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Printing Notes

History Notes > General History III: 1400–1650 (Renaissance, Recovery and Reform) Notes

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GIII Revision Notes.

Printing. Brief background:
- Printing had existed prior to Gutenberg, through wooden blocks.
- 'Putting-out' system used to produce some books pre-print: not as clear-cut a revolution (diff scribes worked on diff sections of texts - 'pecia' system).
- His innovation was to create movable metal type, and develop ink and improve the screw press (more flexible, legible).
- Began Mainz 1439, spread to Cologne 1464, Basel 1466, Rome 1467, Venice 1469, Paris, Nuremberg, Utrecht 1470.
- Then spread to uni towns.Period saw huge growth of printing:
- >110 towns had presses 1480. 236 1500.
- Spain 1472-89: 300 editions prod. 1307 1501-20.
- 20 mill books prod in Europe pre-1500. 150-200,000 15001600.
- Geog variation: Western Eu = leader. Muscovy v ltd - <30 titles prod. by

1612. - Spain: 31 permanent presses before 1510.
- 49 Italian towns had presses 1501-1520.
- 1480: 50 German towns had.
- France: grouped in Paris - 75 printers 1644.
- Russia's in Moscow, Kiev, St Petersburg.

1. What was the impact of print on religion?
- Martin Luther spoke of printing as 'God's highest act of grace'.
- Clearly helped to spread relig ideas. Used in education of children.E.g. 1480, Alcala, Spain, priests ordered to possess parchment cartilla, with articles of faith, Ten Commandments and list of sacraments, vices and virtues written on them. Posted in prom place.E.g. catechisms - Dominican Villanova set up catechism schools, Milan, 1536.E.g. through picture books, e.g. Comenius' picture book.E.g. broadsheets printed with Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Credo in Latin and Italian distrib.Boosted Protestantism: fit well with methods."more compatible with Protestant bibliolatry and pamphleteering" (Eisenstein).

2. What was the impact of print on education and ideas?
- "Revolutionised all forms of learning" (Eisenstein).

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