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Paul F. Gehl on...

4.17 Imported Geographies, Italian Packages, whole page

For a good discussion of geography in the mature humanist classroom (in Protestant Switzerland), see Urs B. Leu, “Textbooks and their Uses –An Insight into the Teaching of Geography in 16th century Zurich,” in Scholarly Knowledge: Textbooks in Early Modern Europe, Geneva, Droz, 2008, pp. 229-248.

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Posted August 21, 2017  12:21 pm
0.03 Some Perils of Generalization, paragraph 1

A particularly good introduction to the kinds of sources for textbook history is provided for the specific case of sixteenth-century Zurich by Urs B. Leu, “Textbooks and their Uses –An Insight into the Teaching of Geography in 16th century Zurich,” in Scholarly Knowledge: Textbooks in Early Modern Europe, Geneva, Droz, 2008, pp. 229-248, esp. 229-237.

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Posted August 21, 2017  12:17 pm
5.14 Conservative Typography, paragraph 1

Another small grammar textbook by Moirani survives in a 1590 Cremona edition of another highly traditional text, the Carmen Scholasticum of Giovanni Francesco Boccardo (P9lade Brixiano). See EDIT16, CNCE 006477,

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Posted July 13, 2017  9:28 am
5.14 Conservative Typography, paragraph 2, replying to kevin stevens

Thanks for this great info, Kev. My guess is that the logic of selling by the dozen is that teachers (in the case of grammars) and priests or confraternities (in the case of devotional works) were distributing these slight pieces to groups of potential readers. In the case of the grammars, this would ensure that the students in a given class would all have the same text in front of them and would relieve the parents of finding the item in a shop.

Hi Paul, Just to add to your argument about the popularity of Bossi's grammar in Milan. I've recently located a stationer's shop from that city (ASM, notarile, 4 March 1613, f. 24498) in which the presence of Bossi is particularly striking. The inventory lists 70 dozen (840 copies) "regole Bosso" with a wholesale price of just under 2 soldi/copy. Alvares' grammar ("emanuel") appears on the list too, but only in 12 copies, each listed at 16 soldi/copy. Also recorded in quantity and variety are donati ("al sena"; "al vocaboli") and the *regola* of Guarino (in one case combined with the donato). Like Bossi's work, these are described as being sold in bundles of 12 (dozzina)** and priced as such. Wholesale prices fall in a narrow range, from 1 soldo for the cheapest donato (printed on 4 1/2 sheets) to just under 3 soldi for a text combining the regola and donato. All of this is strong evidence to support your claim of the continuing market for very conservative grammars well into the seventeenth century. ** I would like to know why such grammars (as well as thin devotionals and slight works of hagiography) were sold and priced by the dozen. Anyone have any ideas about this?

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Posted July 13, 2017  9:26 am
3.15 Collecting Himself, paragraph 1

This project is remarked by Paola Farenga (cit. in comment to section 3.09, para 3 above, p. 427-428), who assumes that publishing such lists of works was a response to ‘pirated’ or unauthorized editions. In my reading, however, the early lists are straightforward advertising, while the later ones signal a shift by Mancinelli or his publishers to creating unified sets of his works for the more sophisticated, international market for which Venetians printed. It is really not necessary to see this as a response to unauthorized printings.

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Posted April 3, 2017  11:41 am
3.07 Off to Rome, paragraph 3, replying to Paul F. Gehl

Also on this theme, Paola Farenga, cit. in comment to section 3.09, para 3, p. 426-428

See F. Lazzari and M. Lozzi, Gli epigrammi di Antonio Mancinelli, Velletri, 2009, 27-31 and passim, who explicate the patrons of Mancinelli, especially at Rome, in some detail, based on a close reading of the epigrams published in 1503.

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Posted April 3, 2017  11:35 am
3.09 More Basic Schoolbooks, paragraph 3, replying to Paul F. Gehl

Farenga, cit. in previous comment, 424-428, contextualizes Mancinelli’s Roman period publications among those of other grammarians published by Eucario Silber, then the leading printer in Rome. She also discusses, 435-439, the larger trends in publishing during the 1490s in the Eternal City, which was, more than was true in Venice, adversely affected by the Italian wars. As she notes, Rome never had as international a market as Venice; it was a smaller publishing world altogether.

Further on this theme, several essays in Roma di fronte all'Europa al tempo di Alessandro VI (Rome: Roma nel Rinascimento, 2001), e.g. Piero Scapecchi, "Savonarola e la stampa," ibid., 399-406, esp. 399-401; and Paola Farenga, "Le edizioni di Eucario Silber," ibid., 409-439.

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Posted April 3, 2017  11:27 am
3.14 Late Works, paragraph 3

Paola Farenga, cit. in comment to section 3.09, para 3 above, p. 415-416, notes that On the Care of Parents bears an epilogue in praise of Pietro Della Torre, a bookseller at Rome, who apparently subsidized the publication of the work with the education of his own three sons in mind. To my knowledge this is the only occasion on which Mancinelli remarks direct financial support for his publications from an individual. Della Torre, of course, was in a position to market the new book immediately and directly.

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Posted March 28, 2017  2:26 pm
3.09 More Basic Schoolbooks, paragraph 3, replying to Paul F. Gehl

Further on this theme, several essays in Roma di fronte all’Europa al tempo di Alessandro VI (Rome: Roma nel Rinascimento, 2001), e.g. Piero Scapecchi, “Savonarola e la stampa,” ibid., 399-406, esp. 399-401; and Paola Farenga, “Le edizioni di Eucario Silber,” ibid., 409-439.

P. Casciano et al., "Materiali e ipotesi per la stampa a Roma," in Scrittura, biblioteche e stampa a Roma nel Quattrocento (Vatican City: Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Dipolmatica e Archivistica, 1980), p. 238-240 point to a change in focus at Rome from classical publishing to smaller, occasional poetry and grammar booklets, starting about 1490.

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Posted March 27, 2017  10:37 am
3.09 More Basic Schoolbooks, paragraph 3

P. Casciano et al., “Materiali e ipotesi per la stampa a Roma,” in Scrittura, biblioteche e stampa a Roma nel Quattrocento (Vatican City: Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia, Dipolmatica e Archivistica, 1980), p. 238-240 point to a change in focus at Rome from classical publishing to smaller, occasional poetry and grammar booklets, starting about 1490.

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Posted November 18, 2016  9:08 am
7.03 Emblem as Machine, paragraph 5, replying to Paul F. Gehl

Anna Maranini (cited to para 4) does not adduce the eye of Providence either, but she located the origin of the literary commonplace of the manus occulata in Plautus; p. 146-47.

I don't know for sure, Rick, but I don't see any direct parallel in the texts that accompany the image. Alciati references Epicharnus of Kos for the moral advice --a quotation he may have gotten from any number of sources, perhaps most likely Diogenes Laertes-- and the Heraclitus story, both of which seem to fit better into a personal-moral than a mystical framework.

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Posted November 8, 2016  11:29 am
7.03 Emblem as Machine, paragraph 4

This emblem is further explicated by Anna Maranini in her article, “‘Col senno e con la mano’: Eyes, Reason and Hand in Symbolic Transmission,” Glasgow Emblem Studies 12, 115-156, esp. 145-153.

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Posted November 8, 2016  11:24 am
5.06 Addressing the Teachers, paragraph 3, replying to Paul F. Gehl

Ceresa documents three editions of Alvares by Facciotti, ibid., pp. 68, 75, and 90, the latest being the 1598 edition from which I quote here. Ceresa also prints an inventory of the Faccioti estate made in 1634 after the death of Faccioti’s widow, Maria Zanetti, in which are recorded 244 Grammatiche Emanuelle that “ha fatto stampare la Signora Maria” in the months after Facciotti’s death in late 1632. It does not appear as of this writing in the Italian national union catalog (SBN). The Mazarine Library in Paris, however, does record a 1631 edition printed by Facciotti, so there may be other seventeenth-century editions by him as yet unrecorded. Certainly it would make sense for him to have kept it in print and for his widow to anticipate an ongoing market.

Facciotti's relationship with the Collegio Romano may have been complicated by his quarrel with a bookseller who held a privilege for a version of Alvares published in 1596, a controversy that ended up in court in 1597. See Massimo Ceresa, Una stamperia nella Roma del primo Seicento, Rome, Bulzoni, 2000, p. 19.

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Posted September 30, 2016  9:57 am
0.02 Regionalisms, paragraph 5, replying to Paul Gehl

Correction: As EDIT16 (the online bibliography of sixteenth-century Italian imprints) progresses, we now know of three other editions of Cantalicio’s textbook printed in Perugia. One of these editions is represented in a single surviving copy and the others have two and four known copies each (that is, known to date, of course). This argues further for a local tradition of a schoolmaster or masters in the 1570s and 80s who adopted this textbook, either for its intrinsic value or because of the tradition that Cantalicio had taught at Perugia. Another locality where the text got editions quite late is Florence. Then too, three of the rare surviving copies of the late Perugian editions survive in libraries at Assisi (which is just a few miles from Perugia), suggesting that there may have been a school there which adopted Cantalicio’s textbook some 70 years after his death.

Perhaps because it was a university town, Perugia had a livelier printing scene than one might expect from a small and provincial city. Dennis Rhodes points out (La Bibliofilia 117 (2015), pp. 231-234) that at least two grammar books published there now survive in single copies. That one grammar by the internationally known Giovanni Battista Cantalicio (d. 1515) and another by the obscure Angelo Fino (dates unknown) survive in this way suggests that the city had a micro-market for single editions of such works, presumably created at mid 16th century for a local school. Cantalicio is in fact another example of a Perugian master (he taught grammar there ca. 1488) whose textbooks achieved international status because they were publsihed in Siena, Rome, Venice and elsewhere. The Perugian edition mentioned by Rhodes is the only one known to have been printed there, and it dates from some years after the author's death.

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Posted September 27, 2016  8:25 am
2.12 Replacing the Donat, paragraph 19

Further to Cantalicio (note 76), see: Benedetto Croce, Uomini e cose della vecchia Italia, Serie prima, 2nd ed., Bari, Laterza, 1943, 46-58; Cantalicio’s poems describing classroom life and his students were edited by Croce, “Sulla vita e le opera di Cantalicio, Appunti ed estratti,” Archvio Storico per le Province Napoletane, n.s. 10 (1924), 155-191, esp. 167-173.

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Posted September 22, 2016  9:17 am
7.10 Breaking the Rules, paragraph 8

This wonderful portrait has been attributed to the engraver Giovanni Breit who worked closely with Titian. Since Titian is mentioned in the preface to the book, scholars Giorgio Padoan and Terisio Pignatti argue that the original of the woodcut must have been a drawing or painting by Titian himself. See:Tiziano e Venezia (Vicenza, N. Pozza, 1980), pp 357-369 and figs. 223-226.

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Posted September 22, 2016  9:13 am
2.06 Beyond the Donat, paragraph 4

Dan’s note above makes an important distinction, one that is clearly highlighted in the humanist critiques of Alexander. Further on the matter, see Silvia Rizzo, “Il Valla e il progetto di un nuovo Doctrinale,” Filologia umanistica per Gianvito Resta (Padova, Antenore, 1997), vol. 3, 1583-1612.

