Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
624
MANUTIUS


By the 11th century the system of Latin contractions had been reduced to exact rules; and from this time onwards it was universally practised. It reached its culminating point in the 13th century, the period of increasing demand for MSS., when it became more than ever necessary to economize space. After this date the exact formation of the signs of contractions was less strictly observed, and the system deteriorated together with the decline of handwriting. In conclusion, it may be noticed that in MSS. written in the vernacular tongues contractions are more rarely used than in Latin texts. A system suited to the inflexions and terminations of this language could not be readily adapted to other languages so different in grammatical structure.

Palimpsests, &c.—Palimpsest MSS., that is, MSS. written upon material from which older writing has been previously removed by washing or scraping, are described in a separate article (Palimpsest). The ornamentation of MSS. is fully dealt with under the headings Illuminated MSS., and Miniatures.

Writing Implements.—In conclusion, a few words may be added respecting the writing implements employed in the production of MSS. The reed, κάλαμος, calamus, was adapted for tracing characters either on papyrus or vellum. By the ancient Egyptians, and also probably by the early Greek scribes in Egypt, it was used with a soft brush-like point, rather as a paint-brush than as a pen. The Greek and Roman scribes used the reed cut to a point and slit like the quill-pen; and it survived as a writing implement into the middle ages. For scratching letters on the waxen tablet the sharp pointed bodkin, στῦλος, γραφεῖον, stilus, graphium, was necessary, made of iron, bronze, ivory, or other suitable material, with a knobbed or flattened butt-end wherewith corrections could be made by smoothening the wax surface (hence vertere stilum, to correct). Although there is no very early record of the use of quills as pens, it is obvious that, well adapted as they are for the purpose and to be had everywhere, they must have been in request even in ancient times as they afterwards were in the middle ages. Bronze pens, fashioned exactly on the model of the quill-pen, that is in form of a tube ending in a slit nib (sometimes even with a nib at each end), of late Roman manufacture, are still in existence. A score of them are to be found scattered among public and private museums. The ruler for guiding ruled lines was the κανών, canon, regula; the pencil was the μόλυβδος, plumbum, the plummet; the pricker for marking the spacing out of the ruled lines was the διαβάτης, circinus, punctorium; the pen-knife, γλύφανον, σμίλη, scalprum; the erasing-knife, rasorium, novacula.

Inks.—Inks of various colours were employed from early times. The ink of the early papyri is a deep glossy black; in the Byzantine period it deteriorates. In the middle ages black ink is generally of excellent quality; it tends to deteriorate from the 14th century. But its quality varies in different countries at different periods. Red ink, besides being used for titles and colophons, also served for contrast, as, for example, in glosses. In the Carolingian period entire MSS. were occasionally written in red ink. Other coloured inks—green, violet and yellow—are also found, at an early date. Gold and silver writing fluids were used in the texts of the ancient purple vellum MSS., and writing in gold was reintroduced under Charlemagne for codices of ordinary white vellum. It was introduced into English MSS. in the 10th century.

Authorities.—H. Geraud, Essai sur les livres dans l’antiquité (1840); E. Egger, Histoire du livre depuis ses origines jusqu’à nos jours (1880); T. Birt, Das antike Buchwesen (1882) and Die Buchrolle in der Kunst (1907); W. Wattenbach, Das Schriftwesen im Mittelalter (1896); K. Dziatzko, Untersuchungen über ausgewählte Kapitel des antiken Buchwesens (1900); J. W. Clark, The Care of Books (1901); W. Schubart, Das Buch bei den Griechen und Römern (1907); and generally the authorities quoted in the article Palaeography. See also Textual Criticism. (E. M. T.) 


MANUTIUS, the Latin name of an Italian family (Mannucci, Manuzio), famous in the history of printing as organizers of the Aldine press.

