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Gutenberg

Big things were happening in Europe during the early modern period: the Renaissance was spreadingfrom Italy to northern Europe, major scientific discoveries were being made, Christianity was breaking apart, and a German jeweler improved on Chinese printing techniques to change how the world communicated.

Renaissance = the “rebirth” of art, architecture, literature, and science that occurred in Europe in the late Middle Ages; a new interest in the achievements of ancient Greece and Rome that occurred between 1350 and 1600, especially in Italy.

Italy = the country that occupies the Italian Peninsula; its capital city is Rome.

As a goldsmith, Johannes Gutenberg was skilled at working with small pieces of metal. He combined this skill with an olive press design to produce a new printing press that used metal movable type. After his press printed multiple copies of one page, the pieces of type were reused to print more pages. Before this, it took a person anywhere from six months to two years to copy one book by hand. Gutenberg’s press made printing much faster, so books became less expensive and more widely available. People now had a reason to learn how to read and write. As a result, the printing press greatly expanded literacy, and it spread news of scientific discoveries and Renaissance ideas to wider audiences.

Johannes Gutenberg = A German printer who invented the printing press.

moveable type = a type of printing in which each character is on a separate piece of clay or metal, so that the pieces can be freely assembled or reassembled for printing any desired combination.