Page 41 - ap-european-history-2-sampler
P. 41

Printing then spread rapidly throughout Europe, and within a few years there were printers throughout the Germanic states of the Holy Roman Empire. By the 1470s, printing had spread throughout Europe. By 1500, Europe had more than 1,000 printers, and
Venice alone had nearly 100. Cities
in present-day Germany and Italy
were hotbeds of early printing.
Later, printers launched businesses
in Sweden, France, England, and
what is now Poland.
 One of the earliest printers in Venice was Aldus Manutius the Elder (1449–1515). He printed works by dozens of ancient writers in Greek and Latin. Within a century, he and his descendants printed editions of nearly 1,000 different books. Having accurate, relatively inexpensive copies of these works changed how scholars of the 1400s and 1500s saw the world. He wrote in an introduction to one of his books, “Those who cultivate letters [want to learn] must be supplied with the books necessary to their purpose; and until this supply is secured I shall not rest.”
Source: Getty Images
A page from a Gutenberg Bible with Latin text
With all the different printers and editions, book buyers often relied on printers’ marks to ensure quality. These were simple symbols representing a particular printer’s work. Book buyers could recognize and remember these marks easily, much like the corporate logos of today. Printer Charlotte Guillard (c. 1485–1557) used such marks when she issued more than 200 different books.
Many earlier printed works had been religious or classical and were often in Latin. However, the printing press made vernacular literature, written in the everyday language of a region, increasingly available. The availability of books in the language that ordinary people used increased the number of lay readers (people who could read even though they had little or no religious training). Over the following centuries, people reading books in their own language continued and accelerated the development of unique national cultures throughout Europe.

   39   40   41   42   43