32. Lactantius. Selections; Tertullian. Apologeticum (1515).

8° ; [16], 348, [12], [4], 48 leaves; 150 x 95mm.

This edition of two important early Latin Christian writers (second to third centuries A.D.) was the first book produced by the Aldine Press after the death of its founder, Aldus Manutius. It is particularly important to the history of printing because its preface contains the first public announcement of the death of Aldus, which had occurred on 6 February 1515. Its eulogy describes the feeling which those who worked for Aldus had toward him, his reputation as a man of letters, and something of the master's working style, which may have contributed to his death.

When Aldus died the great contemporaries of his age proclaimed that Aldus had done more for the spread of learning and the development of literature than all the scholars of his day. Fellow printers acknowledged his supremacy as the master printer. As the body of Aldus lay in state in the old Church of St. Paternian, in the words of one author, "the casket rested on a catafalque banked high with choice editions of the volumes he had created. These tangible evidences of the devotion of a lifetime form the ever-living monument to the continuing benefaction of his greatness."

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