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Cardano And His Publishers, 1534-1663

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Chapter Summary

The Cardano who is the subject of this chapter is both the historical figure and the Cardano created by his readers. The chapter examines the material facts of the publication of Cardano's books during his lifetime, and the fortunes of these and his manuscripts after his death. To address questions such as, how, and for what, and in what circles, was he known at various stages during his lifetime and after his death, how did it come about that he was published at all, the author presents a brief account of the economic and sociological features of publishing in the sixteenth century. The chapter considers Cardano's own (plentiful) comments about his entry into the republic of letters, and to align these with evidence from the world of books and its denizens: printers, publishers, distributors, dedicatees, censors, licensing agencies, purchasers. Cardano's most published work in his lifetime was the De subtilitate.

Keywords: Cardano manuscripts; De subtilitate; humanist publishers



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