Letter 16: Daniele Clario to Aldus

This letter from Daniele Clario provides curious insights into the complex and widespread network of friendships among the intellectuals of the republic of letters and into how they were maintained and expanded over space and time. On the one hand, Clario introduces to Aldus a young man seeking entrance his circle (and has him bear the letter to the printer). On the other, he urges Aldus to apprise him of the status of his endeavors, including some gold coins to accelerate the process.

Aldo Romano utriusque linguae doctissimo amico charissimo, etc.

Clarius Aldo salutem.

{1} Hieronymus Gradaeus nobilis Rhagusinus, qui apud me diu adolevit cum istinc Venetiis Mantuam iter haberet, me litteras ad te petiit (nam et ipse novit me abs te amari plurimum) quibus sibi te adeundi daretur occasio.

{2} Feci nec invitus, quod cupiebam instar mei (nam is alter est ego) te adire, salutare et amplecti. Sic est mei studiosus, ut virtutis amantissimus qualem in te corruscare non ignorat. Igitur venit admodum cupidus multa ut ista in excellenti civitate mira et te simul cognosceret.

{3} Sperabam te aureos septem recepisse cum litteris meis quibus me ut redderes certiorem expectabam de tuis rebus, an istinc ut audiebam fores migraturus simulque quid Graeci quid Latini operis impressisses. Lucretium tibi excusum formis intelligo in lucem prodisse recenti appendice Avantia renovatum. Hunc ad me Hieronymeo des desidero.

{4} Vale, felix amicorum dulcissime. Hieronymum Avantium verbis meis saluto; virum enim talem ex virtute sua amo plurimum cupioque aliquo obsequio promereri. Rhagusii. M. D. pridie cal. Martias.


To Aldus the Roman, dearest friend, most erudite in both languages, etc.

Clario greets Aldus,

{1} When Girolamo Gradeo, a noble man from Ragusa who spent much of his youth at my house, was travelling from there, Venice, to Mantua, he asked me to write a letter to you (for he knew himself that I was loved a lot by you) by which he would be given an opportunity to approach you.

{2} I gladly did so since I believe that he will come to you, and greet and embrace you as an effigy of myself (for he is another me). He is as committed to me as he is a great lover of that sort of virtue for which he knows you are most conspicuous. Therefore, he has come very eager to get acquainted with you as well as the wonders of that excellent city.

{3} I hope that you have received the seven gold coins with my letter, in return for which I expect you to let me know about your situation: if you are, as I heard, about to move away from there and at the same time which of the Latin and which of the Greek works you have printed. I know the Lucretius for which the types have been cast for you has been published with the recent appendix by Avanzi. I would like you very much to send it to me with Girolamo.

{4} Farewell, you fortunate man, sweetest of my friends. I greet Girolamo Avanzi with my words; for I greatly love such a man for his virtue, and I desire to gain credit with him by some other service. Ragusa. 1500. February, 28.

Notes to the Translation:

Daniele Clario: aka. Parmensis; (fl. 15th century); Professor of Greek and Latin in Ragusa, Dalmatia. Aldus dedicated his editions of Aristophanes, Demosthenes, and Prudentius to him.

Girolamo Gradeo: aka. Hieronymus Varadeus of Ragusa; (fl. 15th century).

Girolamo Avanzi: aka. Hieronymus Veronensis. Italian humanist († mid-16th century). Professor of Philosophy in Padua; known for many critical editions among which the one of Lucretius mentioned here. He is praised by Aldus in the dedicatory letter to his edition of Catullus (1502) with the words in qua re adiutus sum maxime ab Hieronymo Avantio Veronensi homine doctissime… (“in this, I have been helped a lot by Girolamo Avanzi of Venice, a most erudite man”) and said to have worked closely with Aldus on the emendation.