Johann Gutenberg

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Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (circa 1398 – February 3, 1468), a German metal-worker and inventor, achieved fame for his contributions to the technology of printing during the 1440s, including a type metal alloy and oil-based inks, a mould for casting type accurately, and a new kind of printing press based on presses used in wine-making. Tradition credits him with inventing movable type in Europe, an improvement on the block printing already in use there. By combining these elements into a production system, he allowed for the rapid printing of written materials and an information explosion in Renaissance Europe.

Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, as the son of a merchant named Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, who adopted the surname "zum Gutenberg" after the name of the neighborhood into which the family had moved.

Printing

Block printing, whereby individual sheets of paper were pressed into wooden blocks with the text and illustrations carved in, was in use in Europe and East Asia long before Gutenberg. The Koreans and Chinese knew about movable metal types at the time, but due to the complex nature of the Chinese writing system, printed material was not as abundant as that of Renaissance Europe.

It is not clear whether Gutenberg knew of these existing techniques or invented them independently. Some also claim Dutchman Laurens Coster as the first European to invent movable type.

Gutenberg certainly introduced efficient methods into book production, leading to a boom in the production of texts in Europe, in large part due to the popularity of the Gutenberg Bibles, the first mass-produced work, starting on February 23, 1455.

Gutenberg was a poor businessman, and made little money from his printing system.

Gutenberg began experimenting with metal typography after he had moved from his native town of Mainz to Strassburg (then in Germany, now Strasbourg, France) around 1430. Knowing that wood-block type involved a great deal of time and expense to reproduce because it had to be hand carved, Gutenberg concluded that metal type could be reproduced much more quickly once a single mould had been fashioned. His first efforts enabled him to mass-produce indulgences, printed slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church to remit the temporal punishments in Purgatory for sins committed in this life.

Johann Fust

Bible

In 1455 Gutenberg demonstrated the power of the printing press by selling copies of a two-volume Bible (Biblia Sacra) for 300 florins each. This was the equivalent of approximately three years' wages for an average clerk, but it was significantly cheaper than a handwritten Bible, which could take a single monk 20 years to transcribe.

The one copy of the Biblia Sacra dated 1455 went to Paris and was dated by the binder.

Debt

The money Gutenberg earned at the fair was not enough to pay Fust back for his investments. Fust sued, and the court's ruling not only effectively bankrupted Gutenberg, it awarded control of the type used in his Bible, plus much of the printing equipment, to Fust. So, while Gutenberg ran a print shop until just before his death in Mainz in 1468, Fust became the first printer to publish a book with his name on it.

Gutenberg was subsidized by the Archbishop of Mainz until his death. Gutenberg was also known to spend what little money he had on alcohol, so the Archbishop arranged for him to be paid in food and lodging, instead of coin.

Gutenberg Bibles

Gutenberg Bible, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

The Gutenberg Bibles surviving today are sometimes called the oldest surviving books printed with movable type, although the oldest surviving book was published in Korea in 1377. As of 2003, the Gutenberg Bible census includes 11 complete copies on vellum, 1 copy of the New Testament only on vellum, 48 substantially complete integral copies on paper, with another divided copy on paper, and an illiminated page (the Bagford fragment).

Other printed works

The Bible was not Gutenberg's first printed work, for he produced approximately two dozen editions of Ars Minor, a portion of Aelius Donatus's schoolbook on Latin grammar, the first edition of which is believed to have been printed between 1451 and 1452.

Legacy

Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, his invention spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe far faster than before. It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, was a major factor in originating the scientific revolution. Literacy also increased as a result. Gutenberg's inventions are sometimes considered the turning point from the Mediaeval Era to the Early Modern Period.

The term incunabulum refers to a western printed book produced between the first work of Gutenberg and the end of the year 1500.

There are many statues of Gutenberg in Germany, one of the more famous being a work by Thorvaldsen, in Mainz, which is also home to the Gutenberg Museum.

The Gutenberg Galaxy and Project Gutenberg commemorate Gutenberg's name.

Related articles

  • Printing
  • Typography
  • Incunabulum
  • Francysk Skaryna
  • William Caxton
  • World Almanac's Ten Most Influential People of the Second Millennium

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The Gutenberg Galaxy and Project Gutenberg commemorate Gutenberg's name.
. There are many statues of Gutenberg in Germany, one of the more famous being a work by Thorvaldsen, in Mainz, which is also home to the Gutenberg Museum.
. The term incunabulum refers to a western printed book produced between the first work of Gutenberg and the end of the year 1500.
. Gutenberg's inventions are sometimes considered the turning point from the Mediaeval Era to the Early Modern Period.
.