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Posted September 1, 2016  8:24 am
7.01 Marketing and Moralizing, paragraph 1

The persistence of this kind of pedagogical thinking is no longer in question. Indeed scholars are more than ever alive and attentive to the existence of the kinds of popular literature and elementary texts that were produced right into the 19th century. A fine example is Alexander Ames’s study of Pennsylvania German Vorschriften, “Quill and Graver Bound,” in Winterthur Portfolio 50 (2016), 1-83

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Posted July 26, 2016  10:19 am
6.00 CHAPTER SIX: Vernacular Literacy, Commercial Education, and How To Do Stuff, whole page

Somehow I missed this string back in 2009 – 2010. I hope that, as readers went along beyond this admittedly rather artificial transition, they discovered the link with humanism, namely that all these popularizing books derived more or less directly from humanist textbooks (yes, even for elementary maths), and that the translation of such elitist knowledge into the public sphere through print was in fact a critical problem faced by humanist educators.

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Posted July 26, 2016  9:46 am
0.01 Humanism in Crisis, whole page

It will be clear from this section that my approach to humanism in this book is largely commercial. As comments here and again at the end of the book (in chapter 8) reveal, however, this is only a partial view, and many scholars take exception to my emphases. The recent republication of Maury Feld’s several essays on early printing remind me that he presented a richly nuanced view of the commercial dimensions of humanism (very limited in his view) in a series of essays that appeared in the Harvard Library Bulletin. See now, however, M.D. Feld, Printing and Humanism in Renaissance Italy: Essays in the Revival of the Pagan Gods (Rome: Roma nel Rinascimento, 2015), especially pp. 176-181, i.e. the section of chapter 6 headed, “Cottage Enterprise — Court Enterprise.”

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Posted July 12, 2016  2:17 pm
1.13 More and More Advertising, paragraph 2, replying to ddreezee

There is a whole section on this below: see section 7:07

I've seen a couple of Aldus' books before, his mark is so unique it creates a genius marketing scheme for little effort.

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Posted May 2, 2016  3:57 pm
1.08 Less Than Folio, paragraph 3, replying to ddreezee

Partly I think it was just a matter of national traditions in publishing, some of which were derived from manuscript usage –this was certainly the case with the Italian folios, a humanistic form. North of the Alps it was more common to see all kinds of schoolbooks in smaller formats.

Is there a reason they didn't show themselves as often in Italy?

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Posted May 2, 2016  3:56 pm
1.11 Can You Sell Philology?, whole page, replying to dk

Glad to hear it! This started out to be a traditional scholarly monograph, but when we set it up for online reading, we tried to make it possible for readers to mover around.

I'm reading this as a participant in a history course taught by Dr. Stevens at UNR. Just wanted to second the sentiment in the comment above. It might be interesting to see the hermeneutic circle mapped.

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Posted May 2, 2016  3:52 pm
General Comments, whole page

Hi, Jemy. Your notes are good ones, all things we need to put on a list for an eventual revision of the site. Humanism For Sale was published in 2008 with off-the-shelf software dating from 2006 or so, and so it is way out of date nowadays. The hand-held devices we use so much today didn’t exist then, so it is no surprise the site does not work well in those formats.

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Posted May 2, 2016  8:42 am
3.05 Urban Schools, Urban Patrons, paragraph 4

Innovation is never quite this radical in the fifteenth century and even less so in conservative areas like language teaching. While it is true that printing had the potential to standardize instruction across schools and whole regions, that happened only slowly and certainly did not come to fruition in Mancinelli’s lifetime. Moreover, Mancinelli never abandoned his humanist ideals. He was happy to adopt the new technology, but I think it was pretty much impossible for someone in his generation to make a radical break with the ideals he inherited from earlier humanists.

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Posted February 9, 2016  1:21 pm
1.15 Design in Decline, paragraph 6

Mosley’s articles on “dabbbing,” the process of reproducing woodcuts in metal have appeared more recently on his blog and in a newly revised form in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society, n..s. no. 23 (2015), 73-75.

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Posted February 8, 2016  3:43 pm
3.01 A Teacher in Print, paragraph 3

Hi, Elizabeth. You see the tension correctly , I think, but there is another dimension too that is harder for us to recreate because it does not count for as much in our world as in Mancinelli’s. In his day, the intellectual would have automatically distinguished himself from a manual worker. Printing was hard, dirty work that merely reproduced on paper the difficult, creative and largely mental labor of the scholar.

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Posted February 4, 2016  3:38 pm
3.02 Advertising Oneself, paragraph 3, replying to juliaschaller44

I think it is interesting too, Julia, not only because it does reflect fairly widespread complaints about printers and publishers who hijack an author’s intent or misrepresnt his text, but also in this case because Pellisson is writing in the 1520s, when the benefits and dangers of going to press should have been obvious to most authors. It is speculation on my part, but I suspect that in this case Pellisson (still in his 20s) was flattered that a printer would want to publsih his text and let it go to press without careful supervision.

This is an interesting anecdote. It is important to acknowledge life before the printing press and the true impact it had on people. It's interesting that Jean Pellisson did not realize the grand implications of allowing his work to be published. The fact that he regretted that decision because he felt insecure about his content now that a larger population would be reading his work is significant. Are there many other sources/anecdotes of writers during this time who felt similarly? Did other writers feel more insecure about their area of expertise now that more of the world would be reading if their works was to be published?

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Posted February 4, 2016  1:50 pm
3.02 Advertising Oneself, paragraph 1, replying to Stephanie

The opposition was never quite as sharp as this, Stephanie. Historical scholarship on the importance of the religious dimension of Renaissance humanism has varied a lot over the years, but in recent decades we have come to realize that many humanists were pretty content with traditional religious values and even strictures. I think the essential novelty of humanism was not to judge truth or human value solely on religious grounds, but to admit to other sources of truth and to argue for a kind of natural morality that does not depend on religion for validation or even guidance. This is not to say there were no more radical and even anti-religious humanists, merely that there were many who did not see much conflict at all between humanist and religious morality. Mancinelli clearly stands at this, more conservative end of the spectrum.

Your point about the relation between text, the author, and moral character is intriguing and essential to the study of humanism. This triadic relation shows to what extent humanists tried to produce perfected works. This idealistic view places a lot of pressure on the humanist individual. It seems somewhat ironic because literature at this time was supposed to be a source of free thinking and an outlet for thinkers to come and express views that were opposing the Church. Relating Christian moral values to such works seems contrary to the goal of humanism: to focus on how aspects such as intelligence and nature influences the individual as opposed to how God influences the individual.

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Posted February 4, 2016  1:42 pm
3.18 Grammatical Publishing at the Turn of the Century, whole page

You draw a useful comparison with Montaigne, Lily. An important thing to remember, however, is that Montaigne was born thirty years after Mancinelli’s death, and the first edition of his Essays came out only in 1580, fully a hundred years after Mancinelli’s first publications. Montaigne represents a highly developed version of humanism, strongly secularizing and literary, and aimed at adult readers. Mancinelli was a teacher, devout and religiously conformist, with rather more limited goals for his readers, who were after all mostly students.

There isn’t much evidence that Mancinelli encouraged conversation of the reforming sort that Montaigne presented as an ideal. Mancinelli clearly thought he was teaching ethics along with grammar, but he was doing so –expressly– by making his students master the content of salutary texts.

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Posted February 4, 2016  1:34 pm
2.05 Red and Black, paragraph 6

I think you are right that this typographic style is a marketing device, and that it probably has to do with a sense of the psychology of the young student, who needs to be enticed into working hard at difficult subject like Latin. It is important to remember, however, that then as now, students didn’t choose their own textbooks, so the marketing was by publishers (and sometimes textbook authors) to teachers who adopted the texts.

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Posted February 4, 2016  1:25 pm
3.11 Presenting Cicero, Fixing Lorenzo Valla, paragraph 4, replying to Hannah.M.Adair

You are pointing to a crucial matter of the new economy of print, Hannah, in that a second or subsequent edition of a base text that has been reworked by a new editor or commentator is offering what we would call “added value” on the marketplace. This is new to printing, made possible by the way in which books in sizable editions compete for customers. Just in this case, of scholarly work on Valla, authors like Erasmus and Mancinelli were attempting to profit (whether materially or just in prestige) from a humanist text that had already become a classic.

Several of your classmates have pointed to the matter of scholarly controversy and argumentation. This is another case where printing really made a difference, since a given argument could get a very wide audience through print.

As for “clean” texts, that is important only if the text is authoritative in some way, so the editions of classics got reworked over and over in the search for a better understanding of the original author’s language and intent.

I find that you bring up an interesting point here about the credibility of literature recreation, but also the individualism that is present within the recreations themselves. You bring into question the reliability of Mancinelli. If we compare his works to others like Erasmus or Montaigne, do we see that there is discrepancies among all of them? In addition, there is an interesting point brought up about the comments and references made in the margins. The idea that you not only buy the literature for the content of the creator, but for the content provided to you by the scholar. It is truly the 15th century version of "peer-reviewed" in a sense. Also, that those comments could be lost in "translation" and recreation during printing we bring into question the importance of content versus the method used to diffuse the content. Was printing a clean version more important than the content provided in the first?

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Posted February 4, 2016  12:33 pm
3.05 Urban Schools, Urban Patrons, paragraph 3

Hi, Emily. I don’t think there is an either-or here. Good teachers adopt the best textbooks, and though there are many other things that go into marketing textbooks, class is not very overtly one of them. Certainly, private tuition was restricted to the wealthy –either aristocrats or well-to-do merchant families– but the teacher will use the texts that best fits his/her students’ needs. What differs is that a private tutor can use pretty much any text, manuscript or printed, and tailor the curriculum closely to one or two students, while a schoolmaster is going to find distinct advantages in using printed texts that are designed for use by many students in a single classroom.

To your other point, Montaigne-style reflective reading and meditation, this was an ideal for most humanists, but it is largely a goal for intermediate and advanced students, not for grammar school kids.

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Posted February 4, 2016  11:23 am
0.04 Moralizing Pedagogy, paragraph 6, replying to Dan Sheerin

I don’t know why it occurs to me to reply only now (five years after Dan’s thoughtful comment) — maybe I am just being deliberate, as admonished by the source texts here. I think he is right in pointing to manners as the immediate dimension of morality that classroom subjects address. But I think that ancient, medieval, and Renaissance thinkers generally saw morality as a continuum that ran uninterruptedly from table manners to moral decision making. Moreover, this continuum or spectrum of behaviors crossed through language learning, thus the power of Latin study to inculcate good habits along the way and the importance of good manners of all sorts to the orderly learning of language.

A good argument could be made, I think, that the mores taught elementary & intermediate education, although often a matter of morality (in the modern sense), was as much or even more a matter of manners (> motto attributed to William of Wyckham (d1404): “Manners maketh man.”), and was not so much an education in moral decision making (an expression suggestive of casuistry), as an education in proper behavior. This education in proper behavior had, to be sure, a moral component, but it was very much concerned with correct behaviors and the astute management of social, political, and business relationships.

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Posted September 23, 2015  2:35 pm
4.08 Advertising Grammar Books, paragraph 10

By contrast to this Italian reader’s interest in philological errors (especially those of his countrymen), the reader (probably German) of a copy of the Art of Verse (Spauter 1512) now at the Newberry Library has marked up the preface with notes that mostly display interest in Spauter’s rhetorical ability to skewer his adversaries with pointed insults. Treatises on verse were often marked up with indexes that helped their owners use vocabulary correctly and effectively in their own verse; this reader was clearly interested in prose rhetoric as well.

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Posted September 11, 2015  3:01 pm
3.01 A Teacher in Print, whole page

Just arrived on my desk and destined to give us a better, more comprehensive view of Mancinelli’s career is this book:
Dugald McLellan, Antonio Mancinelli ad Orvieto, maestro comunale, pubblico intellettuale e interprete delle Muse, Velletri, Centro Studi “Antonio Mancinelli” and Tivoli, Edizioni TORED, 2014.

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Posted June 1, 2015  1:26 pm
3.02 Advertising Oneself, paragraph 6

On Mancinelli’s self-advertisements and his forthright rhetoric in addressing his public, see McLellan, “Spreading the Word,” cit. at section 3.01/para. 9, p. 295.

