55. Paulus Manutius. In M. Tullii Ciceronis orationes Paulli Manutii commentarius (1578-79)

2° ;3 v.; 325 x 209mm.

By the time Paulus assumed control of the press, most available Greek texts had been published at least once; and since Paulus's Greek was not of his father's caliber, he devoted himself primarily to Latin classics. While both a scholar and a printer, Paulus is best remembered for his contributions to scholarship, the chief of which are his corrected editions of and commentaries on Cicero's letters and orations.

Forced to leave the press at Rome in 1570 because of ill health, Paulus took the opportunity to work on the orations of Cicero. "I feel very hopeful," he writes in his letters, "concerning the sale of my Cicero, and hopeful also that it will not be reprinted [in pirated editions] during my lifetime." In 1572, Paulus journeyed to Venice to visit his son Aldus, at which time he gave specific instructions for the printing of the Commentaries. When he later received the first sheets of the work, he expressed bitter disappointment in the preliminary results produced by the heir to the press. "If you had had in your hands some utterly contemptible scribble, you could hardly have printed it in a more tasteless and slovenly style . . . and you knew I had this undertaking so much at heart! . . . I have instructed Basa to burn all the sheets that have been printed, and to print these signatures again, with a proper selection of type and on decent paper." Paulus died in the spring of 1574, long before the publication of the work that meant so much to him. Aldus the Younger published his father's Commentaries as a part of a deluxe edition of the complete works of Cicero during the years 1578 and 1579.

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