Aldus Manutius was credited with “inventing the semi-colon, and establishing the modern book trade with his easily transportable pocket-sized version of Greek philosophy and literary Latin (page 79).
I wonder if anyone has ever written a history of the semicolon? You'd only have to go back, according to Garfield, as far at the late 1400s. I'm curious because as a Victorianist, I can't help but notice that nineteenth century writers were pretty flexible with how they used the semicolon whereas we have really only two uses for it: complex lists and linking independent clauses.
~ From Just My Type:A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield.