- May 2022
In part in order to heighten his praise of Aldus as the ideal printer, Erasmus noted by contrast that most printers, given the absence of regulations, “fill the world with pamphlets and books [that are] . . . foolish, ignorant, malig-nant, libellous, mad, impious and subversive; and such is the flood that even
things that might have done some good lose all their goodness.”198 The overabundance of bad books drowned out even any good bits that might be present among them.
And we now say these same sorts of things about the internet and social media.
- information overload
- quantitative vs. qualitative
- quantity over quality
- Aldus Manutius
- social media
- gourmet vs. gourmand
- signal to noise ratio
- Apr 2022
Pagination with Arabic numerals on both sides of a page was probably first used in a 1513 edition of Niccolò Perotti’s Cornucopiae. This commentary on Martial’s epigrams offered a wide- ranging commentary on every word that Martial used and was valued as the most sophis-ticated Latin dictionary of its time. But since the words were discussed in the order in which they appeared in Martial’s poems, a powerful alphabetical index was essential. The printer Aldus Manutius of Venice explained the novelty of using page numbers in his index: “a very copious index in which each word that is sought can most easily be found, since each half page throughout the whole work is numbered . . . with arithmetical numbers.”
The term “florilegium” (from flores for flowers and legere in the sense of “select”) dates from the early modern period, likely first used by Aldus Manutius for a Latin translation of a collection
of Greek epigrams, but the practice of gathering the memorable elements of a text or a disputation certainly existed in antiquity. 101
While the form existed in antiquity, the likely first use of florilegium for the genre was by Aldus Manutius for a Latin translation of a collection of Greek epigrams.
What collection? Published in what year? Mejor (1994), 651 may have the details.
- Jan 2022
For centuries the standard work on Latin grammar was the 12th- century Doctrinale, by Alexander of Villedieu, in 2,000 lines of doggerel. Versified rules were easier to remember, though their crudity appalled Aldus Manutius when he reprinted this work in 1501.
Alexander de Villedieu's Latin grammer Doctrinale from the 12th century was the standard work on the subject. Its 2,000 lines of doggerel were used as a mnemonic device because they were easier to remember. Famed publisher Aldus Manutius was appalled at their crude nature when he reprinted the book in 1501.