1. Aldus Manutius (1450–1515). Teobaldo Mannucci, better known as Aldo Manuzio, the founder of the Aldine press, was born in 1450 at Sermoneta in the Papal States. He received a scholar’s training, studying Latin at Rome under Gasparino da Verona, and Greek at Ferrara under Guarino da Verona. In 1482 he went to reside at Mirandola with his old friend and fellow-student, the illustrious Giovanni Pico. There he stayed two years, prosecuting his studies in Greek literature. Before Pico removed to Florence, he procured for Aldo the post of tutor to his nephews Alberto and Lionello Pio, princes of Carpi. Alberto Pio supplied Aldo with funds for starting his printing press, and gave him lands at Carpi. It was Aldo’s ambition to secure the literature of Greece from further accident by committing its chief masterpieces to type. Before his time four Italian towns had won the honours of Greek publications: Milan, with the grammar of Lascaris, Aesop, Theocritus, a Greek Psalter, and Isocrates, between 1476 and 1493; Venice, with the Erotemala of Chrysoloras in 1484; Vicenza, with reprints of Lascaris’s grammar and the Erolemata, in 1488 and 1490; Florence, with Alopa’s Homer, in 1488. Of these works, only three, the Milanese Theocritus and Isocrates and the Florentine Homer, were classics. Aldo selected Venice as the most appropriate station for his labours. He settled there in 1490, and soon afterwards gave to the world editions of the Hero and Leander of Musaeus, the Galeomyomachia, and the Greek Psalter. These have no date; but they are the earliest tracts issued from his press, and are called by him “Precursors of the Greek Library.”

At Venice Aldo gathered an army of Greek scholars and compositors around him. His trade was carried on by Greeks, and Greek was the language of his household. Instructions to type-setters and binders were given in Greek. The prefaces to his editions were written in Greek. Greeks from Crete collated MSS., read proofs, and gave models of calligraphy for casts of Greek type. Not counting the craftsmen employed in merely manual labour, Aldo entertained as many as thirty of these Greek assistants in his family. His own industry and energy were unremitting. In 1495 he issued the first volume of his Aristotle. Four more volumes completed the work in 1497–1498. Nine comedies of Aristophanes appeared in 1498. Thucydides, Sophocles and Herodotus followed in 1502; Xenophon’s Hellenics and Euripides in 1503; Demosthenes in 1504. The troubles of Italy, which pressed heavily on Venice at this epoch, suspended Aldo’s labours for a while. But in 1508 he resumed his series with an edition of the minor Greek orators; and in 1509 appeared the lesser works of Plutarch. Then came another stoppage. The league of Cambray had driven Venice back to her lagoons, and all the forces of the republic were concentrated on a struggle to the death with the allied powers of Europe. In 1513 Aldo reappeared with Plato, which he dedicated to Leo X. in a preface eloquently and earnestly comparing the miseries of warfare and the woes of Italy with the sublime and tranquil objects of the student’s life. Pindar, Hesychius, and Athenaeus followed in 1514.

These complete the list of Aldo’s prime services to Greek literature. But it may be well in this place to observe that his successors continued his work by giving Pausanias, Strabo, Aeschylus, Galen, Hippocrates and Longinus to the world in first editions. Omission has been made of Aldo’s reprints, in order that the attention of the reader might be concentrated on his labours in editing Greek classics from MSS. Other presses were at work in Italy; and, as the classics issued from Florence, Rome or Milan, Aldo took them up, bestowing in each case fresh industry upon the collation of codices and the correction of texts. Nor was the Aldine press idle in regard to Latin and Italian classics. The Asolani of Bembo, the collected writings of Poliziano, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Petrarch’s poems, a collection of early Latin poets of the Christian era, the letters of the younger Pliny, the poems of Pontanus, Sannazzaro’s Arcadia, Quintilian, Valerius Maximus, and the Adagia of Erasmus were printed, either in first editions, or with a beauty of type and paper never reached before, between the years 1495 and 1514. For these Italian and Latin editions Aldo had the elegant type struck which bears his name. It is said to have been copied from Petrarch’s handwriting, and was cast under the direction of Francesco da Bologna, who has been identified by Panizzi with Francia the painter.

Aldo’s enthusiasm for Greek literature was not confined to the printing-room. Whatever the students of this century may think of his scholarship, they must allow that only vast erudition and thorough familiarity with the Greek language could have enabled him to accomplish what he did. In his own days Aldo’s learning won the hearty acknowledgment of ripe scholars. To his fellow workers he was uniformly generous, free from jealousy, and prodigal of praise. While aiming at that excellence of typography which renders his editions the treasures of the book-collector, he strove at the same time to make them cheap. We may perhaps roughly estimate the