Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 1 >> Albani to Alligator >> Aldine


editions, greek, classics and father

ALDINE, irdin, Editions, the books printed by Aldus Manutius and his family in Venice (1490-1597). They comprise the first editions of Greek and Roman classics; others contain corrected texts of modern classic writ ers, as of Petrarch, Dante or Boccaccio, care fully collated with the MSS. All of them are distinguished for the remarkable correctness of the typography; the Greek works, however, be ing in this respect somewhat inferior to the Latin and Italian. The editions published by Aldo Manuzio (1450-1515), the father, form an epoch in the annals of printing, as they con tributed in no ordinary measure to the perfect ing of types. No one had ever before used such beautiful Greek types, of which he got nine different kinds made, and of Latin as many as 14. It is to him, or rather to the engraver, Francesco of Bologna, that we owe the types called by the Italians Corsivi, and known to us as italics, which he used for the first time in the octavo edition of ancient and modern classics, commencing with Virgil (1501). Ma inzio's impressions on parchment are exceed ingly beautiful; he was the first printer who introduced the custom of taking some impres sions on finer or stronger paper than the rest of the edition the first example of this being afforded in the (1499). From

1515 to 1533 the business was carried on by his father and brothers-in-law, Andrea Torresano of Asola, and his two sons the three Asolani. Paolo Manuzio (1512-74), Aldo's son, possessed an enthusiasm for Latin classics equal to that of his father for Greek; and he was succeeded by his son, the younger Aldo (1547-97). The printing establishment founded by Aldo con tinued in active operation for 100 years, and during this time printed 908 different works. The distinguishing mark is an anchor, entwined by a dolphin, with the motto either of aFestina lentei or of et alsit.s The demand which arose for editions from this office, and especially for the earlier ones, induced the printers of Lyons and Florence, about 1502, to !.in the system of issuing counterfeit Aldines. inc Aldo-mania has considerably diminished in later times. Among the Aldine works which have now become very rare may be mentioned the 'Flora Beattie Maria Virgirus) of 1497, the 'Virgil' of 1501, and the Rhetores not to mention all the editions, dated and un dated, from 1490 to 1497 which are now ex tremely rare. Consult Renouard's 'Annales de l'Imprunerie des (1834), and Didot's Manuce' (1873).