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Posted May 11, 2015  4:55 pm
3.13 Midlife, paragraph 3

On Rossi and Mancinelli’s other Venetian patrons, see McLellan, “Spreading the Word,” cit. at section 3.01 above, p. 298.

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Posted May 11, 2015  4:49 pm
3.14 Late Works, paragraph 1

On Mancinelli’s dedications in this period, see now McLellan, “Spreading the Word,” cit at section 3.01/para 9, p. 300.

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Posted May 11, 2015  4:45 pm
5.01 Syntax Sells, Somewhat, paragraph 5

To note (1) here, add now Robert Black, “Teaching Techniques,” cit. at section 2.01 above, pp. 257-263, who shows evidence of the gradual displacement of medieval examples by classical ones in grammars produced in Tuscany.

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Posted May 11, 2015  4:38 pm
2.01 Learning Reading / Learning Latin, paragraph 4

Robert Black has returned to this theme in “Teaching Techniques, the Evidence of Manuscript Schoolbooks Produced in Tuscany,” in The Classics in the Medieval and Renaissance Classroom, ed. by Juanita Feros Ruys et al. (Turnhout, Brepols, 2013), 245-265.

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Posted May 11, 2015  4:02 pm
3.01 A Teacher in Print, paragraph 9

A new exploration of the relationship of Mancinelli’s pedagogy to print is Dugald McLellan, “Spreading the Word: Antonio Mancinelli, the Printing Press, and the Teaching of the Studia humanitatis,” in The Classics in the Medieval and Renaissance Classroom, ed. by Juanita Feros Ruys et al. (Turnhout, Brepols, 2013), 287-308.

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Posted May 11, 2015  3:57 pm
5.07 Resistance is Futile, paragraph 2

The vicissitudes of the grammar of Alvarez in Spain are now recounted in important detail by Rolf Kemmler (2012, art. cit. at section 5.00), 155-174. I am grateful to Dr. Kemmler for communicating his research results to me.

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Posted October 30, 2014  11:00 am
1.16 Vocabulary Drills and General Rules, paragraph 3

Composition as an essential part of the humanist project is treated at length in Ann Moss, Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn (Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 60-86.

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Posted June 12, 2014  8:43 am
0.02 Regionalisms, paragraph 5

Maturanzio’s international influence is also documented by Ann Moss, Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn (Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 200-205

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Posted June 12, 2014  8:33 am
0.01 Humanism in Crisis, paragraph 10

Further on the Candelaio, see now: Hilary Gatti, “Giordano Bruno’s Candelaio and Possible Echoes in Shakespeare and Ben Jonson,” in Viator 43, no. 2 (2012): 356-375, esp. 359-362.

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Posted February 26, 2014  2:41 pm
6.18 Humanist Music Education, paragraph 1

On Glarean, see now: Heinrich Glarean’s Books: The Intellectual World of a Sixteenth-Century Musical Humanist, ed. Iain Fenlon and Inga Mai Groote, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

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Posted September 26, 2013  2:01 pm
7.02 Authors and Audiences, paragraph 7

Yes, that’s true. But the regional variations were even wider than just education. Keep in mind that most emblem books at most periods and in most places were not tied closely either to formal education or to schools. They were intended for personal reading, meditation, and enjoyment. They were most often connected to schools in Northern Europe, especially in the Low Countries and Germany, and the Jesuits (see section 13 below) particularly used them.

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Posted May 13, 2013  10:16 am
7.15 Italians Out of Step, paragraph 1

An excellent and highly original new account of the Italian impresa tradition and the ways in which it developed independently of the larger European emblem is provided by Susan Gaylard in Hollow Men: Writing, Objects, and Public Image in Renaissance Italy, New York, Fordham U. Press, 2013, chapter five. She also discusses academy emblems at length.

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Posted April 10, 2013  9:44 am
0.05 Seen and Not Heard, paragraph 1, replying to katiegirvan

You are pointing to something that educational reformers were campaigning for in exactly this period, but it took a long time for visual learning to become a really widespread ideal. The popularity of emblems –which were not originally intended for young people– probably helped promote this kind of thinking among educators.

Interesting! I bet the the utilization of visual models in textbooks made them much easier to understand and aided many students who performed better with visual representations rather than just text.

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Posted March 11, 2013  2:51 pm
7.05 Emblem Books, paragraph 1, replying to Courtney K.

Well, in general before the twentieth century, students were invited to conform to communitarian ideals, just because notions of individual freedom were not so well developed then. But I bet if you look at your textbooks today –think back to high school– you would find that you were more often being encouraged to “be good” than to do wholly original thinking.

It's interesting to see here an appreciation for conformity, especially from teachers, when in the context of standard textbook (and, more broadly, humanism) it was individuality that they were embracing. I imagine this speaks to the unique usage of emblem books?

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Posted March 11, 2013  2:48 pm
0.08 Graphics Too, paragraph 2, replying to Esme Faneuff

Actually, early modern people saw books as instruments or tools and that meant they felt very free to mark them up –both for their personal use and for the use of other people who would use them. One by-product of the relative scarcity of books was that many individuals would often use a single book, either together or across time. My personal favorites are brothers and sisters, parents and children who put their names in a single books, sometimes across several generations.

I am surprised to learn that even in the very beginning of the history of books the owners would mark them and draw in them. I am surprised because I would assume that people of this era would be more respectful towards this new technology, and want to preserve their new purchase. Perhaps doodling has always been and always will be a common pastime of the student in class.

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Posted March 11, 2013  2:44 pm
0.03 Some Perils of Generalization, paragraph 5, replying to katiegirvan

For Latin schoolbooks, which is my primary subject in this section, there are several terms (like “rudimenta,” which I mention here, or “manuale”) that should indicate elementary texts, but they simply aren’t used regularly, especially early on. This specific kind of description of intended audience is usually included later on in the title or in a preface or introduction where it will specify “for boys” or “for young people.” I discuss this further in chapter six, at 6.07 and 6.19

Although there was no uniform vocabulary to describe textbooks, were there some areas that attempted standardization of textbook vocabulary?

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Posted March 11, 2013  2:40 pm
7.02 Authors and Audiences, whole page, replying to Esme Faneuff

Typically the emblems are woodcut in the earliest examples and engraved in later ones. Woodcuts are printed in the same form as type; engravings have to be printed separately, usually before the text, on a different type or press.

Technically speaking, how would the printer put emblems into books? Were the emblems hand drawn each time? Or was there a way to make an identical image each time with a stamp or block print? What kind of technologies developed to make emblem usage easier and faster?

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Posted March 11, 2013  2:34 pm
0.08 Graphics Too, paragraph 3

Well, yes, it is “my job” I suppose, but at a certain point you have to admit that you don’t have enough evidence to give a solid answer and then give it up! Or else you speculate — and label it as such.

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Posted March 11, 2013  10:52 am
7.06 Reading Emblems Every Day, paragraph 4

Marginalia are common in medieval books and in printed books from the start. The notion that you should NOT write in a book is relatively modern. Interestingly, however, relatively few emblem books that I have seen get annotations–perhaps because they tend to be smallish volumes with fairly crowded pages already, and maybe because the beauty of the design discouraged people.

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Posted March 11, 2013  10:47 am
7.05 Emblem Books, paragraph 2, replying to Emma Tolkin

Good question, Emma. In fact the meditative style of reading was inherited from the ancient world, and was probably applied to works of art as well as texts. It certainly applied to texts that described works of art (the way emblems do). A good book on the subject is Mary Carruthers, The Book of Memory.

Was this “leisurely, Latinate sort of reading and study” viewed with more respect by scholars than quick reference books? If so, did this have to do with new conceptions about time, or has the value of lengthy study been around since antiquity?

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Posted March 11, 2013  10:44 am
0.07 The Case of Francesco Negro, whole page

There is not much literature on Negro, but there is a brief account of his use of the vernacular in Brian Richardson, “Latin and Italian in Contact in Some Renaissance Grammars,” in Rethinking Languages in Contact, the Case of Italian (London, Legenda, 2006), 28-42, at 30-31. Richardson also cites an article unknown to me at the time of this writing by Giovanni Mercati, “Pescennio Francesco Negro Veneto,” in Ultimi contributi alla stora degli umanisti (Vatican City, 1939).

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Posted November 26, 2012  4:04 pm
2.06 Beyond the Donat, paragraph 5

Further on Boccardo, usually called by his self-assigned Greek name Pilade or Pylades, see now Simone Signaroli, “Plauto nel cimento della filologia umanistica,” in Viaggi di testi e di libri, ed. by Valentina Grobhovaz, Udine, Forum, 2011, pp. 95-100.

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Posted May 31, 2012  2:31 pm
7.08 Trademarks Good or Bad?, whole page, replying to annirdmn

You are certainly right to point to the fact that this is a continuing issue, both in print and in the new media environment. Every time we encounter something without a trademark or brand name we recognize, we have to evaluate it for ourselves. The task is even trickier online, where branding is particularly weak and where content creators do not always cite their sources.

I found it really interesting to read about how an imprint can actually be self-explaining, when we know the meaning and quality of it. It is also interesting how printers' marks are later being used as reputations or symbols and basically sell the book, because the symbol is right on the front on the title page. I feel like the reader has to sort out, whether the book is a shoddy book or a good book, or rely on other opinions, this is how culture changes.

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Posted November 29, 2011  2:32 pm
7.02 Authors and Audiences, paragraph 1, replying to Chen JS

Yes, as you note, devices on title pages preceded the formal emblem. However, the two title pages you point to in the last chapter are different from each other, and might be worth looking back at, since they may explicate the form. The title page in 6.18 has a true emblem (pictorial object with motto –actually two mottoes– that complement the picture without solving the puzzle). The title page in 6.19, by contrast, is a narrative scene, the Annunciation to the Virgin, without motto or any particular puzzle dimension.

Just saw the answer in the next paragraph.

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Posted November 28, 2011  5:09 pm
7.04 Visualizing the Text, paragraph 4, replying to Hela

The essence of the emblem is that it is a puzzle, so in the first instance there is rarely a key or solution. Alciati originally didn’t even give a picture, just the poerm. As the genre evolved, however, some of the more popular collections were issued in annotated editions where there would be a commentary on each emblem that would solve the puzzle or at least explicate the several dimensions of it.

Did the authors of a emblem ever provide a sort of "key interpretation" of their emblem?

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Posted November 28, 2011  11:13 am
7.04 Visualizing the Text, paragraph 4, replying to Alexandra

The particular thing about emblems, of course, is that they were deliberately devised as puzzles, so the reader was made to work and there was always room for multiple interpretations. Many other books of the period had a kind of illustrative scheme that we would recognize more easily, with key scenes or characters presented by way of helping the reader visualize the narrative.

So interesting to see how images were integrated into books at this time (and how they confused the meaning of the text--I've definitely seen examples of that!)

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Posted October 11, 2011  10:20 am
0.03 Some Perils of Generalization, paragraph 3, replying to Abby Jordan

You are pointing to a commonplace in textbook history, that these books were literally used to pieces. But I also think we overstress this point too much. We still have a chance to find more examples. Just in the last ten years or so, copies of editions we did not know about (or did not know survived) have turned up, because librarians are cataloging online and their records show up internationally to be recognized by scholars. And we are far from having full cataloging still for many European libraries, especially those in small towns or private institutions.

It's intriguing to think that a whole slew of textbooks could have existed that we simply don't know about. It's interesting to wonder where all these resources could have gone, since they no longer exist, while it seems as if something that was used in such a wide area should have had a better survival rate.

