Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65–8 BC) Carmina

May 1501

The Horace of May 1501 was the second of Manutius’s enchiridia, following the publication in April of a Virgil. It was edited and dedicated by Aldus to the Venetian politician and chronicler Marin Sanudo (1466–1536) as a new portable edition of Horace’s poems providing the historian with the ideal reading for pleasure at times of rest from public duties wherever he might be. The elegance of the book proportions and the beauty of the printing in the elegant new founts designed for Aldus by Francesco Griffo assured an immediate success to the edition.

But with success came the threat of potentially dangerous competition in the form of a counterfeit edition produced in Lyons no later than 1502. The Horace and all other enchiridia printed by Aldus in 1501–comprising Virgil, Petrarch, Juvenal and Persius, and Martial–were copied by forgers almost immediately after publication, notwithstanding Aldus’s attempts to protect the individual editions and the newly designed Italic founts by securing privileges and bulls from the Venetian Senate and the Pope in 1501–1502. Exasperated by the ineffectiveness of the legal instruments of protection, on 16 March 1503 Aldus issued a single sheet entitled Monitum in Ludgunenses typographos, in which he warned his readers about the forgeries and provided them (and the forgers!) with a list of the typographical mistakes that distinguished each of the fake edition from his own.

Sel.6.47, fol. a2 recto

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