Peter Smith

Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff

Printing in Early Modern Europe

A. Watch the video: Printing, Knowledge and Ideas [New ed]:


B. Revision questions on the video: Printing, Knowledge, & Ideas:

1. Identify four major ‘cultural revolutions’ in human communications history.

2. Where did printing first originate, and what form did it take?

3. Why did the early development of printing in East Asia not have the same revolutionary impact which it later came to have in Europe?

4. What is typography, and how is it different from xylography?

5. Why does the form of writing in Europe make it easier to use typography than Chinese does?

6, Who was the first European to develop printing? When was this, and where was he based?

7. What basic method was used in early European printing?

8. What was the first major book printed in Europe? Approximately when?

9. What ended Mainz’s primacy as the first European printing centre?

10. Which city quickly became the main printing centre in Europe?

11. What was the estimated number of printed books in Europe by 1500?

12. Identify at least 5 of the probable impacts of printing on European culture.

13. Why was the development of literacy particularly strong in Protestant countries?

14. How did printing change the possible impact of an author’s writings?

15. How did printing have an impact beyond the educated elite?

16. How did printing promote a more critical approach to texts?

17. (a) Before the invention of printing were there any ‘national’ languages in Europe? Why?/Why not? (b) How did printing change the situation?

18. (i) Before printing, what language did most educated Europeans know? (ii) What institutions used that language most?

19. How did printing impact on Scholarship?

20. (a) How did printing change the format and organization of books? & (b) [Not in video] How did these changes make use of and reference to a book much easier?

21. What innovations were made to make it easier to read a printed book?

22. How did printing make library organization and cataloguing easier?

23. How did printing make the study of ‘Classical’ (i.e. Latin & Greek) literature, history & philosophy easier?

24. What impact did printing have on European religious and political disputes?

25. Why was it significant that printing did not spread widely outside Europe and its overseas colonies? [Not directly in the video]

26. Why did printing lead to the development of censorship?

27. Which institution developed the most comprehensive system of censorship?

28. Apart from censorship, what other method did European governments often use to control what was printed?

29. (a) Were European governments all the same in their policies on allowing printing? Explain. &(b) [Not in video] Why were such differences important?

30. Printing facilitated the spread of whole bodies of new ideas. Which major intellectual movements of Early Modern Europe were impacted?

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This entry was posted on April 23, 2013 by in History of Ideas and tagged , , .
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