Aldus Manutius

Aldus Pius Manutius (/məˈnjuːʃiəs/; Italian: Aldo Pio Manuzio; 1449/1452 – 6 February 1515)[1][2] was a humanist, scholar, educator, and the founder of the Aldine Press. Manutius devoted the later part of his life to publishing and disseminating rare texts. His interest in and preservation of Greek manuscripts mark him as an innovative publisher of his age dedicated to the editions he produced. His enchiridia, small portable books, revolutionized personal reading and are the predecessor of the modern paperback.

Manutius wanted to produce Greek texts for his readers because he believed that works by Aristotle or Aristophanes in their original Greek form were pure and unadulterated by translation. Before Manutius, publishers rarely printed volumes in Greek, mainly due to the complexity of providing a standardized Greek typeface. Manutius published rare manuscripts in their original Greek and Latin forms. He commissioned the creation of typefaces in Greek and Latin resembling humanist handwriting of his time; typefaces that are the first known precursor of italic type. As the Aldine Press grew in popularity, Manutius's innovations were quickly copied across Italy despite his efforts to prevent piracy of Aldine editions.

Because of the Aldine Press's growing reputation of meticulous, accurate publications, Erasmus sought out Manutius to publish his translations of Iphigenia in Aulis.

In his youth, Manutius studied in Rome to become a humanist scholar. He was friends with Giovanni Pico and tutored Pico's nephews, the princes of Carpi, Alberto and Leonello Pio. While a tutor, Manutius published two works for his pupils and their mother. In his late thirties or early forties Manutius settled in Venice to become a print publisher. He met Andrea Torresani in Venice and the two cofounded the Aldine Press.

Manutius is also known as "Aldus Manutius the Elder" to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius the Younger.

Aldus Manutius
picture of Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius
Aldo Manuzio

Died6 February 1515
Other namesAldus Manutius the Elder
Occupationhumanist, printer, publisher
Known forFounding the Aldine Press at Venice

Early life

Bust of Aldo Manuzio. Panteon Veneto; Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti
Bust of Aldo Manuzio. Panteon Veneto; Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti

Aldus Manutius was born close to Rome in Bassiano between 1449 and 1452.[1][2][3] He grew up in a wealthy family during the Italian Renaissance and in his youth was sent to Rome to become a humanist scholar. In Rome, he studied Latin under Gaspare da Verona and attended lectures by Domizio Calderini in the early 1470s. From 1475 to 1478, Manutius studied Greek in Ferrara with Guarino da Verona as his teacher.[2]

Most of Manutius's early life is rather unknown. According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 17, Manutius was granted citizenship of the town of Carpi on 8 March 1480 where he owned local property, and in 1482 he traveled to Mirandola for a time with his longtime friend and fellow student, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, where he stayed two years to study Greek literature.[4] Pico recommended Manutius to become the tutor of his nephews, Alberto and Leonello Pio, princes of the town of Carpi.[5] In Carpi, Manutius shared a close bond with his student, Alberto Pio. At the end of the 1480s, Manutius published two works addressed to his two pupils and their mother, Caterina Pico — both works were published in Venice by Baptista de Tortis: Musarum Panagyris with its Epistola Catherinae Piae (March/May 1487 to March 1491) and the Paraenesis (1490).[6]

Giovanni Pico and Alberto Pio's families funded the starting costs of Manutius's printing press and gave him lands in Carpi.[4] Manutius determined that Venice was the best location for his work, settling there in 1490.[4] In Venice, Manutius began gathering publishing contracts, at which point he met Andrea Torresani, who was also engaged in print publishing. Torresani and Manutius became lifelong business partners, and for their first contract together Manutius hired Torresani to print the first edition of his Latin grammar book the Institutiones grammaticae, published on 9 March 1493.[7]

Aldine Press

The Aldine Press, established in 1494, had its first publication in March 1495: Erotemata cum interpretatione Latina by Constantine Lascaris. Andrea Torresani and Pier Francesco Barbarigo, nephew of the Doge, Agostino Barbarigo, each held fifty percent of the press. Of Torresani's fifty percent, Manutius was given one-fifth, but accounts are unclear as to whether Manutius's one-fifth refers to ten percent of the Aldine Press or ownership exclusively to one-fifth of Torresani's share.[8]

Aldo Manuzio Aristotele
Aristotle printed by Aldus Manutius, 1495–98 (Libreria antiquaria Pregliasco, Turin)

The press's first great achievement was a five-volume folio edition of Aristotle.[9] Manutius started the first volume of his Aristotle edition in 1495. Four more volumes were published together in 1497 and 1498.[10] The Aldine Press produced nine comedies of Aristophanes in 1498, and Pietro Bembo edited Petrarch's poems that Manutius published in July 1501.[10] In addition to editing Greek manuscripts, Manutius corrected and improved texts originally published in Florence, Rome, and Milan.

The Second Italian War suspended the press for a time. During that time, Desiderius Erasmus asked Manutius to publish his translations of Hecuba and Iphigenia in Aulis through the Aldine Press. Erasmus's original letter to Manutius inquires about the printer's proposed plans: a Greek Plato and a polyglot bible. Through correspondence, the two came to an agreement. In December 1507, the Aldine Press published Iphigenia in Audlis in an 80-page octavo with Erasmus's translation from Greek into Latin.[11] With the success and accuracy of their first collaboration, Manutius agreed to publish the expanded version of the Adagiorum collectanea Erasmus was working on.[12] Erasmus traveled to Venice, where he spent his first ten months working at the Aldine Press. He lived in Manutius and Torresani's home, where he shared a room with Girolamo Aleandro.[13] His research using Manutius's resources and Greek scholars enabled him to expand his collection of proverbs from 819 entries to 3,260 entries. The Aldine press published this newly expanded collection of proverbs, Adagiorum Chiliades, in 1508.[14] After the publication of Adagiorum Chiliades, Erasmus helped Manutius proofread a Greek edition of Plutarch's Moralia along with many other Aldine Press publications.[15]

Manutius relied on Marcus Musurus, Ioannis Grigoropoulos, and other Greek collaborators to translate for the Aldine Press.[16][17] He published an edition of minor Greek orators (1508) and the lesser works of Plutarch (1509). Printing work halted again while the League of Cambrai tried to lessen Venice's influence. Manutius reappeared in 1513 with an edition of Plato that he dedicated to Pope Leo X in a preface that compares the miseries of warfare and the woes of Italy with the sublime and tranquil objects of the student's life.[18]

