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“Optimo humanista et greco”

Aldus Manutius’s Career in Venice in the Eyes of Marin Sanudo

Brian Richardson

On the death of Aldus Manutius in February 1515, the Venetian diarist Marin Sanudo recorded his evaluation of the man’s achievements, praising him as a teacher and scholar and highlighting the correctness of his Latin and Greek editions and their distinctive prefaces. This article considers the rationale for the esteem shown by Sanudo, and by contemporaries such as Erasmus, for Aldus as an outstanding scholar-printer in the classical languages, examining Sanudo’s suggestions about the means by which Aldus established his business and his reputation in Venice, and the extent to which he made use of collaborations. Sanudo’s assessment has a significant limitation, however, since it omits any mention of printing in Italian. The essay goes on to compare and contrast the production of Aldus’s last year, 1514–1515, which includes vernacular texts as well as editions in Latin and Greek, with that of his early career as a printer in the 1490s, when he concentrated on editions of Greek texts. His vernacular editions had an impact no less important than that of his classical ones in the first half of the sixteenth century, and they made a major contribution to the rise of Italian vernacular scholarship.

James T. Richardson and Brian M. Lee

This article takes a social-constructionist view of the role played by judicial systems in selected Central and East European nations, formerly dominated by the Soviet Union, in defining the meaning of religious freedom. The focus is on the role of national courts, including constitutional courts, and especially the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in this process, with particular attention being paid to the interaction of these separate court systems in defining religious freedom in the various nations. The function of possible ‘pilot judgments’ of the ECtHR in this process is examined. An overall assessment of the role of judicial systems offers a mixed, but somewhat optimistic, view of the role being played by the court systems in the region which seems to support the idea that the ‘judicialization of politics’—addressed by scholars in other branches of law—is also occurring in the area of religious freedom.