Loren Ludwig
argues that Maier did not, in fact, compose forty of the fifty “fugues” in this musical alchemical emblem book.
Ludwig’s musicological analysis of Atalanta fugiens reveals how Maier repurposed a printed collection of choir
exercises by the English composer John Farmer, Divers & Sundry Waies (1591), thus connecting
Atalanta fugiens to earlier English musical and liturgical traditions. Ludwig’s finding recalibrates
our understanding of how the “fugues” in Maier’s book support its alchemical program. This raises important
questions about authorship and intentionality, as Maier’s adaptation of Farmer’s waies in Atalanta
fugiens reframes how we might interpret Maier’s curious integration of music in the book. The essay by Richard Oosterhoff explores Maier’s use of mathematics to
support his alchemical agenda. Oosterhoff focuses on Emblem 21, which considers the ancient problem of squaring the circle,
arguing that Maier dwells on this mathematical example as a sustained commentary on the creation and
transformation of knowledge. According to Oosterhoff, Maier believed that if human knowledge could begin with
the divine spark of inspiration, it must also be cultivated through the dedicated and sustained application of
reason and experience, not through instinct, imagination, and phantasy. If squaring the circle was one of the
most vexing mathematical problems, it was also, according to Oosterhoff, an example par excellence of knowledge
that was possible even if not yet attained. In this sense, it became an important model for the possibility of
metallic transmutation. At the same time, both desiderata also exposed the tensions, if not
contradictions, between what might be possible in theory and what could be achieved in practice. The closing essay presents another
viewpoint on Maier’s use of mathematics as a way to probe nature’s secrets. Donna Bilak takes up the question of why Maier configured Atalanta fugiens around
fifty fugue-emblem sets, proposing that Maier may have engineered his musical alchemical emblem book around a concealed
mathematical puzzle. Discovery of this puzzle lies in finding and solving clues, “secret signs,” that Maier
embedded in the emblems, and doing so effects a numerical transmutation that reshuffles their order.
Atalanta fugiens becomes a game based on the reader’s ability to attain new insights about chymical
arcana that the contemplation of new emblem groupings prompt, with the book itself serving as an object that
hides Maier’s secret game in plain view. Bilak’s analysis of Atalanta fugiens as a steganographic work
invites a reading of Maier’s book in terms of cover text and ciphertext, opening up the study of alchemy to
contemporary cryptographic practices.
Collectively, these seven essays reposition Atalanta fugiens as a blend of theoretical, performative,
and practical engagements with nature. Maier is not the artist nor the musician, but he draws on sound and
image, as well as mathematics and myth, to construct an alchemical allegory about the search for health and
wealth. Moreover, by reordering, resequencing, or focusing on different elements of Atalanta fugiens
each time they opened the book, Maier’s readers could use it to generate almost endless new insights into
nature’s secrets. The multiple parts of Atalanta fugiens, as well as the numerous potential ways of
reading, seeing, and hearing it, put the book in motion, setting up a hunt for meaning and a dynamic reading
practice that transformed it into a complex epistemological tool.
At the same time, these essays suggest that Atalanta fugiens is more than an exploration of the
synergies, tensions, and intersections among the languages of musical score, copperplate etching, and Latin
discourse. Maier may also have intended his book to address shifting anxieties around the early modern
disciplines that bridged sense and intellect, theory and practice, scholarship and craft in the early
seventeenth century. Music, art, and alchemy grappled with a similar set of tensions. These arts were all framed
by theoretical literatures that could be quite abstract and scholarly; as a set of practices, however, each also
required knowledge of technique and the material world. The very nature of these mixed arts, therefore, raised
questions about whether they were philosophies, crafts, or mixtures of the two, and about how these elements related
to one another. These complexities of education, training, praxis, and expertise mirrored social concerns about
the positions of the alchemist, the artist, and the musician between court, university, and workshop. Perhaps,
these essays suggest, Atalanta fugiens placed art, alchemy, music, and, more subtly, mathematics in
conversation because all of these arts grappled with a similar set of issues about the relationships among
different forms of expertise, training, and practice in these mixed disciplines.
The essays collected here insist that Atalanta fugiens must be understood in its original historical
context, as an artifact of its author and his early seventeenth-century world. The meaning of Atalanta
fugiens, however, has always been in the hands of its readers, viewers, listeners, and singers. Indeed,
it is impossible to ignore the fact that Maier’s contemporaries almost immediately seemed to want to amend,
translate, and even disassemble Atalanta fugiens, thereby reimagining its message for new generations.
In fact, a constellation of Atalanta-objects began to appear around Maier’s original book already in
the seventeenth century, highlighting the desire not simply to sit down and read the text but rather to
repurpose it for new contexts. Some individuals created their own customized copies, presumably for private use.
