Aldine Press was the printing office started by Aldus Manutius in 1494 in Venice, from which were issued the celebrated Aldine editions of the classics (Latin and Greek masterpieces plus a few more modern works). The first book that was dated and printed under his name appeared in 1495.
The Aldine Press is famous in the history of typography, among other things, for the introduction of italics. The press was the first to issue printed books in the small octavo size, similar to that of a modern paperback, and like that intended for portability and ease of reading. According to Curt Buhler, the press issued 132 books during twenty years of activity under Aldus. The press was continued after Aldus’s death in 1515 by his wife and her father until his son Paolo (1512–1574) took over. His grandson Aldo then ran the firm until his death in 1597. Today, antique books printed by the Aldine Press in Venice are referred to as Aldines.
The press enjoyed a monopoly of works printed in Greek in the Republic of Venice, effectively giving it copyright protection. Protection outside the Republic was more problematic. The firm maintained an agency in Paris, but its commercial success was affected by many pirated editions, produced in Lyons and elsewhere....LESS