With the Aldine Press's increasing popularity, people would come to visit the shop, interrupting Manutius's work. Manutius put up a sign that read, "Whoever you are, Aldus asks you again and again what it is you want from him. State your business briefly and then immediately go away."[19]

Manutius strove for excellence in typography and book design while publishing lower-cost editions. This was carried out under continual difficulties, including problems arising from strikes among his workmen, unauthorized use of Manutius's materials by rivals, and frequent interruptions by war.[20]

Greek classics

Before Manutius, there were fewer than ten Greek titles in print, most of which had to be imported from the Accursius Press of Milan.[21] Only four Italian towns were authorized to produce Greek publications: Milan, Venice, Vicenza, and Florence, and they only published works by Theocritus, Isocrates, and Homer.[22] Venice printer John Speyer produced Greek passages but required the minimal Greek letters to be left blank and later filled in by hand.[23]

Manutius desired to “inspire and refine his readers by inundating them with Greek."[24] He originally came to Venice because of its many Greek resources; Venice held Greek manuscripts from the time of Constantinople and was home to a large cluster of Greek scholars who traveled there from Crete. Venice was also where Cardinal Bessarion, in 1468, donated his large Greek manuscript collection.[25] To preserve ancient Greek literature, the Aldine Press commissioned a typeface based on classical Greek manuscripts so that readers could experience the original Greek text more authentically.[26]

While publishing Greek manuscripts, Manutius founded the New Academy, a group of Hellenist scholars, in 1502 to promote Greek studies. The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition writes that the New Academy's "rules were written in Greek, its members spoke Greek, their names were Hellenized, and their official titles were Greek."[20] Members of the New Academy included Desiderius Erasmus, Pietro Bembo, and Scipio Fortiguerra. M.J.C. Lowry, a lecturer in history at the University of Warwick, has a different view, regarding the New Academy as a hopeful dream rather than an organized institute.[27]

Manutius spoke Greek in his household, and employed thirty Greek speakers at the Aldine Press. Greek speakers from Crete prepared and proofed manuscripts and their calligraphy was a model for the casts used for Greek type. Instructions for typesetters and binders were written in Greek, and the prefaces to Manutius's editions were also in Greek. Manutius printed editions of Hero and Leander by Musaeus Grammaticus, the Galeomyomachia, and the Greek Psalter. He called these "Precursors of the Greek Library" because they served as guides to the Greek language.[22] Under Manutius's supervision, the Aldine Press published 75 texts by Classical Greek and Byzantine authors.[17]

Latin and Italian classics

Along with Greek classics, the Aldine Press published Latin and Italian authors.[22] Manutius launched Pietro Bembo's career as a writer by publishing De Aetna in 1496,[28] which was the Aldine Press's first Latin publication by a contemporary author.[29] The Bembo family hired the Aldine Press to produce accurate texts of Dante and Petrarch using Bernardo Bembo's personal manuscript collection. Pietro Bembo worked with Manutius from 1501 to 1502 to provide an accurate edition of Dante and Petrarch and also introduced punctuation.[28] Bembo later made a diagram of sins to illustrate the 1515 Aldine edition of Dante.[30]

Manutius did not hold the same power of innovation over Latin classics as with Greek classics because publication of these works started 30 years before his time. To promote the Aldine editions in Latin, Manutius promoted the quality of his publications through his prefaces.[31] Manutius was on the lookout for rare manuscripts, but often found instead missing parts of previously published works. Cuspinianus let Manutius publish the missing parts of Valerius Maximus's work, which Cuspinianus "had found in a manuscript in Vienna."[31] Francesco Negri let Manutius publish the missing text of Julius Firmicus, which Negri found in Romania, and "a manuscript from Britain made an improved edition of Prudentius possible."[31]

The press printed first editions of Poliziano's collected works, Pietro Bembo's Asolani, Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, and Dante's Divine Comedy. The 1501 publication of Virgil introduced the use of italic print and was produced in higher-than-normal print runs (1,000 rather than the usual 200 to 500 copies).[32][33]

Bembo - Gli Asolani, Aldo, 1505 (page 202 crop)
Bembo – Gli Asolani, Aldo, 1505 (page 202 crop)

Imprint and motto

Manutius adopted the image of a dolphin wrapped around an anchor as his publisher's device in June 1502.[34] The dolphin-and-anchor symbol is associated with the phrase festina lente, meaning "make haste slowly," indicating quickness combined with firmness in the execution of a great scheme. The symbol and phrase were taken from a Roman coin minted during Emperor Vespasian's reign that was given to Manutius by Pietro Bembo.[35]

Manutius's editions of the classics were so highly respected that the dolphin-and-anchor device was almost immediately pirated by French and Italian publishers. Many modern organizations use the image of a dolphin wrapped around an anchor.[36] The device has been used by the nineteenth-century London firm of William Pickering, and by Doubleday. The international honor society for library and information science, Beta Phi Mu, uses the dolphin and anchor as its insignia.[37]


Manutius described his new format of books as "libelli portatiles in formam enchiridii" ("portable small books in the form of a manual").[38] Enchiridion, described in A Legacy More Lasting than Bronze, also refers to a handheld weapon, a hint that Aldus intended the books in his Portable Library to be the weapons of scholars.[38][39] It was for these pocket-sized classics Aldus designed the italic font.[40]

Manutius converted to the smaller format in 1501 with the publication of Virgil.[41] As time went on, Manutius self-advertised his portable format through the dedication pages he published.[42]

Many scholars consider the development of the portable book as Manutius's most celebrated contribution to printing and publishing. These mobile books were the first known appearance of an editio minor, a straightforward text.[43] During the 15th century, books were often chained to a reading platform to protect valuable property, requiring the reader to stay stationary.[44] Publishers often added commentary to their published classics. Thus, pages became overloaded with scholarship and serious material which produced a large book that was difficult to transport. The Aldine Press removed these inconveniences; Manutius’s books were "published without commentary and in smaller sizes, usually octavos of five by eight or four by six inches."[42] His famous octavo editions are often regarded as the first prototype of the mass-market paperback.[45]

The octavos were moderately priced considering the known average salaries of the time, but they were not cheap. Manutius's priced his Latin octavos at 30 soldi, which was a fourth of a ducat. His Greek octavos were double the price at 60 soldi. For context, a master mason would earn about 50 soldi a day to make between 50–100 ducats a year.[46]

