Tuesday, September 23, 2008
the printing press effect
Humanism, the Renaissance (which has a lot to do with the former), the Protestant Reformation, and the printing press (which had a lot to do with the spread of the former) all were aspects of one age in human history. It was kind of like the start of the information age accept there were no computers and with out this age there most likely would never have been any computers. An age in which great artist and great thinkers lived. And without the last thing listed (the printing press) the ideals of this age may never have gone very far or lasted very long. When Gutenberg invented the printing press it made readable media more quickly available. Because the production of books took less time and less work the price of books went down and codexes became more available to the lower classes which which made information available to everyone and produced in many the desire to read so they could have the same information as everyone else. The Bible along with other books was put into the hands of the commoners, and after this it was more easy for them to make their own opinions about the Bible. Especially, since Luther produced a version of the Bible in German. Now, one did not have to learn Greek to read it. When Luther either slipped under the door or nailed to the door the Ninety five Theses at the church in Wittenberg his friends were able to get copies and have them printed and spread around. This happened in October of 1517 and the printed copies had spread all over central Europe by December of the same year. This spread of one person's opinion along with the other opinions developed by people from reading the translated Bible that was also brought to them by printing typography led to the Protestant Reformation. The term Renaissance means revival or rebirth and often describes the transition from the medieval to the modern world. Humanism was a Greek ideal that since the fall of the Roman empire was left ruminant in the Greek and Latin classical writings but because of the printing press and its spread to other countries such as Italy. An important humanist and scholar of the Italian Renaissance, Aldus Manutius, established a printing press in Venice to publish these classics. These classics talk about human potential, a philosophy of human dignity and worth. That man was capable of using reason to solve problems. Instead divine intervention. And through the printing press these philosophies could spread in the place of the belief that the value of human life depended on God's judgement after death which ironically kept man from being all he could be. So, basically because of the printing press the people stopped letting the church think for them which began the Reformation and Humanism in the Renaissance. Thank God!