Francesco Colonna (writer)

Francesco Colonna (1433/1434 – 1527) was an Italian Dominican priest and monk who was credited with the authorship of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by an acrostic formed by initial letters of the text.

Francesco Colonna
Franciscus Columna
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili illustration (1499).
Venice, Italy
ReligionCatholic religion
SchoolSt Mark's Basilica
ProfessionPriest and monk
OrderDominican Order
ChurchSanti Giovanni e Paolo, Venice
Senior posting
Literary worksHypnerotomachia Poliphili
ProfessionPriest and monk

He lived in Venice, and preached at St. Mark's Cathedral. Besides Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, he definitely wrote a Latin epic poem, Delfili Somnium (the "Dream of Delfilo"), which went unpublished in his lifetime and was not published until 1959.[1] Colonna spent part of his life in the monastery of San Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, but the monastery was apparently not of the strictest observance and Colonna was granted leave to live outside its walls. In Ian Caldwell's and Dustin Thomason's novel The Rule of Four, the Roman noble of the same name, Francesco Colonna, is featured as the true author of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.[2]


  1. ^ Francesco Colonna: vol. I Biographia Maria Teresa Casella, vol. II Opere, Giovanni Pozzi (Padua), 1959.
  2. ^ A comparable conclusion was reached in G. Goebel, "Le songe de Francesco Colonna, prince prenestin", Fifteenth Century Studies, Stuttgart, 1983.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Francesco Colonna at Wikimedia Commons

  • Works by Francesco Colonna at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Francesco Colonna at Internet Archive
  • Colonna, Francesco, Hypnerotomachia: The Strife of Love in a Dreame, Translation by R.D., London, 1592. Facsimile ed., introd. by Lucy Gent, 1973, Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, ISBN 978-0-8201-1124-7.
  • Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, at MIT Press
  • Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, at Rare Book Room