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# THE FREYD-MITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM

JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER

1. Definitions
Definition 1.1. A category A is a class of objects Ob(A) together with a set of
morphisms HomA (M, N ) for every pair of objects M, N ∈ Ob(A) and a map ◦ :
HomA (M, N ) × HomA (L, M ) → HomA (L, N ) for each triple of objects L, M, N ∈ Ob(A)
such that:
• ∃1M ∈ HomA (M, M ) such that 1M ◦ g = g and f ◦ 1M = f whenever this makes
sense, and
• (f ◦ g) ◦ h = f ◦ (g ◦ h) whenever this makes sense.
Example 1.2. Let R be a unitary ring. Then Mod R, the category of R-modules with
R-module homomorphisms is a category.
Definition 1.3. A category A is called small if Ob(A) is a set.
Definition 1.4. Let A, B be categories. A covariant (resp. contravariant) functor
F : A → B is given by an object F (M ) for every M ∈ A and for every morphism f ∈
HomA (M, N ) a morphism F (f ) ∈ HomB (F (M ), F (N )) (resp. F (f ) ∈ HomB (F (N ), F (M ))),
such that:
• F (1M ) = 1F (M )
• F (g ◦ h) = F (g) ◦ F (h) (resp. F (g ◦ h) = F (h) ◦ F (g)).
Example 1.5. Let R be a unitary ring, M an R-module. Then HomR (M, −) : Mod R →
Mod Z is a covariant functor.
Definition 1.6. (i) A category A is called preadditive if HomA (M, N ) is an abelian
group for all M, N ∈ Ob(A) and ◦ is bilinear.
(ii) An object 0 ∈ A is called zero object if for every object M ∈ A there is only one
morphism 0 → M and only one morphism M → 0. If there is a zero object, the
composition of M → 0 and 0 → N is also denoted by 0 for every pair M, N ∈ Ob(A).
(iii) For objects M, N ∈ A the product M × N is defined as the object M × N , such
that:
p2
M bEo p1 MO × /N
<
EE z
EE  h2 zzz
EE∃!h  zz
h1 E zz
X

## Date: June 5, 2012.

1
2 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER

(iv) A preadditive category is called additive if it has a zero object and M × N exists
for every pair M, N ∈ Ob(A).
(v) Let f : M → N . Then ker f , the kernel of f is defined by the following diagram:
f
ker fbE
i / MO / N
E
E
∃!h E
X
where f i = 0 and f g = 0.
(vi) Let f : m → N . Then Coker f , the cokernel of f is defined by the following diagram:
f
M / N
π / Coker f
v
v
g v
 {v v ∃!h
X
(vii) Let A be additive. A morphism i : M → N is called monomorphism if ig = 0
implies g = 0 for all g : L → M .
(viii) Let A be additive. A morphism p : M → N is called epimorphism if gp = 0 implies
g = 0 for all g : N → X.
(ix) A category A is called abelian if A is additive, every morphism has a kernel and a
cokernel and every monomorphism is a kernel and every epimorphism is a cokernel.
(x) Let A be abelian. Define Im(f ) := ker Coker f and Coim f := Coker ker f .
f g
(xi) A sequence L → M → N is called exact if ker g = Im f , i.e. Im f satisfies the
universal property of ker g:
h0/ ker π
X II
II h
II
II
II  i
f \$ g
L /M / N
π

Coker f
where gi = 0 and gh = 0. A sequence · · · → Mi → Mi+1 → Mi+2 → . . . is exact if
every piece with three terms is exact.
(xii) A functor F : A → B is called left exact if for every exact sequence 0 → L → M →
N the sequence 0 → F (L) → F (M ) → F (N ) is exact.
(xiii) A functor F : A → B is called right exact if for every exact sequence L → M →
N → 0 the sequence F (L) → F (M ) → F (N ) is exact.
(xiv) A functor F : A → B is called exact if it is both left and right exact.
(xv) A functor F : A → B is called full if F : HomA (M, N ) → HomB (F (M ), F (N )) is
surjective.
THE FREYD-MITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 3

is injective.

