Aldus Manutius, the famous humanist and printer, opened his press at Venice in 1485. Linacre was among those who helped him. By 1500 his house had become the centre of a small academy of Greek scholars, and the famous Roman small typeface, said to be copied from the hand of Petrarch, was 'known to humanists throughout Europe. Erasmus came to call in 1507 and stayed to see the Adages through the Aldine press in 1508. He writes of Aldus in the 1508 adage Festina lente and again, waspishly defending himself against attack after Aldus's death, in the 1531 colloquy Opulentia Sordida.
Alberto Pio, a pupil of Aldus who from 1525 was convinced that Erasmus was a Lutheran in disguise, felt it necessary to defend Aldus against what he erroneously took to be an attack on him in this passage on grammarians. Erasmus's reply makes it clear that no offence was intended or could reasonably be taken, but his reminiscences of Venice in the colloquy were coloured by his need to defend himself against accusations that he had acted as a paid proofreader for Aldus and risen drunk from his table.
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