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Posted October 7, 2011  9:30 am
0.02 Regionalisms, paragraph 4

As I go on to describe below, especially in chapter 5, both the content and the style of presentation were sometimes deliberately archaic. It is not exactly like buying antiques today, however, since the products were intended for immediate practical use. Not even like a modern printer opting for old-fashioned wooden type –that is practical, but not offered as the ideal model for modern printing.

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Posted October 7, 2011  9:25 am
1.12 Lazzaro Soardi's Mixed Messages, paragraph 11, replying to jstrom

You guessed it! The orb surmounted by a single or double cross is a commonplace mark in Italian presses of the first century and it often bears the initials of the printer or publisher. Olschki imitated the style and since they have the same initials as Soardi, the resemblance is striking. I don’t remember exactly what the O stands in Soardi’s mark, but you can look it up in G. Zappella’s guide to Italian printer’s marks, published in 1986 –but not by Olschki.

I am intrigued by Soardi's logo on these pages, as it appears to be the same logo as Leo. S. Olschki Editore. Do you have any sense of why there might be this commonality (according to the Olschki website they were only established in 1886)? Is this a common logo (with varying letters, perhaps), that Olschki may have just taken up?

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Posted September 20, 2011  5:41 pm
1.12 Lazzaro Soardi's Mixed Messages, paragraph 3

I did not say anything about the colored border in the text here, but I should perhaps remark that it is not part of Soardi’s original design. This copy at the Newberry Library has touches of green on many of the borders, probably added by an early reader –maybe even a bookseller–who wanted to add to the charm of Soardi’s original.

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Posted September 2, 2011  9:46 am
2.15 Printing the Cato, paragraph 1

On the general issue of how pedagogy changed in response to printing, see Baldzuhn 2009 (cited in comment to para 12 below), 115-134.

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Posted May 9, 2011  8:55 am
2.15 Printing the Cato, paragraph 11

To note 90: see also Michael Baldzuhn, Schulbuecherr im Trivium des Mittelalters und der Fruehen Neuzeit, Berlin & New York, Walter De Gruyter, 2009, esp. pp. 90-105.

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Posted May 9, 2011  8:39 am
0.02 Regionalisms, paragraph 5

Further on Maturanzio, see now the contribution of Erminia Irace and Maria Alessandra Panzanelli Fratoni in Maestri, insegnanti e libri a Perugia, Milano, Skira, 2009, pp. 138-143, including illustrations of books with his notes an commentaries.

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Posted January 24, 2011  2:44 pm
4.17 Imported Geographies, Italian Packages, paragraph 1

A good, microscopic look at a geography textbook market outside Italy in our period is Urs B. Leu, “Textbooks and Their Uses, an Insight into the Teaching of Geography in 16th Century Zurich,” in Scholarly Knowledge. Textbooks in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Emidio Campi et al., Geneva, Librairie Droz, 2008, 229-248

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Posted January 4, 2011  11:25 am
0.08 Graphics Too, whole page

Some important observations on annotation in school books may be found in Susan Forscher Weiss, ”Vandals, Students, or Scholars? Handwritten Clues in Renaissance Music Textbooks,” in Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Indiana University Press, 2010, pp.207-246, esp.213-236.

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Posted January 4, 2011  10:59 am
6.16 Teaching Music Theory and Practice, paragraph 11

For the importance of illustration in music textbooks, see now: Susan Forscher Weiss,”Vandals, Students, or Scholars? Handwritten Clues in Renaissance Music Textbooks,” in Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Indiana University Press, 2010, pp.207-246, esp. 208-214.

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Posted January 4, 2011  10:35 am
6.19 Professionals or Amateurs?, whole page

On books for learning instrumental music, see now: John Griffiths, “Juan Bermudo, , Self-Instruction, and the Amateur Instrumentalist,” in Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Indiana University Press, 2010, pp. 126-137.

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Posted January 4, 2011  10:27 am
3.15 Collecting Himself, paragraph 6

EDIT16, CNCE34403 describes an ideal copy of the Tacuino Opera omnia of 1507 as consisting of eight fascicles dated variously from February 1507 to June 1508. Many surviving copies, however, have other groupings of variously dated fascicles.

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Posted December 19, 2010  7:45 pm
3.08 Scholarly Work, paragraph 8

An example of how Mancinelli’s Horace commentary was already employed by a professor at the University of Leipzig within Mancinelli’s lifetime is given by Kristian Jensen, “Exporting and Importing Italian Humanism,” Italia medioevale e umanistica 45 (2004), 437-497, at 471ff.

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Posted December 14, 2010  12:42 pm
0.02 Regionalisms, paragraph 6

When this paragraph was written (in 2008), the Donatus diligenter recognitus that Briana probably used in this school was known in a single edition. As of this writing (December 2010), EDIT16 shows four separate editions all known in single copies. By 1570s it was styled et nuperrime auctus and remained in print in the shop of Briani’s publishers until after 1590.

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Posted December 12, 2010  9:11 am
6.17 Poor Churchfolk, paragraph 2

A summary of the contents of Bonaventura’s book is given by James Haar in Music Education 2010, 6-9, cited in a comment to a the previous section.

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Posted December 1, 2010  3:29 pm
6.16 Teaching Music Theory and Practice, whole page

An important new collection of essays on music teaching is Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. by Russell E. Murray, Susan F. Weiss, and Cynthia J. Cyrus, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press, 2010.

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Posted December 1, 2010  3:26 pm
3.07 Off to Rome, paragraph 3

See F. Lazzari and M. Lozzi, Gli epigrammi di Antonio Mancinelli, Velletri, 2009, 27-31 and passim, who explicate the patrons of Mancinelli, especially at Rome, in some detail, based on a close reading of the epigrams published in 1503.

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Posted November 29, 2010  3:42 pm
3.14 Late Works, paragraph 5

Further on the epigrams, see now the facsimile of the first edition with introduction and translation by Franco Lazzari and Mario Lozzi, Gli epigrammi di Antonio Mancinelli, Velletri, Centro Studi ‘Antonio Mancinelli’, 2009. The authors argue convincingly (pp. 26-29) that Mancinelli’s preferment at Orvieto in 1495 and his subsequent return to teaching at Rome resulted from his successful cultivation of Cesare Borgia.

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Posted November 29, 2010  10:34 am
7.13 Jesuit Emblems, whole page

Also useful, the several essays in a section on ‘Teaching of Emblematics’ in: The Jesuits and the Emblem Tradition, Turnhout, Brepols, 1999. None of these essays concern Italian schools.

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Posted July 27, 2010  4:21 pm
2.15 Printing the Cato, paragraph 2

On the linking of Cato and Donat, see now also Federica Ciccolella, Donati Graeci, Learning Greek in the Renaissance, Leiden, Brill, 2008, 52-54.

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Posted July 22, 2010  9:55 am
2.04 Printing the Donat, paragraph 2

See now also Federica Ciccolella, Donati Graeci, Learning Greek in the Renaissance, Leiden, Brill, 2008, 47-54.

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Posted July 22, 2010  9:48 am
2.03 Pseudo-Donatus, paragraph 4

See now also Federica Ciccolella, Donati Graeci, Learning Greek in the Renaissance, Leiden, Brill, 2008, who gives a very thorough account of the Latin Donatus. On the Ianua, see especially pp. 20-46.

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Posted July 22, 2010  9:46 am
3.08 Scholarly Work, paragraph 4

Some useful observations on the nature of the typically highly diffuse, repetitive, and extensive humanist commentaries are to be found in Manlio Pastore Stocchi, “Sull’utilita` attuale dei commenti umanistici ai classici,” in Intorno al testo. Tipologie del corredo esegetico e soluzioni editoriali (Rome: Salerno Editrice, 2003), pp. 173-193, esp. 178-180.

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Posted June 29, 2010  10:22 am
0.06 Voices Nonetheless, paragraph 2

This image shows one of the internal title pages to the Opera omnia of Mancinelli published at Venice in 1518. Each fascicle contained one or two short works and they could be purchased separately, so a title page like this was an advertisement for the work in this pamphlet. The first paragraph here dedicates the work to a prominent citizen of Mancinelli’s home town, and to his son, one of Mancinelli’s students. The six-line poem that follows is addressed to the student and tells him what this textbook will help him learn.

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Posted June 18, 2010  10:49 am
0.06 Voices Nonetheless, whole page

An important new study of editorial paratexts is Marco Paoli, La dedica, storia di una strategia editoriale, Lucca, Maria Pacini Fazzi, 2009.

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Posted June 18, 2010  10:43 am
1.07 Illustrating Terence, paragraph 3, replying to Paul F. Gehl

Further on this style of select-moment illustrations, See S.K. Heninger 1994 (full citation at section 1.04 para 4), 44-46.

Not really, since I do not read them as teasing the reader to look for the fun in the plays. They seem more mnemonic in function. The scenes chosen seem to represent those in which there is a significant change in the number of characters on stage, or entrances of new characters.

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Posted May 22, 2010  8:43 pm
1.04 Printing and the Canon, paragraph 2

Further on the publishing tradition of Ovid, see S.K. Heninger, “Early Book Illustration and Narrative Closure, the Case of Ovid’s Metamorphoses,” in Cultural Exchange between European Nations during the Renaissance (Uppsala, 1994), 41-68.

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Posted May 22, 2010  8:37 pm
5.06 Addressing the Teachers, paragraph 3

Facciotti’s relationship with the Collegio Romano may have been complicated by his quarrel with a bookseller who held a privilege for a version of Alvares published in 1596, a controversy that ended up in court in 1597. See Massimo Ceresa, Una stamperia nella Roma del primo Seicento, Rome, Bulzoni, 2000, p. 19.

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Posted May 6, 2010  3:04 pm
2.04 Printing the Donat, paragraph 2

Like many useful grammars, the Donatus melior did get occasional printings long after it would seem to have been outdated. Guglielmo Facciotti printed it as late as 1628 in Rome along with a matching edition of the Regulae constructionis. See Massimo Ceresa, Una stamperia nella Roma del primo Seicento : annali tipografici di Guglielmo Facciotti ed eredi, 1592-1640, Rome, Bulzoni, 2000, p. 220 for a description of the copies at the Vallicelliana library in Rome.

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Posted May 6, 2010  2:51 pm
1.05 Terence in Manuscript, paragraph 7

On Giovanni Britannico, see now the important study by Simone Signaroli, Maestri e tipografi a Brescia, Brescia, 2009. On pp. 183-189 he edits two of Britannico’s early prefaces.

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Posted April 4, 2010  3:39 pm
2.07 Guarino Guarini of Verona, paragraph 9

To note 33, there is a good summary of Pilade’s career in Simone Signaroli’s Maestri e tipografi a Brescia, Brescia, 2009, 64-73, which explicates the extensive network of patronage behind this humanist’s participation in controversies over philology.

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Posted April 4, 2010  3:34 pm
0.02 Regionalisms, paragraph 7

To the literature on the Brescian case cited in note 16, see now: Simone Signaroli, Maestri e tipografi a Brescia (1471-1519), Travagliato-Brescia, 2009, 35-37.

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Posted March 28, 2010  7:42 am
6.10 Down-Market Handwriting Books, paragraph 6

Unknown to me at the time of writing, there is also another small Verini booklet (not reported in my bibliography yet because I have not seen it). This appears to be a commercial arithmetic, though with a typical-for-Verini ambiguous, jocose title: Specchio del mercantante: libro de abaco et gioco di memoria. The unique recorded copy (EDIT16:CNCE58079) is at the Trivulziana library in Milan.

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Posted February 28, 2010  7:16 am
0.08 Graphics Too, whole page

The brief discussion of annotation in this section is not intended to minimize the importance of such evidence for many kinds of book history, merely to suggest that there are particular cautions to be observed in the case of textbooks. The best synthetic study of marks in books, confined to English examples but useful methodologically for all, is William Sherman’s Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).