A page from Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, an illustrated book printed by Aldus Manutius
Virgil 1501 Aldus Manutius
The Rylands copy of the Aldine Vergil of 1501


Everyday handwriting in Venice was in cursive, but at the time, published works contained only block lettering. Manutius commissioned typefaces designed to look like the handwriting of humanists both in Latin and Greek in order to uphold the manuscript tradition.[47][48] In the New Aldine Studies, Harry George Fletcher III, Pierpont Morgan Library's curator for printed books and bindings, writes that Manutius intended "to make available in type a face comfortable for its readers" with the cursive typeface.[49]

Manutius commissioned the punchcutter Francesco Griffo of Bologna to create the new typeface. The handwriting reproduced for the many Aldine Press typefaces is a topic of conflicting opinions by scholars; the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica suggests Petrarch's handwriting,[22] while the New Aldine Studies presumes the handwriting of scribes Pomponio Leto and Bartolomeo Sanvito was the inspiration for the typeface.[50] Other scholars believe the first Greek typeface was derived from the handwriting of Immanuel Rhusotas, another scribe during the time of Manutius.[51] The Aldine Press commissioned the first Greek script designed "with accents and letters cast separately and combined by the compositor."[51] The typeface was first used in publishing Erotemata by Constantine Lascaris in 1495. The Roman typeface was finished later the same year and Pietro Bembo's De Aetna was the first book published in the new Roman script.[52]

Manutius and Griffo's original typeface is the first known model of italic type and was used by Manutius until 1501.[53] Five italic words were printed in St. Catherine of Siena in 1500 and in 1501 an Opera by Virgil was the first completed book in italic type.[54] [55] A falling out between Manutius and Griffo brought Griffo to leave and supply other publishers with the italic type originally commissioned by the Aldine Press. Griffo only made one set of punches for the Aldine Press, which were used until 1559. Griffo's original italic type did not include capital letters, so many of the Aldine Press publications forewent capital letters.[56]

The 1502 publication of the Metamorphoses included Manutius's privilege from the Doge of Venice indicating that any use or imitation of Manutius's Greek and Italic typefaces was forbidden.[57] Despite trying to have the typeface protected legally, Manutius could not stop printers outside of Venice from using his work, which led to the typeface's popularity outside of Italy.[58]

Counterfeits and piracy

As the Aldine Press grew in popularity, Aldine counterfeits also increased. Manutius acquired privileges for his printing press from the Venetian Senate, specifically, for "his types, his pioneering octavo format, and even individual texts."[59] Pope Alexander VI in 1502 and Pope Julius II in 1514 granted Manutius printing privileges from the papacy.[60] This did not stop Aldine Press counterfeits, as there was little penalty for piracy at the time.[61]

Manutius attempted to discourage piracy with blunt warnings at the end of his publications, as in Sylvarum libri quinque, by Publius Papinius Statius, where he warned "no one is allowed to print this without penalty."[62] In the Bibliothèque du Roi on 16 March 1503, Manutius tried to warn off those who plagiarized his content, "it happens that in the city of Lyon our books appeared under my name, but full of errors... and deceived unwary buyers due to the similarity of typography and format....Furthermore, the paper is of poor quality and has a heavy odor, and the typography, if you examine it closely, exudes a sort of (as one might phrase it) 'Frenchiness'."[61] He described the counterfeit's typographical errors in detail so that readers might distinguish a real Aldine from a fake. In spite of his efforts, the Lyonese printers were quick to use Manutius's critique to improve their counterfeits.[61]

Illuminated manuscripts and Aldine prefaces

Before the printing press and during the Italian Renaissance, illuminated manuscripts were individually created by a credited artist. When print publishing became popular, woodcuts were used to mass-illuminate works. The woodcuts were often reused in several editions, thereby decreasing their value. These woodcuts soon came to Venice and were viewed as part of the "new humanist manuscript."[63] The woodcut images "included aspects of both continuity and discontinuity that involved the activity of Manutius, who was called upon to wholly explicate the new potential of the printed book and deal with the crisis of the illumination."[64] Many of the Aldine Press's publications contained illumination, but Manutius let patrons decide the illumination details while he worked to translate and publish.[65]

Prefatory letters, popular in first editions of Latin works years before, were also common for Aldine editions.[66] Manutius used the Aldine editions to ask scholarly questions and provide information for his readers. In the preface of Ovid (1502), he argues that Heroides 17, 19, and 21 (the letters of Helen, Hero, and Cudippe, respectively) were the work of the poet Sabinus, whom Ovid refers to as Amores. In another preface Manutius explains how a sundial works.[67]

Personal life

Bernardino Loschi, Aldo Manuzio
Bernardino Loschi and Aldo Manuzio

In 1505, Manutius married Maria, the daughter of Andrea Torresani of Asola.[68] Torresani and Manutius were already business partners, but the marriage combined the two partners' shares in the publishing business. After the marriage, Manutius lived at Torresani's house. Shrinking in popularity, in 1506 the Aldine Press was moved to a house now covered by a bank building in the Venice square, Campo Manin.[69]

In March 1506, Manutius decided to travel for six months in search of new and reliable manuscripts. While traveling with a guide, Manutius was stopped by border guards of the Marquisate of Mantua who were looking for two criminals. Manutius's guide ran in fear, taking with him all of Manutius's personal effects. This suspicious activity led the guards to arrest Manutius. Manutius knew the Marquis of Mantua, Francesco Gonzaga, and wrote letters to him to explain the situation, but it took six days until Manutius's imprisonment was brought to Gonzaga's attention. While waiting, Manutius spent five days in jail in Casal Romano and another night in Canneto. He was eventually released by Geoffroy Carles, president of the Milanese Senate. A new, improved edition of Horace (after 30 March 1509)[70] with an accompanying work by Manutius on Horatian metrics dedicated to Carles was contingent on this experience and Manutius's connection with Carles.[71]

Manutius wrote his will on 16 January 1515 instructing Giulio Campagnola to provide capital letters for the Aldine Press's italic type.[72] He died the next month, 6 February, and "with his death the importance of Italy as a seminal and dynamic force in printing came to an end."[73] Torresani and his two sons carried on the business during the youth of Manutius's children, and eventually Paulus, Manutius's son, took over the business. The publishing symbol and motto were never wholly abandoned by the Aldine Press until the expiration of their firm in its third generation of operation by Aldus Manutius the Younger.[20]

