Hieronimo Squarciafico

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Hieronimo Squarciafico was a 15th-century Venetian editor, who worked for the Italian humanist and printer Aldus Manutius, the founder of the Aldine Press at Venice.[1][2] Squarciafico is best known for bemoaning the printing press in an aphorism that reads as a pithy summation of his contemporaries' concerns over the spread of printed works: "Abundance of books makes men less studious".[3] Initially, in 1477, he wrote enthusiastically about the works he was engaged in having printed.[4] Yet, a few years later, in 1481, Squarciafico appeared to hold a more skeptical view when he imagined a discussion between the spirits of the great authors of the past being held in the Elysian Fields in which some of them lauded the craft of printing; while others complained that "printing had fallen into the hands of unlettered men, who corrupted almost everything";[4] and yet still others lamented that "their works would perish if they were not printed, since this art compels all writers to give way to it".[5]

Squarciafico remains relevant today in criticisms of modern electronic culture;[3] he has, in recent times, been quoted by theologian Walter J. Ong and technology critic Nicholas G. Carr, among others.[6][7]


  1. ^ Lowry 1979, p. 36–37
  2. ^ Lowry 1979, p. 192
  3. ^ a b Lowry 1979, p. 31
  4. ^ a b Lowry 1979, p. 29
  5. ^ Lowry 1979, p. 219
  6. ^ Ong 1982, p. 79
  7. ^ Carr, Nicholas (July 2008), "Is Google Making Us Stupid?", The Atlantic 301 (6), retrieved 2008-10-06