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Posted December 27, 2009  10:12 am
5.10 A View from Outside, paragraph 9

A good brief overview in English of the reception accorded the Jesuits, especially in university towns, is now available in the introduction to Paul F. Grendler’s The University of Mantua, the Gonzaga, and the Jesuits, Baltimore, Hopkins, 2009, 16-23.

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Posted December 11, 2009  9:57 am
7.03 Emblem as Machine, whole page, replying to Leviathan « Deviant Forms

For those unfamiliar with blogging, this comment is a link to John Vincler’s thoughtful and provocative blog about art and books, “Deviant Forms.” In addition to some notes on emblems, with specific reference to the title page of Leviathan, at this link, you can find John’s musing about a variety of contemporary and historical artistic books.

[...] about this section on emblems. Initially, I wasn’t convinced that your earlier description of “Emblem as Machine” (7.03) analogy made sense or, more likely, I felt I was missing something. As I got to thinking about the [...]

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Posted November 17, 2009  10:36 am
1.07 Illustrating Terence, whole page

It should be noted that the tradition of illustrating the classics, both in original-lanugage editions and in translation, remained much stronger in Northern Europe than in Italy through most of the early modern period. Italian humanists in this regard were more conservative and text-oriented than comparable humanists north of the Alps. A good example of Northern humanist love of illustration is Sebastian Brant (1457-1521), on whose career in print, see especially the contributions of Vera Sack in Sebastien Brant, 500e anniversaire de La Nef des Folz, 1494-1994, Das Narren Schyff… (Basel, Christian Merian, 1994), esp. pp. 82-108,

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Posted October 28, 2009  7:36 am
6.14 Ricettari, paragraph 2, replying to Jane Wickersham

I don’t know the answer to this one, Jane. I have never heard seen reference to a case, but I am not up on all the (considerable) literature about prosecutions for magic. It might be something you could keep an eye out for in the kinds of inquisitorial court documents you see in our own research.(I am always surprised where everyday things like textbooks turn up in documents.) But your suggestion that these were slight and unimportant books is also to the point. The sixteenth-century ones are not as concerned with magic as the medieval ones, and the superstitious elements are relatively trivial.

Were ricettari ever censored locally because of quasi-magical content, or were they just too small, cheap, and insignificant to attract notice?

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Posted October 12, 2009  6:02 am
6.12 Catechism and Condescension, paragraph 2, replying to Jane Wickersham

Yes. They often have simple pious woodcuts or (less frequently) classroom scenes. They are frightfully rare, however, and I do not have an example I can show you in a photo. Some sense of the genre may be had by looking at the cuts reproduced in Malaguzzi, cited below.

Just out of curiosity, are these simple pamphlets illustrated? In classes of basic Christian instruction, are there any signs in the pamphlets that there may have been both literate and illiterate pupils sitting side by side?

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Posted October 12, 2009  5:45 am
2.17 Desiderius Erasmus, Ad Man, paragraph 5, replying to Jane Wickersham

You put your finger on the exact point of my “ad man” metaphor, Jane, and its limitations too. Although advertising strategies are clear in the rhetoric of this and many other Erasmian prefaces, it is not always entirely clear whom he was addressing. Certainly he wrote to and for his own circle of humanist friends, but that was preaching to the choir. Effective advertising must also reach a wider audience of book buyers. In this case we have mostly the success of the edition itself (and its frequent reprinting with this exact same preface) as evidence for the wider audience of the advert.

As insufferably elitist as Erasmus could be, did he not have the skills to back it up? Most humanists probably were not quite up to his standard of textual criticism (if I understand Jardine and Rummel correctly). But, as Paul points out, that did put Erasmus in an inherently ironic, and somewhat hilarious, position; selling his skills to those who he might not have considered worthy of them in order to make a living.

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Posted October 12, 2009  5:43 am
7.09 Classroom Title Pages, paragraph 6

As Bill Pettas remarks above in his note to paragraph 5, the notion that Bernardo was rewarded by a noble title is probably a myth.

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Posted September 29, 2009  4:40 am
7.09 Classroom Title Pages, paragraph 5

Thanks, Bill. You are the man with the answers as usual!
So, Ken, this means that the “Nil candidius” motto was devised in 1517, at a moment when Bernardo was still newly in charge of the Giunta house in Florence and when he/they experimented with the mark. The theme of fame is certainly appropriate to Valerius Maximus, where it first appears, but I leave it to you to tell us if Cardinal Giulio is likely to have had any direct influence. Giulio would have been firmly in the saddle as archbishop of Florence, right? And Bernardo would have had every good reason to want to curry favor.

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Posted September 29, 2009  4:37 am
7.09 Classroom Title Pages, paragraph 5, replying to Ken Gouwens

The link might well be there, but I don’t know of any documentary evidence for it, merely the temporal coincidence you mention. I would have to look at the Giunta books in the period very closely to say exactly when the “Nil candidius” was added to their long-standing lily motif. I may just ask Bill Pettas (who published on the Spanish Giunta a few years back and is working on the Italian branches of the family now) to weigh in on this one.

The Giunta Press motto "Nil Candidius" reminds me of Giulio de’ Medici's "Candor Illaesus." given that Bernardo spent time in Florence while Giulio was running the place (from Rome, via Cardinal Passerini et al.), might this be an intentional connection?

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Posted September 28, 2009  1:53 pm
7.16 Conclusion: Schools of Emblematic Thought, paragraph 6, replying to Ken Gouwens

You are right to note that I use it fairly loosely and inclusively. In general I take the whole range from 1450 to 1650, as noted at the very start (section 0.01, with specific reference in footnote 2 to John Marino’s and Chris Celenza’s discussions of periodization). This makes sense in publishing terms since it includes everyone in print from Gutenberg forward, and the fuzzy upward border allows us to include many highly conservative publications that appeared well into the seventeenth century but embodying much earlier educational practice.

The "long sixteenth century" is mentioned a number of times in this book (including here). Do you mean that to refer to the entire two-century period 1450-1650? Or, are you following another scholar's lead in defining a shorter period? If there's a gloss someplace for your use of the term and its justification, I missed it.

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Posted September 27, 2009  10:43 am
6.08 Writing Manuals, paragraph 5, replying to Ken Gouwens

It may well be a coincidence, but there is one concrete link. Clement was well known as a patron of the arts, and Arrighi, then in Rome and in the papal service, specifically compares the skills of a calligrapher to those of a musician. I am reasonably sure he had the numerous musicians of the papal chapel, and papal patronage for new music, in mind when he decided to go to press.

I'm struck by how both math books and handwriting books seem to come of age during the pontificate of Clement VII. Presumably this is just a coincidence. In any case, one has to feel for anyone who hoped that the disastrous papal jubilee of 1525 would be key to his publishing success.

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Posted September 26, 2009  5:13 pm
3.14 Late Works, paragraph 2, replying to Ken Gouwens

It may be included in the ISTC CDs coming out from the British Library, but hey, there is a copy for sale right now from a Florence bookseller for just 750 Euros!

This sounds like a useful and diverting phrase book, perhaps in content somewhere between Giuseppe Fumagalli's _Ape Latina_ and Georg Capellanus's _Facetiae Latinae_. Any idea if it's available on microfilm, etc.?

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Posted September 26, 2009  4:06 pm
4.15 Itineraries, paragraph 4, replying to Ken Gouwens

Thanks, Ken. See my note to your comment and Diana’s at 4.14. It was once part of chapter 6, and maybe it really belongs there still.

This is fascinating, but by the end of the chapter I found myself in full agreement with Diana's comment at its beginning. Does this chapter really belong here? Perhaps better to suppress most of it to an appendix (and, in time, publish it in expanded form as a separate article)?

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Posted September 26, 2009  4:03 pm
4.14 Geographical Fiction and Fact, whole page, replying to Ken Gouwens

Interesting. This may be a good example of how writing for the screen needs to be radically different from writing for the page. It is true that the last portion of this chapter once stood elsewhere in the planned monograph and that this is a stitched-in transition, but –as one might expect in a print monograph– the presence of this section here is anticipated already in sections 4.00 and 4.01. Still, in an electronic book, you cannot easily, and do not expect to be able to, flip quickly back and forth through a chapter to pick up a lost thread. And so the transition may need more prepping here, especially when I have two of my most sophisticated readers telling me the same thing!

I too missed the transition here upon first reading. Perhaps put justification for the chapter up front (i.e., at the start of 4.14)?

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Posted September 26, 2009  4:01 pm
2.17 Desiderius Erasmus, Ad Man, paragraph 1, replying to ChristinaL

No question about it, Erasmus was writing for the ages!

"...it will be a useful moral reference life-long, both because it will be memorized in part and again because it would become a pocket book for future consultation." Would writers of this time have written for their contemporaries only, or would they have expected their work to be consulted by many future generations as well?

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Posted September 23, 2009  4:45 pm
0.02 Regionalisms, paragraph 1, replying to Lauren Madak

This is an interesting question, Lauren: one that has not been written about very much. One place you might look for hints is Kristian Jensen’s 1998 article on the fortuna of Aldus’s grammar–it is cited in the bibliography at humanismforsale.org. There is also some literature on Venetian publishing for markets in Hungary and the Balkans. Specifically on English customers for Italian books there is some literature too. I will have to look for it and give you furhter cites in a later post.

I find it quite fascinating that textbook markets were generally local and regional in early modern Italy, perhaps because I'm used to thinking of textbooks being standardized and marketed nationally. Are there any examples, though, of a regional market being influenced by an international one, or vice versa? I have the publishing market connections between Venice and London in mind, so I'm curious about the ways, if any, local textbooks markets may have been influenced by international ones for other types of books.

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Posted September 23, 2009  4:43 pm
General Comments, whole page

Sarah: Thanks for this comment. See my reply at the other spot where you you posted it, section 5.17.

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Posted September 22, 2009  12:30 pm
5.17 A Long Afterlife, whole page, replying to sarah

It would be great to be able to draw this broad a conclusion, but I don’t think we have the evidence to support it one way or the other. Parents’ voices are hard to find in the surviving sources; they tended to vote their preferences merely by sending their children to one school or another. In section 5.13-16, I try to explicate what little evidence the textbooks themselves offer –merely to the point that there was some demand for alternative schools. Sales records and shop inventories offer a few more clues.

There is one other potential source. To some degree, we can imagine that the laymen in city councils, who felt that they should be overseeing education in their towns, spoke for the parents. So, when there are recorded city council debates, that is a potential source. A good study of one such town is by Christopher Carlsmith on Bergamo, forthcoming from University of Toronto press.

In Chapter 5, you discuss conservativism with regard to Jesuit education. You say “ Educational conservatism sometimes consists of such inertia. Teachers and (just as often) parents want the children of today to learn the same lessons in the same ways that their elders had. Attachments to textbooks, especially books that were widely memorized, often took this form -- affection reinforced by inertia.”(5.07). This, and the sections that followed raised some questions for me. Is there any indication that parents challenged the centralization of Education that was part of the Jesuit program? The chapter emphasizes this combination of issues: localism, conservativism and education, which is interesting because my immediate assumption is that they indicate a demand for cultural autonomy (rather than just the cultural sensitivity that was the cause of localized printing). Would you say that people in general were reacting to the centralization of education in a way that advocated local control?

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Posted September 22, 2009  12:28 pm
0.03 Some Perils of Generalization, paragraph 2, replying to laur_bee77

Well, I’m all for studying historical texts. But one of the basic principles is to look at them carefully on their own terms and avoid anachronisms at all cost. Generalizing is always a peril, and anachonism is among the problems we risk when we generalize. With reference to your specific observation, the peril is in overstating the identity of printed books. Standardization as we know it is hard to impose on early printed books. Certainly they are more standardized than manuscripts, but by our measures they vary immensely from copy to copy both in production terms and in patterns of use.

