Aldus Manutius(redirected from Aldus Manutius the Elder)
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Manutius, Aldus:see Aldus ManutiusAldus Manutius
or Aldo Manuzio
, 1450–1515, Venetian printer. He was educated as a humanistic scholar and became tutor to several of the great ducal families. One of them, the Pio family, provided him with money to establish a printery in Venice.
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Aldus Manutius(ăl`dəs mənyo͞o`shəs) or
Aldo Manuzio(äl`dō mäno͞o`tsyō), 1450–1515, Venetian printer. He was educated as a humanistic scholar and became tutor to several of the great ducal families. One of them, the Pio family, provided him with money to establish a printery in Venice. Aldus was at this time almost 45 years old. He devoted himself to publishing the Greek and Roman classics, in editions noted for their scrupulous accuracy; a five-volume set of the works of Aristotle, completed in 1498, is the most famous of his editions. He was especially interested in producing books of small format for scholars at low cost. To this end he designed and cut the first complete font of the Greek alphabet, adding a series of ligatures or tied letters, similar to the conventional signs used by scribes, which represented two to five letters in the width of one character. To save space in Latin texts he had a type designed after the Italian cursive script; it is said to be the script of Petrarch. This was the first italic type used in books (1501). Books produced by him are called Aldine and bear his mark, which was a dolphin and an anchor. Aldus employed competent scholars as editors, compositors, and proofreaders to insure accuracy in his books. Much of his type was designed by Francesco Griffi, called Francesco da Bologna. The Aldine Press was later managed by other members of his family, including a son, Paulus Manutius (1512–74), and a grandson, Aldus Manutius (1547–97), who was best known for his classical scholarship.
(Aldo Manuzio, Aldo Manucci). Born circa 1450 in Bassiano, near Rome; died Feb. 6, 1515, in Venice. Italian publisher and typographer. Renaissance scholar and humanist.
Aldus Manutius was the founder of the Aldine Press, which continued to operate for almost 100 years. Settling in Venice circa 1490, Manutius gathered around him Greek language experts to prepare editions of classical Greek authors. His largest edition consisted of the works of Aristotle in five volumes (1495-98), followed by the works of Aristophanes, Thucydides, Sophocles, Herodotus, Xenophon, Euripides, Demosthenes, Plutarch, and Plato, as well as editions of the letters of Greek philosophers and orators.
In 1499, Manutius published the War of Sleep and Love (Hypnerotomachia Poliphili) a work attributed to his contemporary Francesco Colonna. This edition is a masterpiece of printer’s art; the numerous woodcuts and beautiful type (antique) form a harmonious whole. From 1501, Manutius published collections of Roman classics in octavo form and for the first time printed in italics, a clear and capacious type that imitated the lettering of the documents issued by the papal office. Among the editions of Manutius were also the works of his contemporaries, such as Erasmus of Rotterdam. Manutius’ publications—the Aldines—were imitated and forged; to guard against this Manutius stamped his books with the firm’s hallmark, a dolphin entwined about an anchor.
In 1500, Manutius founded the New Academy (modeled after Plato’s Academy), whose members helped to collect and study the manuscripts of ancient authors and carefully prepared the texts of works to be printed. Manutius’ press was continued by his father-in-law, Andreas Torresanus, his son Paulus Manutius (1512-74), and his grandson Aldus Manutius, Junior (1547-97). Aldine editions are kept in the world’s largest libraries and in bibliophilic collections.
REFERENCESKatsprzhak, E. I. htoriia knigi Moscow, 1964.
Flocon, A. L’Univers des livres. Paris, 1961.
Kirchner, J. Lexikon des Buchwesens, vol. 2. Stuttgart, 1953.
Renouard, A. A. Annales de l’imprimerie des Aides, 3rd ed. Paris, 1834.
Seritti sopra Aldo Manuzio. Florence, 1955.
A. I. MARKUSHEVICH