Books of Trade and the Trade in Books in Renaissance Italy
Panel discussion in conjunction with the Friends of the Italian Cultural Center, Boston
The book trade developed rapidly in Italy following the introduction of the printing press in the fifteenth century. During the fifteenth century over 10,000 works were published, but in the following century these numbers grew much larger. During the sixteenth century publishers produced over 27,000 editions in the city of Venice alone. This discussion will center on the development of trade in Renaissance Italy, and on the impact of the printing industry, including its spread into northern Italy where Venice emerged as the book-printing capital of Italy.
Sophus Reinert, Harvard Business School, expert in the histories of capitalism and globalization, who will speak on the account books used by the Medici in their world-opening trade.
Among the Venetian incunables (books printed before 1501) in the Boston Athenaeum’s collection are a 1493 illustrated edition of Dante’s Divina Commedia, and a very scarce 1496 edition of Marco Polo’s Travels of Marco Polo.
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