I tried to respond to this paragraph and after hitting "add comment" it disappeared so I will attempt again. I wonder if it was more beneficial to students in the Renaissance to recieve their education from teachers and regionalized texts rather than from mass printed materials. I agree that the classroom "affords us a window on groups of readers, but does not always give us a clear view." This statement could not be truer as we face standardized testing efforts based on mass produced generalized text books which are used in classrooms. Students struggle to comprehend material and 'keep up' yet don't actually learn and it is evident on their tests and in their interactions with one another in and out of the classroom. It does not really surprise me that students do not choose to expand their horizons by exploring older considerably more difficult texts of old.

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Posted September 22, 2009  9:57 am
6.05 Math for the Future, paragraph 2, replying to dbench

You are certainly right that there was relatively little to differentiate basic math content from one book to another. But the teachers did find themselves involved with the different commercial traditions of towns where they taught. Venice and Florence were great rivals, but every small town had its own set of weights and measures, its own currency, etc. So there is plenty of room to sell different styles and methods of teaching.

". . . introduced himself as a Sienese schoolmaster who had taught arithmetic all over Italy and Sicily . . ." I find the differing marketing strategies between Latin grammars, which were based largely on the legitimacy of the authors, and these math and other 'self-help' texts fascinating. In the previous section I wondered if particular cities could be the basis for legitimacy. Here I see that Sfortunati cast himself as an experienced teacher and a native speaker of Tuscan, highlighting the importance of vernacular. I get the sense that there is much less argument between competitors over content in the case of math than over method--whereas content was a major concern for those marketing/selling Latin grammar (even as method was also a key issue).

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Posted September 22, 2009  9:41 am
7.14 Chubby Children and the Blessed Virgin, whole page

Good question, Maureen. Maybe my section title is a little misleading. In fact many Jesuit emblems are about devotion to the Blessed Virgin, but do not include images of the Virgin herself. This is part of the general strategy of emblematics, to create puzzle-pictures, in which the subject is referred to only indirectly.

Alas, the Partenoapean emblem book is very rare and we do not have a copy at the Newberry from which I could give you a concrete example of how the emblems really look. I have used it only on microfilm, and that on loan from a scholar here in Chicago.

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Posted September 21, 2009  8:09 pm
8.02 The Rhetoric of Print, paragraph 4, replying to mikegoddard

The interesting thing about the passage you cite in Celenza’s book (which I think overall is brilliant, by the way) is that he seems to have decided there is no chance we can train American scholars to read Latin well. So Americans need translations, while we can assume the philological training in Italy and Germany will continue to flourish, and those scholarly publics will not need translations. No doubt this opinion of Celenza’s derives from the practical experience of his own teaching. I guess, since I live in a research library world, I am more optimistic about Americans reading Latin. Still, these Latin works (not necessarily the schoolbooks I spend time with, but certainly the dialogues and poetry and treatises that constitute the original works of humanists) deserve to be better known. Fortunately, we have good translations (with Latin on facing pages) coming out regularly now from the Harvard I Tatti series, one of the most exciting initiatives or recent years

To punt the question back to you, Mike: Do you think we need more and better Latin training, or more and better translations? You (not I) are the future of Renaissance studies, so it is really the students in your class who must answer this question.

Christopher S. Celenza's 2004 work "The Lost Italian Renaissance" urges scholars to study the Latin writings of Renaissance Italians for a fuller understanding of the contested subject. He also stresses the dire need, especially in the United States, for more translations of Latin Renaissance texts. "Humanism for Sale" seems to fit in quite nicely with what Celenza wants, and where he thinks the interdisciplinary field of "Renaissance Studies" should go in the new millenium. How do you, as the scholar, feel about this assessment?

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Posted September 21, 2009  8:03 pm
General Comments, whole page

You got caught in the Chicago rush hour, Mike. When you put in a comment for the very first time, the system puts you on hold until I or another administrator can approve you, i.e. you personally. This is just so we don’t get the comment fields filled up by spambots (lots of them in Russia it seems). I was on the bus in heavy downtown traffic when you put in your first note, and just got home. From now on your comments should show up automatically. Let me know if they do not. I will reply to your note about Celenza’s book in text –at section 8.02.

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Posted September 21, 2009  5:55 pm
6.04 Better Arithmetic Books, paragraph 4, replying to dbench

It’s not quite common, but not entirely unique to this book either. Most ambitious printers were looking for audiences beyond their own cities, and in the case of school books in Latin even international audiences. There were local and regional markets, however, which are described in summary fashion in section 0.02, and some teachers seem to have published primarily for their own students. One example is described in section 7.10.

"The preface goes on to claim preeminence in commerce for Florence..." Was this practice of linking the authority/desirability of the text to a particular city, Florence in this case, a common selling point for math textbooks? If so, did the 'origin' of the text become more important than its author, in terms of marketing strategy?

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Posted September 21, 2009  4:30 pm
1.19 Literary Joke or Careerism?, paragraph 1, replying to MRenihan

Yes. You are right to point to the oddity (from our point of view) in attacking or defending Terence, studied always in Latin, in the vernacular. Keep in mind, however, that this was part of a much larger debate, in which the Giraldi family as a whole was deeply involved, over the nature of poetry. This debate went on largely in Italian, but necessarily involved the value of classical poetic models, Terence being a standard author. So, in a sense, Terence is not the real subject, though we risk anachronism if we discount how passionate sixteenth-century readers could get about beloved classical authors.

So as I understand this, Grasso and Giraldi were conversing in print in the vernacular Italian, which supposes a broad audience. Yet their subject was a series of works written in Latin, and the appropriateness of those works in the curricula of contemporary schools, which would have had a much narrower audience. At first, this makes little sense, for why would you write to a broader audience that may not care about the issue at hand. But if the focus of Grasso (and Giraldi) was not the content of the argument, but the debate itself, this use of the vernacular discussing Terence is understandable.

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Posted September 21, 2009  10:53 am
6.01 Class and Gender, In School and Out, paragraph 1, replying to Eric M. Sacco

“Working class” is –both for Grendler and to me– a modern term of analysis (inevitably understood in Marxist or post-Marxist terms, though neither of us is a Marxist). It does not have an exact equivalent in the sixteenth century, but it helps us understand the elitism of the Latin school curriculum. Italians of the period had a clear sense that the full-dress Latin course was most appropriate for boys of the political classes. Correspondingly, they knew that most boys and women did not have access to this course except through the charity or good will of some educators. The interesting thing about the prefaces to the self-study books that appear in the 1520s is that their authors both recognize this opportunity gap and set out to remedy it by selling their new books to this under-served group. This kind of sales pitch is perennial for self-help books –look at Amazon any day!– but it is still a novelty at this period.

Your reference to Marxism, Eric, raises a slightly different question too, namely, does the awareness of class differences necessarily imply tension or conflict between the two groups? Although many of the voices we can hear in the period deny such tension –they tend to see class differences as inevitable and to respond in terms of the obligation to Christian charity– there is also plenty of explicit evidence that the rulers felt there was social tension and that a degree of social mobility through education was one way of relieving it.

You quote Tagliente as saying "poor boys" would receive the same opportunities as "rich one[s]." Is this equivocal to what you term "working class men" at the end of the paragraph? I'm not sure I understand the usage of the term "working class" as it applies to Renaissance Italy; does it have the same Marxist connotation as in twentieth-century historiography?

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Posted September 21, 2009  8:45 am
0.00 INTRODUCTION: The Problem of School Books, whole page, replying to John Vincler

Thanks, John, for drawing the analogy between the Renaissance commented page and the kind of dialogue we are attempting here at Humanism For Sale. In fact, the interplay of base text, commentary by several critics across nine or ten centuries, and illustrations in the new technology of print is exactly the kind of cumulative, collaborative scholarship we are hoping to promote. It already exists informally within circles of colleagues and friends, but putting it online changes the dynamic for the better and offers a (perhaps utopian) opportunity to enlarge the conversation still further.

I do think, however, that it is worth trying to figure out what is NOT staying the same. For me, the highly structured Renaissance page offers a hierarchy of authority that is not congenial today. Exactly because there are specialists out there who know more about a specific text than I do, my research report is open to question and correction. And because a number of artists and designers have made notes too, I have acquired new eyes for the beauty or interest of things that looked ordinary or even banal before.

Again, these comment fields let me add notes on things I am observing anew. For example, in this page the type in this detail from a title page seems to sag. This irregular effect sometimes actually occurs in early printing, but here it is an illusion caused by the way the photo was cropped to show just the text. In the fuller image given at 0.07, you can make out clearly that it is caused by the fact that the page would not lay flat for the photographer. For both conservation and aesthetic reasons, I prefer to have the bowing of the page shown, but just here it may cause some viewers to judge the facts of the printing wrongly.

There is something wonderful about this image embedded as it is on this page. The detail photo given here (in section 1.08) of the comic strip-like illustration at first obscures the text embedded in commentary to which you refer earlier in this section. (The detail image of the “comic” shows the verso only; you must click on this to reveal the whole spread including the recto with the text and commentary.) This immediately calls to mind (for this reader) the meta-critical nature of the text you as author have created: that is a text that opens itself up for comment and critique. While your 21st century text is a dynamic, digitally morphing (not to say living and breathing) thing, the text you refer to is also an example of an earlier interactive project, evidencing a history of interpretation that required thoughtful planning and design to make sense of the polyphony of voices both authorial and critical/interpretive. So much has changed and yet so much stays the same. This brings into sharper focus the messy business of “print culture.” We see the text embedded in commentary (e.g. the recto page of the photo illustration), we can think of the convention of the scholarly footnote, and then we can see CommentPress providing a newer digital model at work here in your text. (The “comic strip” provided in this same illustration, sets up another very different but parallel example.) This reminds me once again that “print culture” is never fully coherent, it can only point us towards the profound role technology plays in the process of interpreting old texts by adapting old or inventing new strategies for creating new texts. This process is never as neat and as linear as it may at first seem. And certainly not every innovation offers an improvement. At this moment of profound change in scholarly publishing and experiences of reading, it is particularly useful to be jolted a bit out of the conventions of the book, so that we just might be better able (or at least differently able) to reflect upon the book in its various and sometimes wonderfully deviant forms. I know I’ve read someone else expressing this same sentiment (I think it was Roger Chartier): Perhaps the computer can provide a site for scholars to better and more clearly examine the nature of the book…

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Posted September 13, 2009  3:28 am
4.14 Geographical Fiction and Fact, paragraph 3

In addition to the sources cited in note 61, there is now a new essay on Petrarch’s Itinerarium by Theodore J. Cachey, in Petrarch, A Critical Guide to the Complete Works (University of Chicago Press, 2009), 229-241. Cachey makes the important point that for Petrarch, the imaginary, uneven, and highly episodic journey of the Itinerarium was a reflection of the author’s literary wanderings. At exactly a period of relative stability in his domestic life, Petrarch restlessly travelled back and forth from one work-in-progress to another.

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Posted August 6, 2009  8:27 pm
1.20 Epilogue: On the Market, paragraph 2, replying to Dan Sheerin

You point to an interesting question, Dan, one that scholars are still writing about. “Effectively settled” was an overstatement on my part, since in fact the morality of the plays and the ethics of using them continued to be debated until recent times. There is a new article in the March 2008 issue of The International Journal of the Classical Tradition by Peter McG. Brown, that discusses censored versions right up to the 1970s. (See: “The Eunuch Castrated,” cit. 16-28.) Caesar, of course, has not of the same moral problems, but little of the lively language either.

effectively settled] Why was Terence eventually displaced by Caesar in the school curriculum??

