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Essential Question: What influence did the printing press have on cultural and intellectual developments in modern European history?
  Secular Effects of Printing Press
  Religious Effects of Printing Press
       KEY TERMS
movable type printing press vernacular literature Johannes Gutenberg Gutenberg Bible Martin Luther
Questions 1–3 refer to the passages below.
“At first, he [John Fust, a partner of Gutenberg’s, who took Bibles to Paris to sell] sold copies for so high a sum as 500 or 600 crowns, the prices usually demanded by the transcribers. He afterwards lowered his price to 60 crowns, which created universal astonishment; but when he produced copies as fast as they were wanted, and lowered the price to 30 crowns, all Paris was agitated. The uniformity of the copies increase the wonder; information was given to the police against him as a magician; his lodgings were searched; and a great number of copies being found, they were seized; the red ink with which they were embellished, was said to be his blood; it was seriously adjudged that he was in league with the devil, and if he had not fled, most probably he would have shared the fate of those whom ignorant and superstitious judges condemned in those days of witchcraft.”
—John Platts, A New Universal Biography, 1826
“[The early reactions to printed books] that are most frequently cited associate printing with divine rather than diabolic powers. But then the most familiar references come either from the blurbs and prefaces composed by early printers themselves or from editors and authors who found employment in print shops. Such men were likely to take a more favorable view than were the guildsmen who made a livelihood from manuscript books. . . . Whether the new art was considered a blessing or a curse; whether it was consigned to the Devil or attributed to God; the fact remains, that the initial increase in output did strike contemporary observers as sufficiently remarkable to suggest supernatural intervention.”
—Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press As an Agent of Change, 1979 TOPIC 1.4 PRINTING 23

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