Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

German printers in Venice from 1468 to 1477. They were among the first of those who, after 1462, left Mainz for Italy to introduce there the art of printing books. We have scant knowledge of their lives. They came originally from Speyer (capital of the Bavarian palatinate). Early in 1460-61 Johann appears in Mainz as a "goldsmith" — it was there, no doubt, that he learned the art of printing books. In 1468, with his wife, children, and brother Wendelin, he set out for Venice. The establishment of their printing house, the first in Venice, took place under the most favourable auspices. The Venetian Senate extended a cordial welcome to Johann, and granted him a full monopoly of printing for five years. His first book, Cicero's "Epistolae ad familiares", appeared in 1469. During the printing of Augustine's "De Civitate Dei" (1470) Johann died, and Wendelin completed it. The latter assumed control of the business after the death of Johann and carried it on successfully until 1477. About 1472 he associated with him the German printer, Johann von Köln. Together they issued seven works. Besides their great skill as printers, their extraordinary industry is worthy of note. Before Johann died, four great works had been issued: two editions of Cicero; Pliny; and one volume of Livy. The "De Civitate Dei" had been begun. Within seven months eight hundred volumes were printed.

From 1470 to 1477 Wendelin issued over seventy great works (Italian and Roman classics, Fathers of the Church , jurists, etc.). Johann printed in an antique type modelled after the best Italian manuscript writing, beautiful, and carefully cut. It is decidedly superior to the later antique type, which deteriorated through desire to save space, and it is almost equal to the beautiful type of Jenson. Johann's clear type and his entire technical execution are surprisingly perfect. In addition to this first type, Wendelin used five newly cut types of exquisite workmanship, among them three slender Gothic models, probably reduced to save space. His work showed the same correctness of text, beauty of printing, and evenness that had characterized Johann's. The latter was the first printer to number the leaves with Arabic figures, and was also the first who used the colon and interrogation point. In Wendelin's books appeared for the first time the so called catch-words ( Kustoden ), that is to say he printed on the lower margin of each page the first word of the page following.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: He will never leave you
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, May 28, 2016
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US
  • WARNING: Exorcist claims demon is targeting families
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Bl. Margaret Pole: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 28, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 4:7-13
7 The end of all things is near, so keep your minds calm and sober for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:10, 11-12, 13
10 Say among the nations, 'Yahweh is king.' The world is set firm, it ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:11-26
11 He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple; and when he had ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 27th, 2016 Image

St. Augustine of Canterbury
May 27: At the end of the sixth century anyone would have ... Read More