Paulus Manutius

Paulus Manutius (Italian: Paolo Manuzio) (1512–1574) was a Venetian printer with a humanist education, the third son of the famous printer Aldus Manutius and his wife Maria Torresano. Aldus died when the boy was two, and his grandfather and two uncles, the Asolani, carried on the Aldine Press. After a thorough education, in 1533 Paolo assumed direction of his father's business, which had been damaged by the elder generation's refusal to collaborate with scholarly editors. Paolo determined to revive the reputation of the press, and parted company with his uncles in 1540, devoting his output to the Latin classics. He was a passionate Ciceronian, and perhaps his chief contributions to scholarship are the corrected editions of Cicero's letters and orations (Epistolae ad familiares in 1540, Epistolae ad Atticum and Epistolae ad Marcum Iunium Brutum et ad Quintum Ciceronem fratrem in 1547), his own epistles in a Ciceronian style, and his Latin version of Demosthenes’ Phillipics (Demosthenis orationes quattuor contra Philippum, 1549). Throughout his life he combined the occupations of a scholar and a printer. As a scholar he is remembered for four elegant Latin treatises on Roman antiquities. His correct editions of the classics, printed in a splendid style, were highly esteemed, yet sales did not always support such productions; in 1556 he received for a time external support from the Venetian Academy founded by Federigo Badoaro. But Badoaro failed disgracefully in 1559, and the academy was extinct in 1562.

Meanwhile Paolo had established his brother, Antonio in a printing office and book shop at Bologna. Antonio died in 1559, having been a source of trouble and expense to Paolo during the last four years of his life. Other pecuniary embarrassments arose from a contract for supplying fish to Venice, into which Paolo had somewhat strangely entered with the government.

In 1561 Pope Pius IV invited him to Rome, offering him a yearly stipend of 500 ducats, and undertaking to establish and maintain his press there. The profits on publications were to be divided between Paolo Manuzio and the Apostolic Camera. Paolo accepted the invitation, and spent the larger portion of his life, under three pontiffs, with varying fortunes, in the city of Rome. Ill-health, the commercial interests he had left behind at Venice, and the lack of interest shown by Pope Pius V, induced him at various times and for several reasons to leave Rome. The Vatican was eager to make effective use of the press to counter the growing influence of Protestant publications from beyond the Alps and his Roman editions for the Stamperia del Popolo Romano were mostly Latin works of theology and Biblical or patristic literature. They included Reginald Pole’s De Concilio and Reformatio Angliae (both 1562) and official publications from the Council of Trent such as the Canones et decreta (1564) the Index librorum prohibitorum (1564), the Catechismus (1566), and the Breviarium Romanum (1568).

Paolo married Caterina Odoni in 1546. She brought him three sons and one daughter. His eldest son, the younger Aldus, succeeded him in the management of the Venetian printing house when his father settled at Rome in 1561.