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A: Venezia, Veneto, Italy

Aldus's "Rules of the Modern Academy" Known From a Single Surviving Copy

Circa 1500

The only surviving copy, preserved in the Vatican Library on the front pastedown of a binding, of Aldus Manutius's Rules of the Modern Academy. Probably only a small number of copies of this were printed for members of Aldus's shop and associates of the press.

About 1500 Humanist printer Aldus Manutius described on a single printed sheet preserved in the Vatican Library (Stamp. Barb. AAAIV 13) the Rules of the Modern Academy, indicating that his publishing house was also a center of learning:

“He calls for those concerned with preparing and correcting editions of the Greek classics in his shop in Venice (many of whom were émigrés from Greece or Crete) to speak only classical Greek. Those who fail to do so must pay fines, and when these have sufficiently accumulated, they are to be used to pay for a ’symposium’—a lavish common meal (the rule states that it must be better than the food given printers, which was legendarily meager.) The Renaissance idea of the publishing house as a center of learning emerges vividly” (Anthony Grafton, "The Vatican and its Library," Grafton (ed.) Rome Reborn [1993] 15, plate 11).

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