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Posted August 5, 2009  10:16 am
1.20 Epilogue: On the Market, paragraph 2

On the matter of availability, just today a the Newberry I ran across a 1604 catalogue of the Florence bookshop of the Giunta brothers that lists no fewer than 15 different editions of Terence in formats ranging from 16mo to folio and from printers in Venice, Paris, Lyon, and Antwerp!

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Posted August 5, 2009  9:54 am
6.16 Teaching Music Theory and Practice, paragraph 4

Good question! I don’t know. Often such woodcut initials have a subject that has a name starting with the initial in question. But I do not know an historical or mythical figure that fits this picture of a man gripping an animal. In any case, it is likely a stock cut, not one made to go with this humble guide to singing chant.

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Posted July 26, 2009  9:56 am
6.10 Down-Market Handwriting Books, paragraph 4

Yes. The “Secreti et modi bellissimi” has jokes and riddles, and it demonstrates various methods of invisible handwriting and codes. Other surviving books have fortune-telling games, role-playing games, and the like.

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Posted July 24, 2009  6:39 am
6.19 Professionals or Amateurs?, paragraph 4

This kind of research is easier to do now than even 5 years ago, at least for the 16th century, because we can get a good sense of the titles issued by any given press from the on-line union catalog of 16th century books, EDIT-16. Most of the printers have not been studied individually.

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Posted July 23, 2009  2:30 pm
6.09 Advertising a Fine Hand, paragraph 3

Good point. The first comparison, to a barber, has to be referring to a professional, though not one of high social status. But I suppose an amateur might be understood in Arrighi’s case, since the context is learning to play an instrument. On the other hand, the writing masters are clearly claiming professionalism and progressively claiming higher degrees of professional status.

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Posted July 23, 2009  1:12 pm
6.04 Better Arithmetic Books, paragraph 5

Yes, this is why I want to sit down with Roger Grant while he is here and find out when and why notation like bar lines comes into textbooks (as well as performance books).

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Posted July 21, 2009  11:29 am
6.04 Better Arithmetic Books, paragraph 4

In all probability, the woodcut frame here is a separate woodblock from the cut of the teacher; and the caption above the cut is set in type, so it too is a separate item supplied by the printer. Given the generally high degree of pretension of this book, we may assume the elements were chosen to be reasonably coherent and pertinent to the text, but it is worth remembering that they are also stock cuts.

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Posted July 21, 2009  11:27 am
7.11 Emblem Books in the Classroom, paragraph 4

I went back this morning to the most recent work I know on Hunger, just a few pages really in Koehler. He gives a brief bio of Hunger, who matriculated at Ingolstadt and taught there later in life after a peripatetic youth. It seems unlikely that he knew nothing at all of the early Jesuits, but there is also no indication that he was influenced by them. If anything, the influence would have been in the other direction, since our best guess as to the origin of Jesuit emblem-making (which flourished mostly after 1580) is that it started in Germany under the influence of German humanist schools like those Hunger envisions.

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Posted July 20, 2009  8:45 am
7.15 Italians Out of Step, paragraph 1

Right. In fact, Italian academic emblems are usually of the non-commonplace sort. They strive for as little-obvious a referential frame as possible. In this way, they attempt to create or sustain elite, exclusive communities –by contrast to most school-oriented or public-consumption emblems which aimed to create broader communities of readers who bought into humanist political commonplaces.

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Posted July 20, 2009  7:50 am
7.11 Emblem Books in the Classroom, paragraph 4, replying to Richard Mallette

Sorry, you are right. I was misremembering both dates. I’ll have to revisit the literature on Hunger (Koehler is pretty much all there is on his emblematics) to see if there is any Jesuit link.

Then I must have misunderstood. Hunger died in 1555. The first Jesuit college, you say, was at Messina in 1548.

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Posted July 18, 2009  7:04 am
7.11 Emblem Books in the Classroom, paragraph 4

It would have to have been post hoc factum, since Hunger died before the founding of any Jesuit colleges.

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Posted July 17, 2009  7:10 am
7.09 Classroom Title Pages, paragraph 7

The emblem makes a particularly good opportunity to cross over between commercial and non-commercial culture, insofar as it allows businessmen to display their intellectual bona fides. In this particular case, Bernardo Giunta never received court subsidies in the measure he hoped for, but he did get a noble title out of the deal.

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Posted July 17, 2009  7:06 am
7.07 Title Page Emblems, paragraph 3

Yes, the two applications are different but overlapping. The emblem form stimulated several different uses beyond Alciati’s original one of learned entertainment, but the puzzle is at the core of all of them. The reader may enjoy solving the puzzle, may learn skills from the process in or outside a classroom, or may use the emblem for private meditation. Some collections had one or the other of these for a starting point, but most emblems are suitable for all three uses.

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Posted July 17, 2009  6:44 am
7.03 Emblem as Machine, paragraph 5

I don’t know for sure, Rick, but I don’t see any direct parallel in the texts that accompany the image. Alciati references Epicharnus of Kos for the moral advice –a quotation he may have gotten from any number of sources, perhaps most likely Diogenes Laertes– and the Heraclitus story, both of which seem to fit better into a personal-moral than a mystical framework.

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Posted July 16, 2009  8:53 pm
7.03 Emblem as Machine, paragraph 3

When Max Barry read this chapter, the pictures were not yet all in place. Readers are still welcome to say if there are parts of the exposition that would be helped by an additional image.

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Posted July 16, 2009  6:43 pm
7.03 Emblem as Machine, paragraph 2

Alciati imagined the form as a brief poem with motto that assumed a mental picture created in the first instance by the author and re-created for the sake of the puzzle by the reader. All part of the erudite game. Within just a few years, however, publishers got hold of the form and printed pictures, thereafter altering the dynamic. Scholarly authors continued to compose emblems without pictures, but the standard form from the 1530s onward is the one we recognize today, the picture puzzle.

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Posted July 16, 2009  6:41 pm
General Comments, whole page

Our plan is –eventually– to have live links to some of the bibliographical information. Meanwhile, you have to use this cumbersone work-around. Sorry.

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Posted June 20, 2009  5:02 pm
0.03 Some Perils of Generalization, paragraph 6, replying to Robert Williams

You two have put your finger(s) on one of the things on our to-do list. We are developing a database of images in Humanism For Sale (and other pages from the books illustrated here) that will have details about the editions and the copies photographed. Our plan is to make it possible for you to link directly from the images here to the database, which will also include notes on design and marketing features of the books in question. All pending time and funding, naturally.

To SGaylard's list I would also add page height & width.

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Posted June 20, 2009  4:59 pm
1.09 Octavo and Smaller Formats, paragraph 2

It may well have been an Aldine invention — I cannot remember seeing it in earlier editions. Clearly it was intended to help the reader, but of course many speeches begin in the middle of a poetic line too, for example, toward the end of the second line on the right-hand page in this illustration. Some sixteeenth-century editions use all-caps abbreviations for the characters, which make the reading even easier.

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Posted June 20, 2009  4:56 pm
4.08 Advertising Grammar Books, paragraph 5, replying to Dan Sheerin

Thanks, Dan.
I have incorporated these corrections into the text.

which I have had printed at this request] No. “which I have had printed unwillingly, ...” For when that] “For when he, contrary to the fathers’ decree and Christian prescription, had already seen to the printing of two virtually defamatory pamphlets, ...”

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Posted May 14, 2009  10:41 am
2.17 Desiderius Erasmus, Ad Man, paragraph 4

Thanks for these many, useful clarifications!

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Posted May 14, 2009  10:33 am
2.18 Erasmus Picking Fights, paragraph 4

As elsewhere, Dan Sheerin here improves immensely on my translation.

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Posted May 14, 2009  10:03 am
2.15 Printing the Cato, paragraph 3

Dan Sheerin, in a note that appears by mistake on the previous section, remarks of this translation, “utriusque virtutis] We need more context to figure out to what utriusque virtutis, “of each virtue/of both virtues,” refers.
Unfortunately, as often happens in early modern books, such phrases appear pretty much without context. The Latin in note 95 is the entire text of the rubric which precedes the Cato in this edition of the Donat and which separates the Pseudo-Donatus rules from the precepts of Pseudo Cato. The sense might be understood as instruction in liberal arts and also every appropriate virtue. The rubricator seems to be struggling to get both grammatical and moral instruction into his brief advertisement for the book.

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Posted May 12, 2009  9:29 am
2.06 Beyond the Donat, paragraph 2, replying to Dan Sheerin

Traditionalizing, certainly. And your point is well taken that we need always to be careful about anachronisms. But in this case I really think the package is, especially from a design point of view, medievalizing. Nowhere in Italy at this date would this degree and type of ornament have been used for anything but a prettified children’s book. I wish I had photos to insert here, but the 1597 and 1611 editions are hard to find. I consulted a copies of both at the Brera –perhaps I can get images eventually.

medievalizing package] Yes, from our perspective – in its time the book would have been “traditionalizing” in its content and appearance, yet it contains additional texts, advertised and not, which would make it “new and improved”

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Posted May 9, 2009  7:55 am
2.14 Catonis Disticha, paragraph 6, replying to Dan Sheerin

This comment is misplaced, it refers to paragraph 6, note 95 in the next section, where I will reply.

utriusque virtutis] We need more context to figure out to what utriusque virtutis, “of each virtue/of both virtues,” refers.

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Posted May 9, 2009  7:44 am
2.18 Erasmus Picking Fights, paragraph 1, replying to Dan Sheerin

Thanks for this correction to information that occurs in all the incunable records I have seen on line–most of them based on older bibliographies. Have you published the correct information somewhere, Dan, or has someone else? Needless to say, it requires noting that though the commentary of Filippo was known in Erasmus’s day, it was not by a contemporary of his.

Fililippo] The Filippo da Bergamo in this case is Philippus de Bergamo, OSB, prior of Sta. Maria in Vanzo in Padua. His Speculum regiminis, a speculum principis built around the scaffold of the Disticha Catonis, is found with alternative dedicatory prefaces, one to Gian Galeazzo Visconti and the second to Francesco Novello of Padua. Gian Galeazzo had to yield Padua to Francesco Novello in 1390, so Speculum regiminis was probably completed some years before that date.

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Posted May 9, 2009  7:34 am
2.14 Catonis Disticha, paragraph 3, replying to Dan Sheerin

Thanks, Dan, here as elsewhere for your elegant re-translation. I see how the Catones can be read of the two admirable individuals. As Hannah Zdansky noted in her remark at 2.02 above, medieval and humanist authors knew both figures and had a good sense of the reputation of the clan. But as you will have noticed throughout my writing, I am fascinated by the way these personal names are transferred to the books themselves. Do you think Bebel might have intended a double meaning, so that these “Catones” are books, constructed in parallel to “the book called Cato” as well as contrasted with the two human Catos? Perhaps he would have used “a quibus” instead of “in quibus” if he meant it to be read the way I translated it?

“I make exception as well for the little book which is entitled Cato. Valla says that its author is the most latinate among the minor authors and that no one in a thousand years has written a more elegant poem. ... And yet perhaps this little book is called Cato from seriousness of behavior and integrity of life, features for which the Catos were very greatly renowned.” I believe the Catones refers not to books, but to the the Elder and Younger Cato; cp. Juvenal 2.40: “tertius a caelo cecidit Cato ....”