The creators of the copies in the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Donald F. and Mildred Topp
Othmer Library of Chemical History, for example, had them hand-colored, turning black-and-white etchings
into verdant landscapes, azure skies, glowing fires, and vibrant, multicolored costumes (figs. 1 and 2).7
Others replaced Maier’s Latin and German text with French or English translations, copying their new vernacular
mottos, epigrams, and discourses — but not, notably, the fugues that originally accompanied them — into private
miscellanies alongside other standard works from the centuries-old alchemical corpus (fig. 3).
One translator may have had a more public audience in mind for his English version, “Atalanta running, that
is, new chymicall emblems relating to the secrets of nature,” which included the mottos, epigrams, and
discourses, but not the images or the music (fig. 4). Now in the Beinecke Rare Book and
Manuscript Library at Yale University, this manuscript looks as if it may have been a fair copy intended
for the printing press rather than a manuscript for private use, and we use it here as the English translation
in our digital edition.8
Yet neither “Atalanta running” nor any of the other vernacular translations of Atalanta fugiens
made it into print in the seventeenth century; instead, they remained in private manuscript collections or
perhaps were exchanged among friends in the scholarly networks that extended across the early modern intellectual
community known as the Republic of Letters.9 The fact that none of these
manuscripts included the music suggests that they may date from the late seventeenth century, possibly modeled
on a reconfigured printed version of Maier’s original that appeared in 1687 under a new title: Secretioris
naturae secretorum scrutinium chymicum (The chymical investigation of the most secret nature of secrets).
The publisher, Georg Heinrich Oehrling, dropped not only Maier’s original title page and the vignettes detailing
scenes from the Ovidian Atalanta story that framed it but also one part of each emblem set: the page with the
music and the German translations of the Latin mottos and epigrams.10
These changes radically transformed the book’s original program. In this 1687 edition, Atalanta fugiens
was no longer about sound and sight; the reader was no longer also a listener. The removal of the music ended up
placing greater emphasis on the emblems and discourses. Like the anonymous authors of the French and English
manuscript variants, Oehrling may have had any number of reasons to make these changes, not least of which was
the cost of printing music or duplicative German. It had also been about seventy years since Atalanta
fugiens first appeared, and the social, intellectual, and political context that shaped Maier’s
original book had changed, too. Natural philosophy was increasingly institutionalized in scientific societies and
journals, which played a crucial role in determining how (and how not) to write about nature. At the same time,
the alchemical middle ground between art, science, literature, and music that Atalanta fugiens occupied
had also begun to pull apart. Parts of alchemy were increasingly being reframed as modern chemistry, while
others were left behind or moved out of scientific and medical discourse altogether.
These early manuscript and print adaptations suggest that it was often Maier’s text that held the most appeal
for his earliest readers, who could sometimes do without the music and even the images. In at least one
instance, however, it was the images that held the most appeal. The Bibliotheca Hermetica Philosophica in
Amsterdam holds three seventeenth-century oak panels with oil paintings depicting figures from Atalanta
fugiens mingling with figures from two other early modern alchemical texts, Basil Valentine’s
Practica cum duodecim clavibus (Twelve keys, 1677) and Johann Daniel Mylius’s Philosophia
reformata (Philosophy reformed; 1622).11
These intriguing objects allowed the images in these three well-known alchemical texts to float free entirely of
the words that once accompanied them, creating new visual schemes that referenced their original contexts only
enigmatically and underscored alchemy’s potential as a purely symbolic language.
Words without music, images without text. These seventeenth-century adaptations of Maier’s original point to a
quality of the book that shaped the responses of even its first readers and that, we argue, has ensured that
the book remains of interest today. Assembled out of discrete units of music, image, and text, Atalanta
fugiens depends on its combination of media, its appeal to multiple senses, and its promise that only
this particular assemblage can serve its aim: namely, to ponder the relationship between the senses and the
intellect, and to reveal insights into nature both practical and philosophical. At the same time, the book also
encourages its readers to take it apart, to reshuffle, select, and reimagine its elements. It was and is a book
in parts, and this fundamental fact continues to inspire and interest users today. Modern readers continue to be
drawn to Atalanta fugiens for these reasons, as well as for the book’s beauty, arresting images, music,
and enigmatic content. Contemporary artists have reimagined the form of Maier’s book and
while musicians continue to perform, record, and be inspired by the fugues.13
Browsing Apple’s iTunes Store or Bandcamp, one can find recordings of Maier’s music in
period style as well as electronic and electroacoustic or metal versions. A search for #atalantafugiens on
Instagram or Twitter reveals the book’s ongoing appeal to Rosicrucians, alchemists, and others who see it as an
important repository of information about alchemical theories, imagery, and texts.14
The unusual longevity of Atalanta fugiens is certainly noteworthy, raising pressing questions about why
and how particular elements of early modern culture continue to resonate with twenty-first-century audiences while others fade away. Our own digital edition is, in a sense, part of the long
afterlife of Atalanta fugiens and should be understood in this context. These accompanying essays are
meant to anchor the edition historically, to frame users’ explorations of Maier’s extraordinary book as a
dialogue between Maier’s world and our own.
