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  • 1 Eötvös Loránd University
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This paper examines the iconolographical origin of Johannes Sambucus’ emblem dedicated to Carlo Sigonio, which – according to its title – displays the difference between grammar, dialectics, rhetoric and history. I focus on the central female figure whose innocent nudity represents the truth and whose connection with the ideal historiography standing – balancing together with Dialectics and Rhetoric – on the head of the young virgin Grammar. The special relationship between History and naked truth also defines its symbolic connection with the costumes of the other two figures: Dialectics in rough working clothes and Rhetoric in her long luxury dress. Three symbolic animals also belong to the three female figures: a sphinx to Dialectics, a chimera to Rhetoric and a winged dog to History. Contextual examination of the emblem reveals the possible source of the strange winged dog symbol is Plutarch’s short story of Osiris and Isis. In addition, the paper draws attention to an ironic twist of History in connection with Carlo Sigonio that shows that its nudity is not always so innocent.