## 2. Main result and how to apply it

Theorem 2.1 (Freyd-Mitchell embedding theorem). Let A be a small abelian category.
Then there is a unitary ring R and an exact fully-faithful functor F : A → Mod R.
Roughly speaking this theorem implies that every statement in an arbitrary abelian cat-
egory which can be stated in terms of diagrams can be proven via diagram chasing.

The next example is a bit cheating since we will use this lemma in the cause of the
proof of the embedding theorem, but it explains how to use the Freyd-Mitchell embedding
theorem in practice.
Lemma 2.2 (Snake lemma). Let

ψ
X / Y / Z / 0
f g h
 ϕ  
0 / L / M / N

be a commutative diagram with exact rows. Then there exists a morphism δ such that the
following sequence is exact:

## ker f / ker g / ker h

δ / Coker f / Coker g / Coker h
Proof. First prove the lemma in the module category of a ring R via diagram chasing, i.e.
just taking elements and pushing them around with the maps, e.g. define δ(v) := ϕgψ −1 (v).
For proving this theorem in A, construct a small abelian category A our of the diagram
inductively, i.e. take the full subcategory of A with Ob(A1 ) := {X, Y, Z, L, M, N }, then in
each step insert all kernels and cokernels. The limit process yields a small abelian category.
Now apply F to A. But since F is fully faithful the sequence which we know exists in
Mod R comes from a sequence in A. Since F is exact, we have that F commutes with
kernels and cokernels and hence the sequence in A is also exact. 

/ o R / /
A B I L Mod R

## We will now explain what B, L and R are:

4 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER

## Definition 2.3. An abelian category B is called complete if arbitrary products (resp.

coproducts) exist, i.e. the universal properties of the following diagrams hold:

pi Q
Mi odH i∈I Mi
HH O
HH
HH ∃!h
hi HHH
X

resp.
ιi `
/
Mi H i∈I Mi
HH
HH  ∃!h
HH
hi HHH
\$ 
X
Definition 2.4. (i) An object P ∈ B is called projective generator if HomB (P , −) is
exact and faithful.
(ii) An object I ∈ B is called injective cogenerator if HomB (−, I) is exact and faithful.
What is B? B = Fun(A, Mod Z) is the category of functors A → Mod Z (as objects)
and the following morphisms:
Definition 2.5. A natural transformation ϕ between two functors F, G : A → A0 is
given by a morphism ϕM : F (M ) → G(M ) for every M ∈ Ob(A) such that the following
diagram commutes for every f : M → N :

ϕM
F (M ) / G(M )
F (f ) G(f )
 ϕN

F (N ) / G(N )
What is L? This is just the subcategory of left exact functors. It has some sort of
”inverse” R and the nice property that it is complete and has a projective generator P . So
we will take R := End(⊕P )op . The following sections will now construct each of the given
functors.

## 3. The Yoneda lemma

Lemma 3.1 (Yoneda). Let F : A → Sets be a functor and let M ∈ A. Then there is an
isomorphism (in Sets) HomFun(A,Sets) (HomA (M, −), F ) ∼
= F (M ) given via ϕ 7→ ϕM (1M ),
which is natural in M and F , i.e. HomFun(A,Sets) (HomA (•, −), F ) ∼
= F (•) as functors

C → Sets and HomFun(A,Sets) (HomA (M, −), •) = • as functors Fun(C, Sets) → Sets.
THE FREYD-MITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 5

