Pietro Bembo. De Gli Asolani. 1743.


Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), prominent humanist, poet, and churchman, was closely involved with the Aldine Press from its very inception. The first book issued by Aldus, Lascaris's Greek grammar, was printed from a copy provided to Aldus by Bembo, who had studied with Lascaris. Bembo's own first work, De Aetna (1496), and his editions of Petrarch's Rime sparse and Dante's Commedia were printed by Aldus. Gli Asolani describes a wedding feast at Asola, during which a discussion ensues concerning love. Its subject, whether love is a good or a bad thing, may well have established Bembo as the preeminent philosopher of his generation. The first edition of Gli Asolani attracted attention in no small part because certain copies of it contain a dedication to the famous and notorious Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, sister of Cesare Borgia, and duchess of Ferrara. [adapted from IN AEDIBVS ALDI: THE LEGACY OF ALDUS MANUTIUS AND HIS PRESS, http://www.lib.byu.edu/~aldine/]

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