16th Century 


The early sixteenth century began with the great printer Aldus Manutius in Venice producing a stream of pocket-sized Greek and Latin classics in a newly developed Italic type. While his multivolume edition of Aristotle represented a monumental achievement, it was the smaller individual books that had the greater long-term impact upon the history of publishing and the wider dissemination of knowledge. His Aldine Press produced two Belmont Abbey selections listed below, and his example inspired other important printers for the rest of the sixteenth century and beyond, such as Johann Froben, Sebastien Gryph, Simon de Colines, and Christophe Plantin, all represented by examples on this page. Along with the reissued classics, sixteenth century printing was dominated by contemporary religious and philosophical works, driven in part by the new-found use of the printing press as a tool of public persuasion. Within weeks after Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenburg church in 1517, presses provided copies that were read in every corner of Europe. For the first time in history a reading public judged the validity of controversial ideas through a mass medium which used vernacular languages.[APB] Participants in the controversy can be glimpsed in examples below. The exhibit includes Belmont Abbey's rare 1530 first edition of Luther's Enarrationes sev Postillae. Johannes Oporinus, a featured printer, was one of the most influential publishers to print Luther's writings. And the brilliant Johann Eck came to be viewed as Luther's most articulate critic and adversary.

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15th Century

16th Century

17th Century

18th Century

19th Century


Raymundus de Penaforte. Summula Clarissimi. 1508.

 Gabriel Biel. Sacre Canonis Misse Tam Mystica. 1516.

Padua Missale. 1522.

 Paulus Orosius. Historiam Adversos Paganos. 1526.

 Martin Luther. Enarrationes sev Postillae. 1530.

 Erasmus. Declarationes des Erasmi. Johann Froben, pr. 1532.

 Catullus. Tibullus. Propertius. Simon de Colines, pr. 1534.

 Johann Eck. Homilarium Super Evangelia de Tempore. 1534.

 Erasmus. Paraphrasis. Gryphium Press. 1544.

  Nicolo Liburnio. Le Occorrenze Humane. Aldine Press. 1546.

 Bucolica. Johannes Oporinus, pr. 1546.

 Thomas Aquinas. Apocalypsim Expositio. 1549.

 Euripides.Tragedae. Johannes Oporinus, pr. 1551.

 Augustinius Aurelius. Omnium Operum. 1552.

 Orthodoxographa. 1555.

  Macrobius. In Somnium Scipionis. Gryphium Press. 1556.

 Plotinus. Philosophi de Rebus Philosophicus. 1559.

  Cicero. De Officius. Aldine Press. 1561.

 .Bible. O.T. Hebrew. Plantin Press. 1565.

 Marco Vida. Opera. Gryphium Press. 1581.

 Arnobius. Disputationum Adversus Gentes. Plantin Press. 1582.

 Joannes Climacus. Scala Paradisi. 1583.

 Dell'Orationi di Diversi Huomini. 1584.

 Lucius Seneca. De Beneficiis. 1594.