Proof. We start with the injectivity of the given map. For a natural transformation consider
the following commutative diagram:
Hom(M,f )
Hom( M, M ) / Hom(M, N )
ϕM ϕN
 F (f ) 
F (M ) / F (N )
Hence we have F (f )(ϕM (1M )) = ϕN (Hom(M, f )(1M )) = ϕN (f ). Hence ϕN (and hence ϕ)
is determined by ϕM (1M ).
For the surjectivity we can use this law as the definition. Let x ∈ F (M ). We want
to define a natural transformation such that ϕ 7→ x. Define ϕN (f ) := F (f )(x). Then
ϕM (1M ) = F (1M )(x) = 1F (M ) (x) = x. We now have to prove that this law indeed defines
a natural transformation, i.e. that the following diagram commutes:
ϕN
Hom(M, N ) / F (N )
Hom(M,f ) F (f )
 ϕN 0 
Hom(M, N 0 ) / F (N 0 )
Indeed, we have F (f )(ϕN (g)) = F (f )F (g)(x) = F (f g)(x) = ϕN 0 (f g) = ϕN 0 (Hom(M, f )(g)).
Now we come to the naturalities. First convince yourself that for every f : M → N we
have that Hom(f, −) : Hom(N, −) → Hom(M, −) given by Hom(f, −)X = Hom(f, X) :
Hom(N, X) → Hom(M, X), g 7→ gf is a natural transformation. Thus the naturality is
given has follows:
ψ7→ψM (1M )
Hom(Hom(M, −), F ) / F (M )
ψ7→ψ◦Hom(f,−) F (f )
 ψ7→ψN (1N ) 
Hom(Hom(N, −), F ) / F (N )
Hence if we go first down and then to the right we get ψ 7→ ψN (Hom(f, N )(1N )) and if
we go first to the right and then down we get ψ 7→ F (f )(ψM (1M )). These two expressions
coincide since ψ is a natural transformation.
For the second naturality let ϕ : F → G and consider the following diagram:
ρ7→ρM (1M )
Hom(Hom(M, −), F ) / F (M )
ρ7→ϕ◦ρ ϕM
 ρ7→ρM (1M ) 
Hom(Hom(M, −), G) / G(M )
It is easy to see that ρ is mapped to (ϕ ◦ ρ)M (1M ) for both ways. 
Corollary 3.2. H : A → Fun(A, Mod Z), M 7→ Hom(M, −) is contravariant fully-faithful
left exact (we will see in the next chapter what the abelian structure on Fun(A, Mod Z) is).
6 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER

## Proof. It is fully-faithful since by the Yoneda lemma we have

HomFun(A,Mod Z) (Hom(M, −), Hom(N, −)) ∼= Hom(N, M ).
And left exact since Hom(−, X) is left exact for every X, hence if L → M → N → 0 is an
exact sequence, then 0 → Hom(N, −) → Hom(M, −) → Hom(L, −) is exact. 
But we have to solve the problem that this functor is not exact.

