Jodocus Badius

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Trademark of the Badius printing shop
Bucolica, Georgica, et Aeneis, Servii Mauri Honorati & Aelii Donati commentariis illustrata (Basel 1544) with the commentary of Badius (Ascensius) printed next to the text.

Jodocus Badius (or Josse Badius, Josse Bade, Jodoco del Badia or Jodocus Van Asche Badius) (1462–1535) was a pioneer of the printing industry, and also a renowned grammarian and pedagogue.

Sometimes called Badius Ascensius from the village of Asse (Assche in the old spelling), near Brussels in Flemish Brabant, where he was born, he became an eminent printer at Paris. His establishment came to be known as the Prelum Ascensianum. He was also a scholar of considerable repute, had studied at Brussels and Ferrara, and, before settling in Paris, had taught Greek for several years at Lyon. He illustrated with notes several of the classics which he printed, and was the author of numerous pieces, amongst which are a life of Thomas a Kempis, and a satire on the follies of women, entitled Navicula Stultarum Mulierum.[1]

Badius worked first as an editor and proof-reader for the printer Jean Trechsel in Lyon (1492–1498). He then moved to Paris where he set up his printing shop in 1503. His production was almost entirely in Latin. He specialised in editions of Roman classical texts, often with his own familiare commentum for the student market,[2] and also Latin works by contemporary humanist writers.[3]

Badius's shop was one of the most productive of the period 1501–1530: 775 editions are listed in the bibliography in Philippe Renouard's Imprimeurs & libraires parisiens du XVIe siècle. He frequently worked for or in partnership with Johannes Parvus (Jean Petit), who was by far the most important wholesale bookseller/publisher of this period.

After his death the second eldest son Conrad continued his work. However, Conrad Badius confessed to being a Protestant and therefore fled to Calvinist Geneva in 1549.

See also[edit]

  • Editio princeps (Several entries relating to Jodocus Badius Ascensius and Johannes Parvus)


  1. ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Badius, Jodocus". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ For example, for the Roman playwright Terence (195–159 BC) Badius printed in 1502 in Lyon his Praenotamenta: Jodocus Badius Ascensius, Praenotamenta to the comedies of Terence (1502) edited by Paul White, consisting of a lengthy and thorough treatment of general theories of poetry, its origins, development, and classifications, that had the purpose of serving as an introduction to the subject of Roman Comedy.
  3. ^ Imprimeurs & libraires parisiens du XVIe siècle, t. 2 (Paris 1969) pp. 6--24; with a chronological list of his published output pp. 24--297
  4. ^ A.M. Smith, Printing and Writing Materials (Philadelphia, 1904), p. 72 plate