Manutius dreamed of a trilingual Bible but never saw it come to fruition.[74] However, before his death Manutius had begun an edition of the Septuagint, also known as the Greek Old Testament translated from Hebrew, the first ever to be published; it appeared posthumously in 1518.[22]

Modern influence

1994 marked the 500th anniversary of Aldus Manutius's first publication. On Manutius, Paul F. Grendler wrote, "Aldus ensured the survival of a large number of ancient texts and greatly facilitated the diffusion of the values, enthusiasms, and scholarship of Italian Renaissance Humanism to the rest of Europe".[75] "He jettisoned commentary because he felt that it prevented the dialogue between author and reader that the Renaissance prized."[75]


The Aldine Press produced more than 100 editions from 1495 to 1505. The majority were Greek classics, but many notable Latin and Italian works were published as well.[76]

Erasmus was impressed by Manutius; "in a long passage he extols the 'tireless efforts' of Manutius in restoring ancient learning, truly 'a Herculean task,' and he announces that 'Aldus is building up a library which has no other limits than the world itself'."[14]

The Palazzo dei Pio chapel in Carpi has a painted mural that includes Aldus Manutius along with Alberto and Leonello Pio.[77] In Bassiano, Manutius's birthplace, a monument was erected to commemorate the 450th year since Manutius's death. The inscription is Manutius's own words: "for the abundance of good books which, we hope, will finally put to flight all ignorance."[78]

The quality and popularity of Manutius's work made it more expensive in the 20th century than others published around the same time. In 1991, Martin Lowry found that an auction in New York took place where "initial prices of $6,000 – $8,000 and $8,000 – $12,000 were quotes on copies of Decor Puellarum and Aulus Gellius in Jenson’s editions: Aldus' Hypnerotomachia Polifili started at $25,000 – $30,000."[79]


  • Manutius's name is the inspiration for Progetto Manuzio, an Italian free text project similar to Project Gutenberg.[80]
  • A typeface created by Hermann Zapf was named after Aldus Manutius and dedicated to his memory.[81]
  • The novel Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan features a fictionalized version of Aldus Manutius, as well as a fictional secret society devoted to him. One of the novel's characters, Griffo Gerritszoon, designs a fictitious font called "Gerritszoon" that is preinstalled on every Mac, in allusion to Manutius's associate Francesco Griffo, the designer of italic type. The Aldine Press' motto festina lente is used as the name of the fictional corporation that owns and markets the "Gerritszoon" font.[82]
  • Aldus, a software company founded in Seattle in 1985, known for PageMaker and FreeHand for the Apple Macintosh, was named after Manutius and used his profile as part of their company logo. Aldus was purchased by Adobe Systems in 1994.[83]
  • The Aldus Journal of Translation, a publication from Brown University, is named after Aldus Manutius.[84]
  • The book John Henry Nash: The Aldus of San Francisco relates John Nash to Aldus Manutius and San Francisco to Venice.[85]
  • "Manutius" is the name of a vanity publisher in the English translation of Umberto Eco's 1988 novel Foucault's Pendulum.[86]


A partial list of works translated and published by the Aldine Press under Manutius's supervision.

Greek editions

Greek editions published during Manutius's lifetime:[87]

  • Galeomyomachia, c. 1494–1495
  • Hero and Leander, Musaeus, c. 1495
  • Psalter, c. 1497
  • Rules of the New Academy, c. 1501
  • Epitome of the Eight Parts of Speech, Lascaris, 1495
  • Organon, Aristotle, 1495
  • Grammar, Theodorus Gaza, 1495
  • Idylls, Theocritus, 1495–1496
  • Thesaurus, Corn of Amalthea and Gardens of Adones, 1496
  • Historia Plantarum, Theophrastus, 1497
  • Dictionarium Graecum, I. Crastonus, 1497
  • Hours of the Virgin, 1497
  • Institutiones Graecae Grammatices, U. Bolzanius, 1497/1498
  • Physics, Aristotle, 1497
  • History of animals, Aristotle, 1497
  • Prolegomena to the Deipnosophists, Athenaeus, 1498
  • Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, 1498
  • Nine Comedies, Aristophanes, 1498
  • Catalogues of Aldus's editions
  • Epistolae diversorum philosophorum oratorum..., 1499
  • Phaenomena, Aratus, 1499
  • Metabole [Paraphrase of John], Nonnus of Panopolis, 1501
  • Bibbia, 1501
  • Poetae Christiani Veteres, first volume, 1501
  • Poetae Christiani Veteres, second volume, 1502
  • De octo partibus orationis, Constantine Lascaris, 1501–1503
  • De urbibus, Stephanus Byzantius, 1502
  • Onomasticon, Julius Pollux, 1502
  • History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides, 1502
  • Tragedies, Sophocles, 1502
  • Complete works, Lucian, 1503
  • De interpretatione, Ammonius Hermiae, 1503
  • Prolegomena, Ulpian, 1503
  • Anthology of Epigrams, M. Planudes, 1503
  • Commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, Ioannes Grammaticus (Philoponus), 1504
  • Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Flavius Philostratus, 1504
  • Carmina ad bene..., Gregorius Nazianzenus, 1504
  • Homer, 1504
  • Orations, Demosthenes, 1504
  • Horae in Laudem..., 1504
  • Posthomerica, Quintus Smyrnaeus, 1504–1505
  • Aesop, 1505
  • Adagiorum, Erasmus, 1508
  • Greek Orators (2 volumes), 1508–1509
  • Opuscula, Plutarch, 1509
  • Erotemata, M. Chrysoloras, 1512
  • Epitome, C. lascaris, 1512
  • Pindar, 1513
  • Orators' Speeches, 1513
  • Greek Orators, 1513
  • Complete works, Plato, 1513
  • Commentary On the Topics of Aristotle, Alexander of Aphrodisias, 1513/1514
  • Suda, 1514
  • Lexikon, Hesychius, 1514
  • Deipnosophists, Athenaeus, 1514
  • Grammar, Aldus Manutius, 1515

Latin classics

Partial list of Latin editions published during his lifetime:[88]

Humanist works

Partial list of Humanist authors translated and published by the Aldine Press under Manutius's supervision:[88]

  • Instructional Principles of Latin Grammar, Aldus Manutius (5 March 1493)
  • Gleanings in Dialectics, Lorenzo Maioli (July 1497)
  • Complete Works, Angelo Poliziano (July 1498)
  • Cornucopiae, Niccolò Perotti (July 1499)
  • Rudiments of Latin Grammar, Aldus Manutius (February–June 1501)
  • On Imagination, Gianfrancesco Pico (April 1501)
  • The Land and Customs of the Zygians call Circassians, Giorgio Interiano (October 1502)
  • Urania, Meteora, The Gardens of the Hesperides, etc., Giovanni Pontano (May–August 1505)
  • On Hunting, Adriano Castellesi (September 1505)
  • Adages or Adagiorum Chiliades, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (September 1508)
  • Poems, Tito and Ercole Strozzi (January 1513)
  • Arcadia, Jacopo Sannazaro (September 1514)


For substantial collections of Aldus Manutius's publications, see Aldine Press Collections.