## 4. Nice properties of Fun(A, Mod Z)

Proposition 4.1. Let A be small abelian, then Fun(A, Mod Z) is abelian and complete.
Furthermore A has a projective generator.
Proof. This is true for Mod Z and everything can be defined componentwise, so it is true
for Fun(A, Mod Z). ` `
The
Q projective generator is given by M ∈A Hom(M, −). This is true because Hom( M ∈A Hom(M, −), •)
M ∈A •(M ) by the Yoneda lemma, so exactness and faithfulness are proven easily: If
F → G Q is an epimorphism,
Q then F (M ) → G(M ) is also an epimorphism for every M ,
hence F (M ) → G(M ) is an epimorphism, so via the Yoneda isomorphism we get that
the functor is exact. Similarly faithfulness follows since if we assume Qϕ, ψ : FQ→ G satisfy
Hom( Hom(M, −), ϕ) = Hom( Hom(M, −), ψ) this implies that ϕM ∼
` `
= ψM via the
Yoneda isomorphism. Hence ϕ = ψ. 
Definition 4.2. (i) A category B is well-powered if the family of subobjects of a given
object is a set. S `
(ii) Let Mi → M be subobjects, then I Mi is defined as the image of Mi → M .
(iii) Let I be a partially ordered set. A family of objects Mi → M is called linearly
ordered if for all i ≤ j we have a morphism πij : Mi → Mj , such that for every
i ≤ k ≤ j we have πkj πik = πij .
(iv) A complete well-powered category is called Grothendieck if for every linearly or-
dered
S familySof subobjects Mi of an object M and each other subobject N we have
N ∩ Mi = N ∩ Mi , where ∩ denotes the pullback of the two morphisms (one with
a minus sign).
Definition 4.3. Let A be an abelian category.
(i) An essential extension is a monomorphism M → N such that for every non-zero
monomorphism L → N the pullback of M → N and L → N is non-zero.
(ii) An injective envelope of M is an injective essential extension.
Proposition 4.4. The category Fun(A, Mod Z) is Grothendieck and has injective en-
velopes.
Proof. The well-powered-ness follows from the existence of a generator P , since for a sub-
object M 0 → M we have a monomorphism of sets Hom(P, M 0 ) → Hom(P, M ) and as P is
a generator, two different subobjects will yield different set monomorphisms.
The Grothendieck property follows pointwise from the fact that Mod Z is Grothendieck.
THE FREYD-MITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 7

The proof that this category has injective envelopes is more difficult and relies on the axiom
of global choice. 

## 5. Digression: Colimits and adjoint functors

Definition 5.1. Let I, A be categories. The colimit of a functor F : I → A is defined
as an object C = colimi∈I F (i) with maps ιi : F (i) → C such that for every α : j → i in
I we have ιj = ιi F (α) and the universal property that for all A ∈ A such that we have
morphisms fi : F (i) → A with fj = fi F (α) there exists a unique γ : C → A such that
fi = γιi for all i:
ιi
C o F (i)
{
∃!γ {{{
 {{{ fi
}{
A
Remark 5.2. (i) The coproduct is a colimit by taking for a set I the discrete category
(no non-identity morphisms) with objects i ∈ I. Then the diagram of the colimit is
the diagram of the coproduct.
(ii) The cokernel is a colimit by taking I = {0, 1, 2} with non-identity morphisms as given
in the following diagram:
0O

1 /2

Now a functor F can be given by mapping this diagram to the following diagram in
a category A with a zero object 0:
0O

f
M / N
Then ι0 = 0 and ι1 = 0 and ι2 = π : N → Coker f satisfy the given property and the
universal property is the same as for the cokernel as F (0) → F (1) = 0.
Definition 5.3. Two functors R : B → L and S : L → B are called adjoint if there is a
natural bijection in X and Y , Hom(R(X), Y ) ∼
= Hom(X, S(Y )).
Proposition 5.4. Left adjoint functors R preserve colimits, i.e. R(colim F ) ∼
= colim RF .
Proof. Let C = colim F . Then the diagram

C oaB F (i)
O
B BB
ιi
BFB (α)
ιj BB

F (j)
8 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER

## commutes and if we apply R to it we get the commuting diagram

RC cGo RF (i)
O
GGRιi
GG
GG (α)
RF
Rιj GG
RF (j)
Hence the first property is satisfied for the morphisms ι0i = Rιi . Next consider a diagram
RC o RF (i)
fi www
Rιi
ww
www
w{
A
Applying S we arrive at the diagram
SRC o SRF (i)
uu
SRιi
uuu
uu
zuu Sfi
S(A)
But SRM ∼ = M naturally by the adjunction homomorphism Hom(M, SRM ) ∼ = Hom(RM, RM )
(Check that it is an isomorphism!). By the universal property of the colimit, there now
exists a morphism γ : SRC → SA and applying R the morphism R(γ) makes the diagram
we started with commutative. 

