March 21, 1452 - The Publishing Revolution
How a little machine shook the world and caused a revolution:
1450-1750: The early modern world
The publishing revolution
- origins and contexts
- consequences: 3 events shaped by the printing press
- Reformation 1517
- Protestants vs. Catholic
- Peasants War 1524-5
- Encounter: 1492
The reformation - Protestants, name comes from protest. Rips across western europe,
rips christianity in 2, half the population left the catholic church. The Catholic Church
dictated everything that people did. This was a really big deal.
Some Peasants were very upset with the way they were being treated. Economic
pressures were great for those who owned the land, and the peasants were caught in
the middle of it - The peasants wanted their right to be given back, they used a lot of the
language that came out of the Reformation. How did they get those words?
The New World - How people experienced the world that they would never see, in
The Renaissance - How the printing press spread the renaissance around the world. 2
Origins and Context
The printing press
- In Asia in the 9th century
- In europe: c. 1440
- Johannes Gutenberg: a bit of a ???
- A goldsmith
- moveable type
- Mainz, Germany
A lot of people like the bible, he ﬁgures out a way to make money. He wants to ﬁnd
investors to fund his printing press. He develops Moveable type - A way to print several
pages of books at once instead of traditional carving.
New paper + Metal Moveable Letters + Oil based ink + Wine press tech. + Printing Rev!
New kind of paper. Used to be made out of animal skin, invents paper made from wood
pulp. He ﬁgures out a way to make a metal casing that he can pour in multiple times
and rearrange to make multiple pages. He makes an oil based ink that will stick to the
metal letters. Used wine press to make measured imprints, using the appropriate
amount of pressure. The Printing Revolution! Incunabula: books that were printed
between the beginning of the printing revolution and the 1500’s. Small books that you
could hide in your pocket. 3
- Learning survived in monasteries
- illuminated manuscripts
- Oral Traditions
- Priests as semi - literate
- important role
- record keeping
- Teachers would dictate Aristotle and Plato to their students. Very few people handled a
book. Books were expensive. Priests were very important because they kept records -
latin - and dictated to people Christianity. The printing press challenged the fact that
religion had to be in latin, that priests had access to information that other people
didn’t. This is important because of the Reformation.
- books expensive (how much would it cost to get someone to write out harry potter by
- Only the wealthy could afford them
- Inconsistency - even in bibles
- Chain them down
- 98% illiteracy: not only couldn’t they read Latin, they couldn’t read
- The comma became important to the Catholic Church - Father, Son, Holy Ghost. No
commas? does the trinity exist, some thinkers got into trouble - Errors in text. Broken
Telephone method of translating. 4
- what made the printing press a necessity?
- World business models that needed consistent documents
- spirit of entrepreneurship
- The Renaissance: art and experimentation
- Democratization of ideas and art?
- Rise of the university
- Da Vinci, curiosity, the desire to spread knowledge in the renaissance, innovations in
artistic method needing to be shared - the printing press allowed that. The university
put pressure on the book world to innovate to be able to study the same books. There
is a burst of university in 14th and 15th students. A new social class of business world
students. You too can have a Durer: people not being able to have precious art works:
people were now able to own prints of famous artworks. Durer developed art on
copper plates to be printed on pamphlets. Protestants.
- spread political ideas: propaganda
- Spread religious ideas
- spread literacy
- spread art
- caused people to question authority because they found out that other people were
questioning their own authority.
- Gets lots of people to question authority
- Gossip! Publish Letters
- Bodies: stare at them!
- ﬁrst pornography - conﬂicting morals, challenging morals, protesting* whores
- Art: get some!
- you can get art, real art, if you don’t read,