The humanist Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert introduced Homer to a Dutch audience with his translation of the first twelve books of the Odyssey that was published by Jan van Zuren in 1561. Aesthetically, this edition represented an extraordinary novelty in the Northern Netherlands: roman and italic typefaceshave been used! The introduction of these typefaces in Dutch-language books was made possible because of the particular situation in the southern regions of the Low Countries from the first half of the sixteenth century onward. In this area, the influence of French humanists facilitated the acceptance of these kind of typefaces. In the Northern Netherlands, including cities like Haarlem, the development was much slower: not a single book was printed in the vernacular before 1561 with an italic typeface. Actually, Jan van Zuren’s press had to abandon its activities a year later,and it was not until the seventeenth century that the roman and italic typefaces were used with any consistency in Dutch-language books, and even then the use of italics was almost always limited to indicate emphasis.