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Posted May 8, 2009  9:51 pm
2.15 Printing the Cato, paragraph 2, replying to Paul F. Gehl

I have done some re-checking of my sources here and find that Edward’s correction is accurate as far as the Auctores octo goes. Baldzuhn as cited remarks some 60 (mostly Northern European) manuscripts that combined Avianus with the Distichs of Cato. But the print collection, Auctores octo, always includes the Aesopian fables in the verse translation of Walter the Englishman, not Avianus.

Thanks for the clarification on Avianus, Edward, which matter I will recheck. Baldzuhn is the correct spelling.

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Posted April 30, 2009  10:43 am
2.02 The Donat and the Cato, paragraph 1, replying to Hannah_Zdansky

Good point. In fact confidence in the attribution was the single largest factor in the centuries-long prestige of this text. Below we will see several humanists who argued, even when they recognized it could not have been authored by an historical Cato, that the work was wise enough to merit his name. This kind of word-playful manner of writing is one of the lessons the text had for new readers. Every Latin text, the teachers were saying, even the most elementary, should engender literary wit along with the wisdom.

With regard to the identification of the Cato of the Disticha Catonis, we are told in the tradition of the Accessus ad auctores that, “Duo Catones erant Romae, Censorinus Cato et Uticensis Cato,” that is, Marcus Porcius Cato (the Elder), whom you cite, and Marcus Porcius Cato “Uticensis” (the Younger) (d. 46 BCE). Perhaps you should mention both and possible conflations? The attributions may be incorrect, but the fact that most people believed in the authorship is important when it comes to studying the reception of the text in the Middle Ages and beyond.

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Posted April 23, 2009  6:43 am
4.17 Imported Geographies, Italian Packages, paragraph 8

Further on Honter, see now: Urs. B. Leu, “The Teaching of Geography in 16th Century Zurich,” in Scholarly Knowledge (Geneva, 2008), esp. pp. 240-245.

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Posted April 21, 2009  3:05 pm
0.08 Graphics Too, paragraph 3, replying to Susan Barron

Susan: Your notes at 2.11 suggest that you are loving this piece as a composition by a single child reader covering a temptingly empty page. In fact there are at least three hands here, probably more. What shows up as a sort of smudge toward the top is probably the earliest mark, an ownership mark by a youth named Liberio. Most if not all the boxes contain an anagram poem, probably repeated by the same reader over and over. I would guess he is also responsible for the two roughly drawn penises, because the ink is very similar. The long, loose lines in greyish ink quoting a bit of doggerel in Italian, “Chi vuol saver…” are by yet another reader. And the marks in reddish brown ink –including a comic profile head– are surely yet another young owner. The all-over effect is, therefore, the result of accumulation, not the work of a single scribbler.

very touching and beautiful piece of work

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Posted April 19, 2009  6:42 pm
2.11 Humanist Critiques of the Donat, whole page, replying to Susan Barron

Thanks for this comparison to the page at 0.08, Susan. They do represent two kinds of final effect, in that this one is partial and largely done by a single reader, while the page at 0.08 is completely covered by marks made by at least three childish readers across a period of time we cannot determine. I will add a few notes there, just to make that point clearer to other readers.

Re: 2.11 visual example & 0.08 visual example: New images at 2.11 seem but typical little boy pictures with totally innocent yet the typical delusions of grandeur. There is not much more than that. The availability of the writing surface seemed to be irresistible to the youngster for his own purposes and there are not enough meaningful scribbles for my taste. Contrast 2.11 with the magnificent singleton 0.08, which seems somehow much more deliberate and from a more earnest or studious school boy. A creation. The boxes and lists of numbers/letters decry (or disguise) the one/two innocent little boy scribbles of dangling paraphernalia. An entire blank stimulated a real image to my eye and I find it much more interesting. Just think when we were in school and caught writing in our books!! Off with our heads! Oh my fur and whiskers!!

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Posted April 19, 2009  6:33 pm
2.11 Humanist Critiques of the Donat, paragraph 3

As always, the anthropomorphic figures are harder to “read.” In this case they seem to be playful caricatures, equally unrelated to the scribbled texts and to the printed book.

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Posted April 14, 2009  12:51 pm
0.00 INTRODUCTION: The Problem of School Books, whole page

Looking closer, it seems that this change really is more apparent than real. At some places in the text (as here) we have chosen to use partial, detail images in text and a full-page shot in the pop-up. Elsewhere the pop-up is merely and enlargement. In any case you should always be able to zoom in further on the pop-up by merely clicking on the portion fo the image that interests you.

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Posted April 14, 2009  12:48 pm
2.11 Humanist Critiques of the Donat, paragraph 3

People love these marked-up pages for their apparently careless informality, but of course the texts they hold can be read as well. This one has a series of pen trials (where the student practices his own name or that of the book) and several short texts that refer to the passion of Christ. On the left hand page (the back cover of the book), the student has scribbled the mocking phrase “Hail, King of the Jews” (from the gospel of Matthew, chapter 19). On the front cover at the upper right the same student hand has written a prayer that would translate: “Hail, O blood of the living God. May you, who, condemned by the Jews, showed mercy to the thief, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.”

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Posted April 10, 2009  9:13 am
0.00 INTRODUCTION: The Problem of School Books, whole page

I am going to ask for help on this apparent change of aspect in the pictures, which was not intentional.

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Posted April 6, 2009  6:49 am
4.15 Itineraries, paragraph 4, replying to MQuinlan

I hope you will find time to read it, Mary, and that we can discuss it sometime. It is a very curious ranking and definition of the disciplines, in which Astrology becomes an umbrella for all the earth and sky-related sciences. Perhaps you can identify a source for this strange umbrella!

I suppose by "astrology" he means the common understanding of astronomy-astrology. I need to read this to see how broadly he sets the context. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

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Posted April 6, 2009  6:47 am
4.16 Toponomy, whole page, replying to MQuinlan

I don’t remember seeing any citations from Albert the Great, but all the humanist toponymic treatises are omnivorous –they take their information from whatever sources they think are credible. Lilio is careful to say he is excluding recent sources he thinks are unreliable in favor of impeccably classical ones, and this can be taken to refer to the fifteenth-century explorers as well as to medieval learned work.

Just curious- do these follow Pomponius Mela, Albert the Great, or are they original?

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Posted April 6, 2009  6:02 am
1.07 Illustrating Terence, paragraph 3, replying to MQuinlan

Not really, since I do not read them as teasing the reader to look for the fun in the plays. They seem more mnemonic in function. The scenes chosen seem to represent those in which there is a significant change in the number of characters on stage, or entrances of new characters.

Are they also like movie trailers?

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Posted April 6, 2009  5:56 am
0.01 Humanism in Crisis, paragraph 7, replying to dianarobin

Can’t argue with Lewis and Short, but in my reading of the larger debate, the term has a strongly linguistic dimension colored by the humanists’ emphasis on the recovery of ancient usages. Although the humanists as rhetoricians were always trying to achieve a “pure … style,” that translation doesn’t quite get at the pervasiveness of the linguistic urge.

latinitas should be translated "latinity" or "a pure Latin style" (Lewis and Short).

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Posted April 2, 2009  8:33 am
2.15 Printing the Cato, paragraph 2, replying to EWheatley

Thanks for the clarification on Avianus, Edward, which matter I will recheck. Baldzuhn is the correct spelling.

Although the material covered in this paragraph is not integral to the overall argument here, it probably needs to be reexamined nevertheless. I do not know the work of Baldsuhn (whose name seems to be misspelled in note 91), but most scholars understand Avianus to have been part of the Sex Auctores, the curricular compilation popular in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The Auctores octo, mentioned here, largely displaced the Sex Auctores in the thriteenth century and remained popular for centuries, appearing in at least 50 printings in five countries before 1500; its fable collection is the one commonly attributed to Gualterus Anglicus, whose introductory epistle, written in the voice of the emperor Romulus, credits the fables to Aesop, not Avianus. I have seen many, many printed versions of the Auctores octo, and they all include this collection, not the one attributed to Avianus. See Ronald E. Pepin's translation of the Auctores octo for further information.

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Posted March 30, 2009  3:40 pm
6.09 Advertising a Fine Hand, paragraph 3, replying to Robert Williams

This is discussed briefly in section 6.19.

It would be interesting to know when "teach yourself to play an instrument/sing" manuals came on the scene. They, too, seemed to be marketed to a general public.

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Posted March 26, 2009  12:22 pm
6.08 Writing Manuals, paragraph 1

Thanks, Bob. It would be useful to readers at this point to have the Houghton number here.

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Posted March 26, 2009  12:18 pm
3.03 Printer's Errors, whole page

Thanks, Susan. Since your comment above we have added four pics to this section. Hope they clarify the devil’s work.

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Posted March 16, 2009  4:08 pm
6.12 Catechism and Condescension, paragraph 3, replying to kevin stevens

Thanks for this note, Kev. There is certainly more work to do on “santini” and other pious booklets in the classroom. They straddle the boundary between what is usually thought of as “just” popular reading and instructional materials properly speaking (i.e. without entertainment or private reading value.) As you say, it would require examination of many copies to find those that clearly were used in schools.

Reading this chapter again, I am struck by the breadth of the vernacular reading curriculum. You do a great job of highlighting the considerable variety of texts (commercial/arithmetic, musical, how-to, religious, etc.) available to readers. I am thinking you could (should!) add a section here, something like "Sanctity in the Classroom." Religious educators such as Carlo Borromeo and Silvio Antoniano (in Milan) considered saint's lives to be important aids in moral instruction in both the catechism and vernacular schools. (see Turchini, 1996). Numerous examples of such inexpensive texts (octavos, 8-32 pp.) survive in Italian libraries. A sustained and extensive study of these booklets could yield interesting information about ownership, usage, and reading habits. Great job, Paul.

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Posted March 10, 2009  1:22 pm
3.05 Urban Schools, Urban Patrons, paragraph 1

On Mancinelli’s prefaces and dedications, see now the essay in Lazzari 2005, 107-112.

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Posted February 24, 2009  2:30 pm
3.01 A Teacher in Print, paragraph 9

The best single source on Mancinelli is now Lazzari 2005, which I have only recently seen. A good list of works and editions is to be found on pp. 63-70.

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Posted February 24, 2009  2:27 pm
0.00 INTRODUCTION: The Problem of School Books, whole page

Thanks to both of you for your comments on usability. I think there is a problem for some readers when a long text with an extended argument is broken up into short bits. (See Diana Robin’s comment on the next section –took her just two posts to get frustrated). I hope better indexing will help this in future.

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Posted February 16, 2009  6:48 am
0.07 The Case of Francesco Negro, paragraph 1, replying to David Lines

Thanks, David. The present practice is a relict of the paper manuscript, in which you would have easily been able to flip back to the bibliography for the original titles. Right now you need to consult the on-line bibliography at: http://www.humanismforsale.org/bibliography.pdf
If this proves too cumbersome for many readers, we may have to provide hot links.

I would much rather have the title of works given also in the original language.

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Posted January 24, 2009  3:07 pm
2.01 Learning Reading / Learning Latin, paragraph 2

As the complicated note 2 below suggests, the question of reading first in Latin or in the vernacular is still debated by scholars. I would be interested in the opinions of readers of Humanism For Sale on the topic.

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Posted December 9, 2008  8:27 am
0.03 Some Perils of Generalization, paragraph 3

An important new contribution to the evidence available is Annemarieke Willemsen, Back to the Schoolyard, Brepols, 2008, which presents a broad range of physical evidence (archaeological to artistic) for the architecture, implements, and practice of medieval and early Renaissance classrooms. It is lavishly illustrated.

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Posted December 9, 2008  8:20 am
4.01 Transitions / Translations, paragraph 5

Substantial portions of this chapter are now to be found in print, in Italian, in Bibliologia 3 (2008): 35-53.

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Posted December 8, 2008  5:01 pm