International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
A Narrative in Search of an Author: The Hypnerotomachia and its Authorial Criticism


The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, published anonymously in 1499, has long posed puzzles for historians and scholars as to the full depth of its meaning, such as, the name of the illustrator, why it was published through the Aldine Press in Venice, but perhaps most notably in twentieth century research, why it was published anonymously and who the author actually was. There are by now numerous suggestions for authorship, ranging from Cosimo d’Medici to Leon Battista Alberti, the Francesco Colonna of Venice to the Colonna of Rome. This paper, however, does not posit a new suggestion but rather critiques the suggestions made over the last century and the present one and suggests a narratological method of biographical research for authorship profiling for future authorial research.