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Aldo Manuzio, Prince of Publishing

The lecture by prof. Bertilaccio presents the story of the man who invented the modern book and the very concept of publishing, making Venice the international capital of printing. In the 15th century, Aldus Manutius was considered the greatest printer of his time: more than five hundred years later, we can recognize in him the first precursor of modern publishers.
In the 1480’s Manutius developed what would later become his publishing project: to spread and preserve Greek philosophy and Greek and Latin literature, recovering and reproducing the great classical masterpieces through printed editions.
Five centuries later, the works printed by Aldus, as well as being of great value, still retain a great appeal. In twenty years of activity Manutius managed to introduce important innovations in the field of publishing, which form the basis of modern publishing: cursive or italic, which appeared for the first time in the Epistles of St. Catherine of Siena (1500); the format in eighth, which allowed the manufacture of smaller books and for a wider audience, forerunners of the current pocket books. Moreover Manutius was the first to use what would become the final arrangement of punctuation (the period, the comma, the semicolon, accent and apostrophe, used for the first time, in their present form), he was the first to edit the book with page numbering on both sides (back and front) and was also the first to publish a catalog of his own publications that included, in total, more than 130 works.

  • Organized by: Istituto Italiano di Cultura - Mumbai
  • In collaboration with: Marshall Hall, J. Nehru Library - University of Mumbai