The emblem, and its associated form, the impresa or personal emblem, are part of a powerful, pervasive phenomenon of word-image relations which prevailed in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Indeed, the construction of emblems individually and as part of collections, and the use of the emblematic device in literary pictorialism, amounted to a long-lived fad which died out or became associated with children’s literature only in the eighteenth century.
In 1419 a manuscript of hieroglyphics supposedly written by the mythic Horus Apollo was discovered at Andros (it was published at Venice in 1505). Thought to be pre-Mosaic Egyptian priestly wisdom at a time when hieroglyphs were still misunderstood as …
Preston, Claire. "Emblems and Imprese". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 February 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=325, accessed 26 October 2016.]