Giambattista Bodoni, an Italian printer, born at Saluzzo, Feb. 16, 1740, died in Padua, Nov. 20, 1813. He learned the trade of printer with his father, and practised drawing and engraving upon wood. At the age of 18 he was employed as a compositor in the printing office of the propaganda at Rome, and there learned Hebrew and Arabic, and engraved punches for a new set of oriental types. In 1768 he took charge of the ducal printing establishment at Parma, and engraved a new series of Greek types, in imitation of those employed by the Italian printers of the 15th century. To these alphabets he soon added others, and in 1775 printed the Epithalamia Exoticis Linguis red-dita, a folio of 500 pages containing the alphabets of 100 languages, nine of which now appeared for the first time. In 1789 he printed the first edition of his Manuale tipogrnfico, in folio, which contained descriptions of 100 cities, each printed in a different kind of type, and also specimens of Greek type, of which he then had 28 kinds, a number afterward increased to 45. An enlarged edition, partly prepared before his death, and continued by Luigi Orsi, appeared in 1818, in two large folio volumes, containing specimens of more than 250 alphabets, and is esteemed the most magnifient work of the kind.
The Bodonian foun-dery and printing office came to be the finest in Europe, famishing type to prominent printers in till countries. Bodoni gamed a considerable fortune and bought a fine estate, and bis name inscribed in the "golden book" of the nohility; but he continued to exercise his profession to the last. In 1806 he commenced the printing of a superb edition of the Iliad, which appeared in 1808, in 8 vols, folio. The Bo-donian editions of Greek, Latin, Italian, and French classics are notable rather for beauty than accuracy. Lama published his biography and a catalogue of his editions (2 vols, fol., Parma, 1816).