See also


  1. ^ a b Barolini 1992, p. 1.
  2. ^ a b c Fletcher III 1988, p. 1.
  3. ^ Seddon 2015, p. 22.
  4. ^ a b c Symonds 1911.
  5. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, p. 157.
  6. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 1–3.
  7. ^ Fletcher III 1988, p. 3.
  8. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 3, 40–41.
  9. ^ Olin 1994, p. 46.
  10. ^ a b Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, p. 295.
  11. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, p. 127.
  12. ^ Olin 1994, pp. 39–44.
  13. ^ Olin 1994, pp. 46–47.
  14. ^ a b Olin 1994, p. 47.
  15. ^ Olin 1994, pp. 47–52.
  16. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, p. 85.
  17. ^ a b Staikos 2016, pp. 59–64.
  18. ^ Clemons & Fletcher 2015, pp. 55–70.
  19. ^ Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 94.
  20. ^ a b c Symonds 1911, p. 625.
  21. ^ Lowry 1991, p. 183.
  22. ^ a b c d e Symonds 1911, p. 624.
  23. ^ Barolini 1992, pp. 12–14.
  24. ^ Lowry 1991, p. 177.
  25. ^ Lowry 1979, pp. 72–73.
  26. ^ Barolini 1992, pp. 13–14.
  27. ^ Lowry 1976, pp. 378–420.
  28. ^ a b Kidwell 2004, p. 18.
  29. ^ Pincus 2008, p. 100.
  30. ^ Grant 2017, p. 223.
  31. ^ a b c Grant 2017, p. xxii.
  32. ^ Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 102.
  33. ^ Angerhofer, Maxwell & Maxwell 1995, pp. 5–14.
  34. ^ Fletcher III 1995, p. 7.
  35. ^ Fletcher III 1995, pp. 7, 43–59.
  36. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 4–7.
  37. ^ Beta Phi Mu.
  38. ^ a b Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 97.
  39. ^ Beal 2011.
  40. ^ Lyons, Martyn. 2011. Books: a living history. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.
  41. ^ Angerhofer, Maxwell & Maxwell 1995, p. 2.
  42. ^ a b Grendler 1984, p. 22.
  43. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 4–5.
  44. ^ Fletcher III 1988, p. 88.
  45. ^ Lowry 1979, p. 142.
  46. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 88–91.
  47. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 77–82.
  48. ^ Schuessler 2015.
  49. ^ Fletcher III 1988, p. 5.
  50. ^ Fletcher III 1988, p. 77.
  51. ^ a b Barker 2016, p. 81.
  52. ^ Barker 2016, pp. 81–86.
  53. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 2–5.
  54. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, p. 160.
  55. ^ Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 90.
  56. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, pp. 84–85.
  57. ^ Angerhofer, Maxwell & Maxwell 1995, p. 49.
  58. ^ Lyons 2011, p. 78.
  59. ^ Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 141.
  60. ^ Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 144.
  61. ^ a b c Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 146.
  62. ^ Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 142.
  63. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, pp. 91–92.
  64. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, p. 92.
  65. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, p. 102.
  66. ^ Grant 2017, p. xvii.
  67. ^ Grant 2017, p. xxiv.
  68. ^ Barolini 1992, p. 84.
  69. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 1–8.
  70. ^ Grant 2017, pp. 85–88.
  71. ^ Fletcher III 1988, pp. 7–13.
  72. ^ Beltramini & Gasparotto 2016, p. 131.
  73. ^ Blumenthal 1973, p. 11.
  74. ^ Fletcher III 1988.
  75. ^ a b Grendler 1984, pp. 22–24.
  76. ^ Olin 1994, p. 45.
  77. ^ Clemons & Fletcher 2015, p. 320.
  78. ^ Barolini 1992, pp. 15–16.
  79. ^ Lowry 1991, p. 137.
  80. ^ Manuzio 2018.
  81. ^ Sais.
  82. ^ Friedlander 2009.
  83. ^ Student Publications Spotlight: Aldus Journal of Translation 2016.
  84. ^ O'day 1928.
  85. ^ Eco 1989.
  86. ^ Staikos 2016, pp. 113–115.
  87. ^ a b Grant 2017, pp. ix–viii.


