Rhetoricorum ad C. Herennium …



Cicero, Marcus Tullius.


Rhetoricorum ad C. Herennium …


Venice: Aldus Manutius and Andrea Torresani,


March 1514.


This volume of various rhetorical works of Cicero and ps.-Cicero provides enlightening and amusing insight into the daily life of Aldus Manutius. In the preface, Aldus complains to the poet Andrea Navagero (1483–1529) of the number of visitors who constantly disturb his work, to the point that he places a sign over the door to his office to thwart their interruptions. The capitalized passage in the preface captures the text of his sign:

“Whoever you are, Aldus asks you again and again what it is you want from him. State your business briefly, and then immediately go away, unless like Hercules you come to support the arms of weary Atlas. For there will always be something to do, both for you and for however many other feet come this way.”


From the collection of G. Scott Clemons.