Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/597

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Neapolitan was literary. Many similar societies, of more or less note, arose in other Italian cities. At the close of the fifteenth century almost every considerable centre of culture possessed its Academy. The manner in which these institutions contributed to the advancement of scholarship and learning was somewhat different from that associated with more modern bodies of a similar nature. The Italian Academies of the Renaissance had little to show in the way of "transactions" or memoirs which could be regarded as permanently valuable contributions to special branches of knowledge. But the variety and brilliancy of the men whom these societies are known to have brought into sympathetic converse would suffice to establish the importance of the movement. Such Academies raised the classical Renaissance to a higher level.

Cooperation of the academic kind bore a necessary part in that great work which crowned the labours of the Italian revival by securing the Greek and Latin classics against the accidents of time. Aldo Manuzio was aided in the affairs of his press by the "New Academy" (Neaca-demia) which he founded at Venice. In order justly to estimate his achievement, we must recall what had been done in the same field before him. Italy was the country where the recently invented art of printing first became largely fruitful in the service of letters. In the Benedictine House of Santa Scolastica at Subiaco the German printers Schweinheim and Pannartz printed in 1465 the first edition of Lactantius. Removing to Rome in 1467, they began to issue the Latin classics. In 1469 their press produced Caesar, Livy, Aulus Gellius, Virgil, and Lucan; which were shortly followed by Cicero's Letters, with a volume of his Orations, and by Ovid. Some twenty-three Latin authors were published by them in little more than two years. At about the same time printing was begun at Venice by John of Speyer, and by a Frenchman, Nicolas Jenson. They, too, sent forth many Latin authors. Milan seems to have had a press as early as 1469. At Florence, in 1471, Bernardo Cennini printed the commentary of Servius on Virgil's Eclogues. Another Florentine printing-house was that of Giunta, afterwards famed for the editiones luntinae. The printing of Greek began not long after the first entrance of the art into Italy. In 1476 the Greek Grammar of Con-stantine Lascaris was printed at Milan by Zarot. At Milan, Theocritus (Idylls i-xvm), and Hesiod (Works and Days) came from the press in or about 1481; and Isocrates (edited by Demetrius Chalcondylas) in 1493. Venice contributed, in 1484, the Greek Grammar (Erotemata) of Manuel Chrysoloras. At Florence, in 1488, Lorenzo Alopa, a Venetian, published a Homer, edited by Chalcondylas. Such was the general situation when Aldo commenced his labours. Most of the greater Latin classics had been printed; but of the Greek, only Homer, Hesiod's Works and Days, eighteen Idylls of Theocritus, and Isocrates.

Teobaldo Manucci, who Latinised his name into Aldus Manutius, and is now more usually called Aldo Manuzio, was born in 1450. His