  • Angerhofer; Maxwell; Maxwell (1995). In Aedibus Aldi: The Legacy of Aldus Manutius and His Press. Harold B. Lee Library.
  • Barker, Nicolas (2016). "A Manuscript Made For Pier Francesco Barbarigo". Aldus Manutius: The making of the myth. Marsilio Editori.
  • Barolini, Helen (1992). Aldus and His Dream Book. Italica Press.
  • Beal, Peter (2011). "A Dictionary of English Manuscript Terminology 1450–2000". Oxford University Press. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  • Beltramini; Gasparotto (2016). Aldo Manuzio Renaissance in Venice. Marsilio Editori.
  • Blumenthal, Joseph (1973). Art of the Printed Book, 1455–1955: Masterpieces of Typograph through Five Centuries from the Collections of the Pierpont Morgan Library. The Pierpont Morgan Library.
  • Clemons; Fletcher (2015). Aldus Manutius A Legacy More Lasting than Bronze. The Grolier Club.
  • Eco, Umberto (1989). Foucault's pendulum. Secker & Warburg.
  • Fletcher III, Harry George (1995). In praise of Aldus Manutius. Morgan Library.
  • Fletcher III, Harry George (1988). New Aldine Studies. Bernard M. Rosenthal, Inc.
  • Grant, John N. (2017). Aldus Manutius: Humanism and the Latin Classics. Harvard University Press.
  • Grendler, Paul (1984). Aldus Manutius: Humanist, Teacher, and Printer. The John Carter Brown Library.
  • Kidwell, Carol (2004). Pietro Bembo: Lover, linguist, cardinal. McGill-Queen's University Press.
  • Lowry, Martin (1991). Nicholas Jenson and the Rise of Venetian Publishing in Renaissance Europe. Basil Blackwell Inc.
  • Lowry, Martin (1979). The World of Aldus Manutius: Business and Scholarship in Renaissance Venice. Cornell University Press.
  • Lyons, Martyn (2011). Books: A Living History. Getty Publications. ISBN 9781606060834.
  • Manutius, Aldus (2017). Aldus Manutius: Humanism and the Latin Classics. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674971639.
  • "Manuzio". Liber Liber. 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  • Martin, Davies (1995). Aldus Manutius: Printer and publisher of Renaissance Venice. J. Paul Getty Museum. ISBN 9780892363445.
  • O'day, Edward F. (1928). John Henry Nash: The Aldus of San Francisco. San Francisco Bay Cities Club of Printing House Craftsman.
  • Olin, John C. (1994). "Chapter 3: Erasmus and Aldus Manutius.". Erasmus, Utopia & the Jesuits. Fordham University Press.
  • Pincus, Debra (2008). "Giovanni Bellini's Humanist Signature: Pietro Bembo, Aldus Manutius and Humanism in Early Sixteenth-Century Venice". Artibus et Historiae. 29 (58). pp. 89–119.
  • Richardson, Brian (1994). Print culture in Renaissance Italy: The editor and the vernacular text, 1470–1600. Cambridge University Press.
  • Seddon, Tony (2015). The Evolution of Type: A Graphic Guide to 100 Landmark Typefaces. Firefly Books. ISBN 9781770855045.
  • Staikos, K. Sp. (2016). The Greek Editions of Aldus Manutius And His Greek Collaborators. Oak Knoll Press. ISBN 9781584563426.
  • Truss, Lynn (2004). "Eats, Shoot & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation". Gotham Books. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  • Vacalebre, Natale (ed.) (2018). FIVE CENTURIES LATER. Aldus Manutius: Culture, Typography and Philology. Olschki. ISBN 9788822266019.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

Further reading

  • Braida, Lodovica (2003). "Stampa e Cultura in Europa".
  • Febvre, L.; Martin, H. (2001). "La nascita del libro".
  • Norton, F.J. (1958). "Italian Printers 1501–20".
  • Renouard, Antoine-Augustine (1834). "Annales de l'imprimerie des Alde, ou Histoire des trois Manuce et de leurs éditions. ".
  • Rives, Bruno (2008). "Aldo Manuzio, passions et secrets d'un Vénitien de génie".

External links

Aelius Dionysius

Aelius Dionysius (Greek: Αἴλιος Διονύσιος) was a Greek rhetorician from Halicarnassus, who lived in the time of the emperor Hadrian. He was a very skillful musician, and wrote several works on music and its history. It is commonly supposed that he was a descendant of the elder Dionysius of Halicarnassus, author of Roman Antiquities, a history of Rome from its founding to the middle third century BCE.

Nothing further is known of his life. The following works, which are now lost, are attributed to him by the ancients:

A dictionary of Attic words (Ἀττικὰ ὀνόματα) in five books, dedicated to one Scymnus. Photius speaks in high terms of its usefulness, and states that Aelius Dionysius himself made two editions of it, the second of which was a great improvement upon the first. Both editions appear to have been extant in the time of Photius. It seems to have been owing to this work that Aelius Dionysius was called sometimes by the surname of Atticista.

A history of music (Μουσικὴ ἱστορία) in 36 books, with accounts of citharoedi, auletae, and poets of all kinds.

Ῥυθμικά ὑπομνήματα, in 24 books.

Μουσικῆς παιδεία ἢ διατριβαί, in 22 books.

A work in five books on what Plato had said about music in his Πολιτεία.

Johannes Meursius was of opinion that this Dionysius was the author of the work Περὶ ἀκλίτων ῥημάτων καὶ ἐγκλινομένων λέξεων, which was published by Aldus Manutius in Venice in 1496, in a volume titled Horti Adonidis; but there is no evidence for this supposition.

Aldine Press

Aldine Press was the printing office started by Aldus Manutius in 1494 in Venice, from which were issued the celebrated Aldine editions of the classics (Latin and Greek masterpieces plus a few more modern works). The first book that was dated and printed under his name appeared in 1495.The Aldine Press is famous in the history of typography, among other things, for the introduction of italics. The press was the first to issue printed books in the small octavo size, similar to that of a modern paperback, and like that intended for portability and ease of reading. According to Curt Buhler, the press issued 132 books during twenty years of activity under Aldus. After Aldus’ death in 1515 the press was continued by his wife, Maria and her father, Andrea Torresani, until his son, Paulus Manutius (1512–1574) took over. His grandson Aldus Manutius the Younger then ran the firm until his death in 1597. Today, the antique books printed by the Aldine Press in Venice are referred to as Aldines.The press enjoyed a monopoly of works printed in Greek in the Republic of Venice, effectively giving it copyright protection. Protection outside the Republic was more problematic, however. The firm maintained an agency in Paris, but its commercial success was affected by many counterfeit editions, produced in Lyons and elsewhere.


Aldus Corporation was a software company that developed desktop publishing (DTP) software. It is known for developing PageMaker, an early product in the desktop publishing field. The company is named after 15th-century Venetian printer Aldus Manutius, and was founded by Jeremy Jaech, Mark Sundstrom, Mike Templeman, Dave Walter, and chairman Paul Brainerd. Aldus Corporation was based in Seattle, Washington.

Aldus Manutius the Younger

Aldus Manutius, the Younger (Italian: Aldo Manuzio il Giovane) (13 February 1547 — 28 October 1597) was the grandson of Aldus Manutius and son of Paulus Manutius. He was the last member of the Manuzio family to be active in the Aldine Press that his grandfather founded.

Antonio Urceo

Antonio Urceo, called Codro (Antonius Urceus Codrus, 1446, Rubiera–1500, Bologna) was an Italian humanist who taught grammar and eloquence in Bologna (where Nicolaus Copernicus was among his students).

In Forlì he was the teacher of Sinibaldo Ordelaffi, son of the Lord of the city, Pino III Ordelaffi.

