Modern Greek Literature and Culture
Natasha Constantinidou-Taylor, University of Cyprus

Printing Greek Books in Sixteenth-Century Paris

Abstract

This paper will present an overview of Greek printing in sixteenth century Paris, a topic that scholarship still does not know much about. Though Greek printing arrived in France much later than the Italian states, and although it took a while for the new venture to be established firmly in the French capital, the inauguration of the Collège des lecteurs royaux (later Collège Royal) by Francis I in 1530, together with the introduction of the role/office of the Royal Printer of Greek and the royal patronage that this implied, quickly propelled the printing of Greek in Paris to the extent that it surpassed the production of the other main center for Greek printing and learning, Venice. This paper will draw examples from various printers and publishers active in the sixteenth century (e.g. Chrestien Wechel, Robert I Estienne, Adrien de Turnèbe et als) in order to address questions such as: what were the main trends of this venture? Which authors attracted the attention of publishers and readers? What was the role of the editors and professors of Greek in the process? Finally, what do these (mostly understudied) publications tell us about the spread of humanism and the learning of Greek in sixteenth century France?