6. Localizing subcategories
Definition 6.1. Let B be abelian. A non-empty subcategory C is called Serre subcate-
gory if for all exact sequences L → M → N we have M ∈ C iff L, N ∈ C.
Definition 6.2. Let C be a Serre subcategory of B and let f : M → N be in B. Then
f is called C-monomorphism if ker f ∈ C, C-epimorphism if Coker f ∈ C and C-
isomorphism if it is both a C-monomorphism and a C-epimorphism.
Definition 6.3. Let B be abelian. C ⊆ A be a Serre subcategory and L ∈ B. Then
B is called C-closed if for every C-isomorphism u : M → N we have that Hom(u, L) :
Hom(N, L) → Hom(M, L) is a bijection. The full subcategory of all C-closed objects is
denoted by L.
Definition 6.4. Let M ∈ B. A morphism f : M → L is called C-envelope if f is a
C-isomorphism and L is C-closed.
Definition 6.5. A Serre subcategory is called localizing if very object in B has a C-
envelope.
Theorem 6.6. Let C be a local subcategory of B, L ⊆ B the full subcategory of C-closed
objects. Then we have:
(i) The inclusion I : L → B has a left adjoint R : B → L. In particular R is fully-faithful.
THE FREYD-MITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 9

## (ii) L is abelian (but in general not an abelian subcategory of B).

(iii) R is exact.
(iv) If B is complete, then L is complete.
Proof. (i) Define R on objects by choosing a C-envelope RM for every M ∈ B. Let uM :
M → RM . We have to prove that HomB (RM, L) ∼ = HomL (M, IL) ∼= HomB (M, L).
But this follows from the definition of C-envelope. Since HomB (um , L) provides an
isomorphism. In particular HomL (RM, RN ) ∼ = HomL (M, RN ), so there is a unique
map Rf making the following diagram commutative:

f
M / N
uM uN
 
RM _∃RF
_ _/ RN

(ii)-(iv) That L is closed under kernels can be seen as follows: Let 0 → X → L → L0 be exact
with L, L0 ∈ L. And let u : M → N be a C-isomorphism. Then there is the following
commutative diagram:

O O O

## The 5-Lemma now implies that Hom(N, X) → Hom(M, X) is also an isomorphism

like the other vertical maps.
Next we want to prove that with B, also L is closed under products:
Let Li ∈ LQ and let u : M → N be a C-isomorphism. Then the following diagram
shows that Li is also in L:

/
Q Q
Hom(N, Li ) Hom(M, Li )
O


/
Q Q
Hom(N, Li ) Hom(M, Li )

## As R is a left adjoint, we have that R preserves colimits. In particular cokernels and

coproducts. Hence it only remains to prove that R preserves kernels, then we are
done.
First note that via a dual argument (to the argument that R preserves cokernels) we
have that I preserves kernels.
f g
The key step is now to prove that IR preserves kernels. For that let 0 → M 0 → M →
M 00 → 0 be exact. Then we have Rg ◦ Rf = R0 = 0 as R is an additive functor. We
10 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER

## have the following commutative diagram with exact rows:

f g
0 / M0 / M / M 00 / 0
uM 0

0 uM uM 00
RM
I II Rf
II
∃ II
 II
\$  Rg 
0 / ker Rg / RM / RN / 0
Denote the map M 0 → ker Rg by h. Then the Snake Lemma implies that we have
the following exact sequence:
0 → ker h → ker uM → ker uM 00 → Coker h → Coker uM → Coker uM 00
As C is a Serre subcategory we have that ker h and Coker h are like the other terms of
this exact sequence objects of C. Hence h is a C-isomorphism. By applying the Snake
lemma (Check!) we can somehow C-invert h to get that the map RM 0 → ker Rg is
also a C-isomorphism. Hence there is an exact sequence 0 → C → RM 0 → ker Rg →
D → 0 with C, D ∈ C. We now prove that C = 0: The fact that C ∈ C implies that
C → 0 is a C-isomorphism. Hence Hom(C, RM 0 ) ∼ = Hom(0, RM 0 ) = 0. And as the
sequence is exact we have C = 0. Thus we have a short exact sequence 0 → RM 0 →
ker Rg → D → 0. But this sequence splits as Hom(ker Rg, RM 0 ) → Hom(RM 0 , RM 0 )
is an isomorphism as RM 0 → ker Rg is a C-isomorphism. In particular, a splitting of
the sequence exists. This implies that D is a subobject of ker Rg, which is a subobject
of RM ∈ L and hence D = 0. Hence RM 0 → ker Rg is an isomorphism. Hence IR
preserves kernels.
But I is just the inclusion and preserves kernels as it is a right adjoint.

