Portrait of Gasparinus de Bergamo, designed by Rosalba Maria Salvioni, engraved by Anton Fritz.
The first book printed in France: Epistolae ("Letters"), by Gasparinus de Bergamo (Gasparino Barzizza). It was printed in 1470 by the press established by
Gasparinus de Bergamo (in
Italian, Gasparino (da) Barzizza; in
French, Gasparin de Bergame; in
Latin, Gasparinus Barzizius Bergomensis or Pergamensis) (c. 1360 – 1431) was an Italian
grammarian and teacher noted for introducing a new style of
epistolaryLatin inspired by the works of
Born Gasparino Di Pietrobuono in the village of Barzizza, near
Bergamo, he studied
Pavia. Remaining there to teach from 1403 to 1407, he subsequently moved to
Venice to serve as private tutor to the
He then taught at
Ferrara, and on the invitation of
Filippo Maria Visconti, opened an elementary school at
Milan in 1418, to be organized along the same lines as Gasparinus' school at Padua. He taught at Milan from 1421 and also served as Visconti's court
By his marriage to Lucrezia Alliardi, Gasparinus had a son, named Guimforte (Guiniforto) Barzizza (c. 1406–63), who became a distinguished scholar and writer. Guimforte married Giovannina Malabarba.
Epistolarum liber ("Book of Letters") or Epistolae ("Letters"): his most famous work, which carries the distinction of being the first book printed in
Paris), in 1470, with the newly introduced
printing press by
Johann Heynlin. This work was intended to provide an exemplar for students for the writing of artful and elegant
Latin and was designed to teach prose composition.
Orthographia: a manual of Latin
orthography, his most important work.
possibly the Sinonima Ciceronis ("Synonyms of Cicero"): a collection of synonymous terms used in the rhetorical works of Cicero, produced to aid in the expansion of students' rhetorical vocabulary in Latin.
^The work is anonymous, but R.G.G. Mercer
suggests, in The Teaching of Gasparino Barzizza: With Special Reference to his Place in Paduan Humanism (London, 1979; p. 66) that it may well be the work of Barzizza.