Urceo Codro is remembered, among other things, for writing a new fifth act for the Aulularia of Plautus (of the original fifth act of the play only fragments survive). Later other authors, e.g. Martin Dorp, provided their own versions of the missing scenes.Urceo was esteemed in his time as a Greek scholar; Angelo Poliziano wrote to ask his opinion on some Greek poems, and the second volume of Greek epistolographers printed by Aldus Manutius was dedicated to Urceo.Urceo's biography was written by Carlo Malagola.

Charles Scribner's Sons Building

Charles Scribner's Sons Building is a building in Manhattan at 597 Fifth Avenue, built 1912–13 to house the Scribner's Bookstore.

It was designed by Ernest Flagg in a Beaux Arts style. Among its many details are piers anchoring three large bays which include four medallions with busts of printers: Benjamin Franklin, William Caxton, Johann Gutenberg, and Aldus Manutius.It was nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981 and was deemed to have met the architectural and historical criteria for acceptance. But its owners objected in January 1982 as they were entitled to do in the NRHP listing process, so it was not finally listed.The Benetton Group purchased the building in the 1980s. Declining business forced the Scribner's Bookstore to relocate to a lower-rent district in New York before it was acquired by Barnes & Noble, Inc. The building has subsequently housed a Brentano's bookstore, a Benetton clothing store, a Sephora cosmetics, and currently houses a Lululemon Athletica retail store.A&A Investment Co. bought the Scribner Building in 2006. It was sold on to Thor Equities in 2011.The building was the location of Anthony Weiner's campaign office during his 2013 mayoral campaign, and was also where Cambridge Analytica had its New York office between 2016 and the company's collapse in 2018.

The Old Scribner Building, at 153–157 Fifth Ave. (at 21st), another Beaux Arts building designed by Ernest Flagg and built in 1893, was listed on the National Register in 1980.

Editio princeps

In classical scholarship, the editio princeps (plural: editiones principes) of a work is the first printed edition of the work, that previously had existed only in manuscripts, which could be circulated only after being copied by hand.

For example, the editio princeps of Homer is that of Demetrius Chalcondyles, now thought to be from 1488. The most important texts of classical Greek and Roman authors were for the most part produced in editiones principes in the years from 1465 to 1525, following the invention of the printing press around 1440.In some cases there were possibilities of partial publication, of publication first in translation (for example from Greek to Latin), and of a usage that simply equates with first edition. For a work with several strands of manuscript tradition that have diverged, such as Piers Plowman, editio princeps is a less meaningful concept.

The term has long been extended by scholars to works not part of the Ancient Greek and Latin literatures. It is also used for legal works, and other significant documents.

Fleuron (typography)

A fleuron () ❧ is a typographic element, or glyph, used either as a punctuation mark or as an ornament for typographic compositions. Fleurons are stylized forms of flowers or leaves; the term derives from the Old French: floron ("flower"). Robert Bringhurst in The Elements of Typographic Style calls the forms "horticultural dingbats". It is also known as a printers' flower, or more formally as an aldus leaf (after Italian Renaissance printer Aldus Manutius), hedera leaf ("ivy leaf"), or simply hedera symbol.

Francesco Griffo

Francesco Griffo (1450–1518), also called Francesco da Bologna, was a fifteenth-century Italian punchcutter. He worked for Aldus Manutius, designing the printer's more important humanist typefaces, including the first italic type. He cut Roman, Greek, Hebrew and first italic type. Aldus gives Griffo credit in the introduction of the Virgil of 1501. However, as Manutius had achieved a monopoly on italic printing and Greek publishing with the permission of the Venetian government, he had a falling-out with Griffo. Griffo then went to work for Gershom Soncino, whose family were Hebrew printers. It was with Soncino that Griffo's second italic type was cut in 1503. In 1516 he returned to Bologna where he began print publishing. In 1518 Griffo was charged with the murder of his son-in-law, who had been beaten to death with an iron bar. This is his last appearance in the historical record. He is presumed to have been executed.

Gli Asolani

Gli Asolani (the people of Asolo) are dialogues in three books written between 1497 and 1504 by Pietro Bembo in the language of Petrarch and comprise his first important work. Although he had shown a copy to Lucrezia Borgia in 1503, the first edition from 1505 was published by Aldo Manuzio (Aldus Manutius), and the second edition was published, after various revisions, in 1530.

They concern a dialogue on love that is supposed to have happened at Asolo near the court of Caterina Cornaro.

Greek ligatures

Greek ligatures are graphic combinations of the letters of the Greek alphabet that were used in medieval handwritten Greek and in early printing. Ligatures were used in the cursive writing style and very extensively in later minuscule writing. There were dozens of conventional ligatures. Some of them stood for frequent letter combinations, some for inflectional endings of words, and some were abbreviations of entire words.

In early printed Greek from around 1500, many ligatures fashioned after contemporary manuscript hands continued to be used. Important models for this early typesetting practice were the designs of Aldus Manutius in Venice, and those of Claude Garamond in Paris, who created the influential Grecs du roi typeface in 1541. However, the use of ligatures gradually declined during the 17th and 18th centuries and became mostly obsolete in modern typesetting. Among the ligatures that remained in use the longest are the ligature Ȣ for ου, which resembles an o with an u on top, and the abbreviation ϗ for καὶ ('and'), which resembles a κ with a downward stroke on the right. The ου ligature is still occasionally used in decorative writing, while the καὶ abbreviation has some limited usage in functions similar to the Latin ampersand (&). Another ligature that was relatively frequent in early modern printing is a ligature of Ο with ς (a small sigma inside an omicron) for a terminal ος.

The ligature ϛ for στ, now called stigma, survived in a special role besides its use as a ligature proper. It took on the function of a number sign for "6", having been visually conflated with the cursive form of the ancient letter digamma, which had this numeral function.

Hieronimo Squarciafico

Hieronimo Squarciafico was a 15th-century Venetian editor, who worked for the Italian humanist and printer Aldus Manutius, the founder of the Aldine Press at Venice. Squarciafico is best known for bemoaning the printing press in an aphorism that reads as a pithy summation of his contemporaries' concerns over the spread of printed works: "Abundance of books makes men less studious". Initially, in 1477, he wrote enthusiastically about the works he was engaged in having printed. Yet, a few years later, in 1481, Squarciafico appeared to hold a more skeptical view when he imagined a discussion between the spirits of the great authors of the past being held in the Elysian Fields in which some of them lauded the craft of printing; while others complained that "printing had fallen into the hands of unlettered men, who corrupted almost everything"; and yet still others lamented that "their works would perish if they were not printed, since this art compels all writers to give way to it".Squarciafico remains relevant today in criticisms of modern electronic culture; he has, in recent times, been quoted by theologian Walter J. Ong and technology critic Nicholas G. Carr, among others.