Note that by the proof of the theorem we have that RC = 0 for every C ∈ C since C → 0
is a C-envelope of C.
We now apply this general theory to the case we are interested, i.e. we let B = Fun(A, Mod Z).
Definition 6.7. A functor F ∈ Fun(A, Mod Z) is called weakly effaceable if for all
M ∈ A and each x ∈ F (M ) there is a monomorphism f : M → N such that F (f )(x) = 0.
Defnote the full subcategory of all weakly effaceable functors by C.
Proposition 6.8. The category of all weakly effaceable functors C is localizing.
Proof. left out 
Proposition 6.9. If C is the category of all weakly effaceable functors, then L, the category
of all C-closed objects is the category of left exact functors.
Proof. left out 
Proposition 6.10. The functor RH : A → Lex(A, Mod Z) is exact fully-faithful.
THE FREYD-MITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 11

## Proof. RH is fully-faithful as it is the composition of two fully-faithful functors.

To prove that it is exact consider an exact sequence 0 → M 0 → M → M 00 → 0 in A.
Applying the Yoneda isomorphism H and extending by the image of the last map we get
an exact sequence in Fun(A, Mod Z):
0 → Hom(M 00 , −) → Hom(M, −) → Hom(M 0 , −) → Q → 0.
If we show that Q is weakly effaceable, then we are done, since by a previous remark, then
RQ = 0. Therefore pick x ∈ Q(X). Since Hom(M 0 , X) → Q(X) is surjective we can find
g ∈ Hom(M 0 , X) which is mapped to x via this map. Now form the pushout diagram:
0 / M0 / M / M 00 / 0
g h
 f 
0 / X / P0 / M 00 / 0
Applying Hom(−, X) and Hom(−, P 0 ) to the left part of the upper exact sequence we get
a commutative diagram
Hom(M, X) / Hom(M 0 , X) / Q(X) / 0

## Hom(M, P 0 ) Hom(M 0 , P 0 ) / Q(P 0 ) / 0

Recall that (Hom(M 0 , X) → Q(X))(g) = x. Furthermore (Hom(M 0 , X) → Hom(M 0 , P 0 ))(g) =
f g. But f g ∈ Im(Hom(h, P ). As the rows are exact we get that (Hom(M 0 , P 0 ) →
Q(P 0 ))(f g) = 0. Thus by commutativity of the diagram we have (Q(X) → Q(P 0 ))(x) = 0.
Thus Q is weakly effaceable. Therefore RQ = 0 and hence RH is exact. 

## 7. Nice properties of Lex(A, Mod Z)

In the foregoing section we have already proven:
Proposition 7.1. The category Lex(A, Mod Z) is abelian and complete and RH : A →
Lex(A, Mod Z) is exact fully-faithful.
To construct an embedding of A into Mod R for some ring R in the next section we need
an additional property of Lex(A, Mod Z):
Proposition 7.2. Lex(A, Mod Z) has an injective cogenerator.
Proof. Again this proof will be left out here. The arguments are similar to those we have

## 8. The embedding into the module category

Theorem 8.1. Let L be a complete abelian category with a projective generator P . Let
A ⊆ L be a small subcategory. Then there is a fully-faithful exact embedding F : A →
Mod R for some ring R.
12 JULIAN KÜLSHAMMER

