Aldus Manutius (c. 1451–1515) was the most important and innovative scholarly publisher of the Renaissance. His Aldine Press was responsible for more first editions of classical literature, philosophy and science than any other publisher before or since. Aldus was particularly concerned to preserve through the printer’s art the most important remains of Greek literature that had survived the age of the manuscript book, and to provide the literati of his own time with the tools they needed to keep the knowledge of Greek alive. This edition contains all of Aldus’s prefaces to his editions of the Greek classics, translated for the first time into English, along with other illustrative writings by his collaborators. They provide unique insight into the world of scholarly publishing in Renaissance Venice.
These prefaces are important documents in the history of culture in general as well as the history of printing.
N. G. Wilson is Emeritus Fellow of Lincoln College, University of Oxford.