(Greek, ‘speaking otherwise’)
Henry Cockeram, in his English dictionary (1623), explains this as "A sentence that must be understood otherwise than the literal interpretation shewes" but does not distinguish among allegory, irony, metaphor, and symbol. Medieval scholars developed Biblical exegesis to allow for at least three types of allegory. Moral allegory interpreted a story as a conflict between good and evil. The other two were types of historical allegory: anagogy foreshadowed the life of Christ (as Abraham's planned sacrifice of Isaac prefigured Christ the Son's self-sacrifice on the cross), and eschatology foreshadowed the end of the world (as Noah's flood looks forward to the Last Judgment and the four last things, heaven, hell, death, and judgment). John Dryden allegorizes secular history in "Absalom and Achitophel." Allegory reveals itself in poems such as Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene when personifications interact on a landscape populated by objectifications.