## Proof. Consider the following commutative diagram for every A ∈ A:

o
`
Hom(P ,A) P tP  if t
tt
∃pA tttt
 tt f
yttt
A
We have that pA is an epimorphism: Assume that hpA = 0 for some h : A → B. Then
Hom(P , h)(f ) = hf = hpA if = 0 for all f . Hence Hom(P , h) = 0. But as P is a projective
generator, we have that Hom(P , −) is faithful,`hence h = 0.
Now take I = ∪A∈A Hom(P , A). Define P := I P . We claim that P is again a projective
generator and for every A ∈ A there exists an epimorphism P → A.
The last claim follows by the same argument as showing that pA was an epimorphism.
For showing that it is projective consider the following diagram:

P

ιi

∃hi

`
P
I

∃h
f
 | 
X / Y / 0
g

The hi exist because P is projective and the h exists because of the universal property of
the coproduct. Hence the diagram commutes. In ` particular we have ghιi = ghi = f ιi and
as ιi is a monomorphism we have gh = f . Hence P is projective. `
For proving that it is a generator we have to prove that Hom( I P , −) is faithful, i.e.
` `
that the function Hom(M, N ) → Hom(Hom( P , M ), Hom( P , N )), f 7→ (g 7→ f ◦ g)
is injective, i.e. that for every f 6= 0 there exists g such that f ◦ g 6= 0. We have that
Hom(P , −) is faithful, i.e. for f ∈ Hom(M, N ) there exists g 0 : P → M such that f g 0 6= 0.
Fix a particular j ∈ I and define g by the universal property of the coproduct with respect
to the following diagram:
ιj ` ` ιi
P LLL / P i∈I\{j} P
o
rr P
LLL  rr
LLL
LLL  ∃g rrrrr
g0 LL&  rrrr 0
xr
M
Hence we have f gιj = f` g 0 6= 0 and as ιj is injective we have f g 6= 0.
We now let R := End( I P )op and define F : A → Mod R via M 7→ Hom(P, M ). We
check that it is well-defined:
• Hom(P, M ) is an R-module via r · f = f ◦ r, and
• Hom(P, f ) : Hom(P, M ) → Hom(P, N ) is an R-module homomorphism as r ·
Hom(P, f )(h) = (f h)r = f (hr) = Hom(P, f )(h ◦ r) = Hom(P, f )(r · h).
THE FREYD-MITCHELL EMBEDDING THEOREM 13

It remains to prove that this functor is exact and fully-faithful. The exactness and the
faithfulness follow from the fact that P is a projective generator. So we are just left with
the fact that Hom(P, −) is full.
To prove this take an arbitrary R-module homomorphism α : Hom(P, M ) → Hom(P, N ).
We have proven that there exist epimorphisms P → M and P → N . Define K := ker(P →
M ). Then we have the following commutative diagram:
0 / Hom(P, K) / R / Hom(P, M ) / 0

∃α0 α
 
R / Hom(P, N ) / 0
The α0 exists because R is a projective R-module. But Rop ∼
= End(R) via r 7→ ρr , the right
multiplication with r. Hence α0 = ρx for some x ∈ R = End(P )op . Consider the following
diagram:
0 /K /P /M /0

x

P /N /0

## Applying Hom(P, −) to the composition K → P → P → N we get zero (see the above

diagram). Hence as Hom(P, −) is faithful the composition K → P → P → N has to be
zero. Hence the universal property of the cokernel implies the existence of a map h, such
that the following diagram commutes:
0 / K / P / M / 0
x

  ∃h
P / N / 0
Now apply Hom(P, −) to get the diagram
0 / Hom(P, K) / R / Hom(P, M ) / 0
α0
 
R / Hom(P, N )
The right-most vertical map making the diagram commutative can be either α or Hom(P, h).
But R → Hom(P, M ) is an epimorphism, hence α = Hom(P, h). 

9. Literature