In 1758 Bodoni moved to Rome to work at the Propaganda Fide, a press set up by the Vatican to spread the Gospel. One of the special features of this press was the printing of texts in foreign languages, including many which used exotic and uncommon scripts.
In the early 1800s Bodoni set and printed The Lord’s Prayer (Oratio Dominica) in 155 languages, including such unusual tongues as Greenlandic, Madagascarese, and Javanese. Aside from being a triumph of polyglot printing, the Oratio is a beautiful piece of typography: the multi-rule borders on each page are a precursor to Bodoni’s Manuale Tipografico.
PROVENANCE: Bruce Rogers; later David R. Godine