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Aldus Manutius (1446-1515)

Aldus Manutius

Aldus Manutius was a Venetian Renaissance printer who belongs to that select group of historical figures whose name has become an adjective, eg the Aldine italic. He is known as the 'Prince of Printers' and was a scholar, a businessman, an editor, and a typographer.

He had an early love of the Greek classics and conceived a plan to publish the works of Ancient Greece in the original language. Until then, Latin books had dominated the market. So, he started a printing press in Venice, and transformed the face of classical studies in Europe.

The invention of italic type is generally ascribed to Manutius and his punch cutter, Francesco Griffo. At first it was called Venetian, but soon it became dedicated to the state of Italy and so, the italic was born. He also produced the Aldine pocket books in an effort to tempt the ordinary reader to read Greek in the original and not just the dedicated scholar. When he died, only Aeschylus remained to be printed. His dynasty continued on for a period of 104 years.

"My ambition is to provide students with books as correct and beautiful as they could be."


Fonts designed by Aldus Manutius

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