While alchemy is no longer part of modern science, perhaps, it continues to appeal to many as a world we have
lost. Some today are drawn to alchemy as a scientific discourse unafraid of reaching for the most profound
divine or cosmic wisdom, while others might value Atalanta fugiens for its elevation of play as a productive
epistemology, in contrast to our more sober modern science. For our part, we appreciate Atalanta
fugiens for the way that it invites readers, viewers, listeners, and singers into an early modern
landscape of knowledge, where a singer and an alchemist might have more in common than we would think, and where
a golden apple might cause us all to pause, to tarry, and to consider nature’s secrets.
Emblem 33, Atalanta fugiens. (gallica.bnf.fr/Bibliothèque nationale de France)
Emblem 5, Atalanta fugiens. (Science History Institute)
Emblem 32, Atalanta fugiens. (Getty Research Institute and Palatino Press)
“The first Embleme,” Atalanta fugiens. (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)
Atalanta fugiens, hoc est Emblemata nova de secretis naturae chymica.
Oppenheim: Johann Theodor de Bry, 1618 [hand colored]. Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library, Donald F.
and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History, Science History Institute. https://othmerlib.sciencehistory.org/record=b1035397~S6.
Chymisches Cabinet: derer grossen Geheimnussen der Natur. Frankfurt, 1708.
Mylius, Johann Daniel. Philosophia reformata. Frankfurt, 1622.
Turba philosophorum. In Artis auriferae, quam chemiam vocant. Basel, 1572.
Valentine, Basil [pseud.]. Practica cum duodecim clavibus et appendice, de magno lapideantiquorum sapientum. Frankfurt, 1677.
Dackerman, Susan, ed. Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Art Museums, 2011.
de Jong, H. M. E. Michael Maier’s “Atalanta fugiens”: Sources of an Alchemical Book ofEmblems. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969.
Findlen, Paula. “Between Carnival and Lent: The Scientific Revolution at the Margins of
Culture.” Configurations 6, no. 2 (1998): 243–67.
Fumaroli, Marc. The Republic of Letters. Translated by Laura Vergnaud. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2018.
Garber, Margaret D. “Untwisting the Greene Lyon’s Tale.” Historical Studies in the NaturalSciences 39, no. 4 (2009): 491–500.
Godwin, Joscelyn, ed. Atalanta fugiens: An Edition of the Fugues, Emblems, and Epigrams,by Michael Maier. Translated from the Latin by Joscelyn Godwin, with an introductory essay by Hildemarie Streich. Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 1989.
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Kusukawa, Sachiko. Picturing the Book of Nature: Image, Text, and Argument in Sixteenth-CenturyHuman Anatomy and Medical Botany. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
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Moran, Bruce, Lawrence M. Principe, William R. Newman, Tara E. Nummedal, and Ku-ming
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Origins of a Historiographic Mistake.” Early Science and Medicine 3, no. 1 (1998): 32–65.
Nummedal, Tara. Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 2007.
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natalicium Willem Elders, edited by Albert Clement and Eric Jas, 355–68. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994.
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Q. Visser. Turnhout: Brepols, 2003.
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Nummedal, Tara, and Donna Bilak. “Interplay: New Scholarship on Atalanta fugiens.” Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier's “Atalanta fugiens” (1618) with Scholarly Commentary. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2020. https://doi.org/10.26300/bdp.ff.nummedal-bilak.
Tara Nummedal is Professor of History at Brown University, where she teaches courses
in early modern European history and the history of science. She is the author of Anna Zieglerin and the
Lion's Blood: Alchemy and End Times in Reformation Germany (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019) and
Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2007). She is the
coauthor, with Janice Neri and John V. Calhoun, of John Abbot and William Swainson: Art, Science, and
Commerce in Nineteenth-Century Natural History (University of Alabama Press, 2019).
Donna Bilak holds a PhD from Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. A historian of early modern alchemy,
she specializes in the study of emblematics. Her research interests extend to jewelry history and technology,
which draw upon her previous professional experience in Toronto's jewelry industry as a designer and wax model
maker. Her scholarship centers on material practices of humanism both in the early modern period and in
contemporary society — namely, how intersections of text, images, and the creative and experimental use of
materials come together in the creation and application of knowledge.