Italic type

In typography, italic type is a cursive font based on a stylised form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, italics normally slant slightly to the right. Italics are a way to emphasise key points in a printed text, to identify many types of creative works, or, when quoting a speaker, a way to show which words they stressed. One manual of English usage described italics as "the print equivalent of underlining".The name comes from the fact that calligraphy-inspired typefaces were first designed in Italy, to replace documents traditionally written in a handwriting style called chancery hand. Aldus Manutius and Ludovico Arrighi (both between the 15th and 16th centuries) were the main type designers involved in this process at the time. Different glyph shapes from Roman type are usually used – another influence from calligraphy – and upper-case letters may have swashes, flourishes inspired by ornate calligraphy. An alternative is oblique type, in which the type is slanted but the letterforms do not change shape: this less elaborate approach is used by many sans-serif typefaces.

Paulus Manutius

Paulus Manutius (Italian: Paolo Manuzio; 1512–1574) was a Venetian printer with a humanist education, the third son of the famous printer Aldus Manutius and his wife Maria Torresano.

Printer's Park

Printer's Park (spelled Printers Park by some sources) is small park on Hoe Avenue between Aldus Street and Westchester Avenue, in The Bronx, New York City, United States. The park is run by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.The park's name (and the street it lies on, Hoe Avenue) honors Richard March Hoe, who invented the Rotary printing press. The land the park occupies was once part of Hoe's family estate. The cross-street, Aldus Street, is named after Aldus Manutius, a 15th-century printer.

The Parks Department acquired the site in 1997. The northern portion of the park was renovated in 2001; the name was changed to Printer's Park at that time. In 2009, the southern portion of the park was reconstructed at a cost of $1 million, with the park being officially reopened on July 29, 2010. The renovation included play structures reminiscent of the printing press heritage.

Printer's mark

A printer's mark, device, emblem or insignia was a symbol used as a trademark by early printers starting in the 15th century.

The first printer's mark is found in the 1457 Mainz Psalter by Johann Fust and Peter Schöffer. One of the most well-known old printer's marks is the dolphin and anchor, first used by the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius as his mark in 1502.The database Printers' Devices of the Ancient Book Section of the Library of the University of Barcelona, was launched in October 1998. The University of Florida libraries also provide digital access to printers' devices and include The University of Chicago devices that have appeared on the cover of their publication The Library Quarterly.

Printers' devices have been incorporated in American library buildings, as a reflection of the British Arts and Crafts Movement.

Raphael Regius

Raphael Regius (; Italian: Raffaele Regio; c. 1440 – 1520) was a Venetian humanist, who was active first in Padua, where he made a reputation as one of the outstanding Classical scholars, then in Venice, where he moved in the periphery of an elite group composed of a handful of publicly sanctioned scholars, salaried lecturers employed by the Serenissima itself: on the fringes of this elite world also moved the scholar-printer Aldus Manutius (Lowry 1979).

Roman square capitals

Roman square capitals, also called capitalis monumentalis, inscriptional capitals, elegant capitals and capitalis quadrata, are an ancient Roman form of writing, and the basis for modern capital letters.

Square capitals were used to write inscriptions, and less often to supplement everyday handwriting. When written in documents this style is known as Latin book hand. For everyday writing the Romans used a current cursive hand known as Latin cursive. Notable examples of square capitals used for inscriptions are found on the Roman Pantheon, Trajan's Column, and the Arch of Titus, all in Rome. Square capitals are characterized by sharp, straight lines, supple curves, thick and thin strokes, angled stressing and incised serifs. These Roman capitals are also called majuscules, as a counterpart to minuscule letters such as Merovingian and Carolingian.

Before the 4th century, square capitals were used to write de luxe copies of the works of authors categorized as "pagan" by Christians, especially those of Virgil; the only three surviving manuscripts using this letter, among them the Vergilius Augusteus, contain works by Virgil. After the 5th century the square capitals fell out of use, except as a display lettering for titles and chapter headings in conjunction with various script hands for body text: for example, uncials.

Square capitals were greatly respected by artisans of the Renaissance such as Geoffroy Tory and Felice Feliciano. A few centuries later, they were also a major inspiration for artisans of the Arts and Crafts movement such as Edward Johnston and Eric Gill, and so many signs and engravings created with an intentionally artistic design in the twentieth century are based on them.Edward Catich is noted for the fullest development of the thesis that the inscribed Roman square capitals owed their form, including the serifs, wholly to the use of the flat brush, rather than to the exigencies of the chisel or other stone cutting tools. Although not universally accepted, the brushed-origin thesis had been proposed in the nineteenth century. Catich made a complete study and proposed a convincing ductus by which the forms were created, using a flat brush and then chisel. He promulgated his views in two works, Letters Redrawn from the Trajan Inscription in Rome and The Origin of the Serif: Brush Writing and Roman Letters.

During the early era of the movable type printing press, Roman square capitals became the primary inspiration for the capital letters in early serif typefaces; Roman type, especially that developed by those associated with Aldus Manutius, came to produce a number of typefaces still used to the present day. The 1989 digital typeface Trajan from Adobe is a direct, all-capital adaptation of the Roman square capitals on Trajan's column.

Roman type

In Latin script typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 15th century, based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the Holy Roman Empire.During the early Renaissance, roman (in the form of Antiqua) and italic type were used separately. Today, roman and italic type are mixed, and most typefaces are composed of an upright roman style with an associated italic or oblique style.

Early roman typefaces show a variety of designs, for instance characters resembling what would now be considered blackletter. Printers and typefounders such as Nicolas Jenson and Aldus Manutius in Venice and later Robert Estienne in France codified the modern characteristics of Roman type, for instance an 'h' with a nearly straight right leg, serifs on the outside of the capital 'M' and 'N', and 'e' with level cross stroke, by the 1530s.Popular roman typefaces include Bembo, Baskerville, Caslon, Jenson, Times New Roman and Garamond.

The name roman is customarily applied uncapitalized distinguishing early Italian typefaces of the Renaissance period and most subsequent upright types based on them, in contrast to Roman letters dating from classical antiquity.

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