Literacy also increased as a result. This assertion remains highly controversial, (see Shakespearean authorship for additional details) yet these historians believe it makes the most sense. It fed the growing Renaissance, and since it greatly facilitated scientific publishing, was a major factor in originating the scientific revolution. Some historians have extended Bacon's acknowledged body of work by claiming that Bacon was the author of the plays usually attributed to William Shakespeare. Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, his invention spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe far faster than before. Where philosophy is based on reason, faith is based on revelation, and therefore irrational—in De augmentis he writes that "[t]he more discordant, therefore, and incredible, the divine mystery is, the more honor is shown to God in believing it, and the nobler is the victory of faith.". The Bible was not Gutenberg's first printed work, for he produced approximately two dozen editions of Ars Minor, a portion of Aelius Donatus's schoolbook on Latin grammar, the first edition of which is believed to have been printed between 1451 and 1452. Bacon distinctly separates religion and philosophy, though the two can coexist.

As of 2003, the Gutenberg Bible census includes 11 complete copies on vellum, 1 copy of the New Testament only on vellum, 48 substantially complete integral copies on paper, with another divided copy on paper, and an illiminated page (the Bagford fragment). No universal rules can be made, as both situations and men's characters differ. The Gutenberg Bibles surviving today are sometimes called the oldest surviving books printed with movable type, although the oldest surviving book was published in Korea in 1377. Any moral action is the action of the human will, which is governed by reason and spurred on by the passions; habit is what aids men in directing their will toward the good. Gutenberg was also known to spend what little money he had on alcohol, so the Archbishop arranged for him to be paid in food and lodging, instead of coin. He distinguishes between duty to the community, an ethical matter, and duty to God, a purely religious matter. Gutenberg was subsidized by the Archbishop of Mainz until his death. Bacon's somewhat fragmentary ethical system, derived through use of his methods, is explicated in the seventh and eighth books of his De augmentis scientiarum (1623).

So, while Gutenberg ran a print shop until just before his death in Mainz in 1468, Fust became the first printer to publish a book with his name on it. Bacon's developments of the inductive philosophy would revolutionise the future thought of the human race. Fust sued, and the court's ruling not only effectively bankrupted Gutenberg, it awarded control of the type used in his Bible, plus much of the printing equipment, to Fust. The end of induction is the discovery of forms, the ways in which natural phenomena occur, the causes from which they proceed. The money Gutenberg earned at the fair was not enough to pay Fust back for his investments. These are called "Idols" (idola), and are of four kinds: "Idols of the Tribe" (idola tribus), which are common to the race; "Idols of the Den" (idola specus), which are peculiar to the individual; "Idols of the Marketplace" (idola fori), coming from the misuse of language; and "Idols of the Theater" (idola theatri), which result from an abuse of authority. The one copy of the Biblia Sacra dated 1455 went to Paris and was dated by the binder. Before beginning this induction, the inquirer is to free his mind from certain false notions or tendencies which distort the truth.

This was the equivalent of approximately three years' wages for an average clerk, but it was significantly cheaper than a handwritten Bible, which could take a single monk 20 years to transcribe. Bacon did not propose an actual philosophy, but rather a method of developing philosophy; he wrote that, whilst philosophy at the time used the deductive syllogism to interpret nature, the philosopher should instead proceed through inductive reasoning from fact to axiom to law. In 1455 Gutenberg demonstrated the power of the printing press by selling copies of a two-volume Bible (Biblia Sacra) for 300 florins each. The intellect of Bacon was one of the most powerful and searching ever possessed by man. His first efforts enabled him to mass-produce indulgences, printed slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church to remit the temporal punishments in Purgatory for sins committed in this life. Bacon also wrote In felicem memoriam Elizabethae, a eulogy for the queen written in 1609; and various philosophical works which constitute the fragmentary and incomplete Instauratio magna, the most important part of which is the Novum Organum (published 1620). Knowing that wood-block type involved a great deal of time and expense to reproduce because it had to be hand carved, Gutenberg concluded that metal type could be reproduced much more quickly once a single mould had been fashioned. His famous aphorism, "knowledge is power", is found in the Meditations.

Gutenberg began experimenting with metal typography after he had moved from his native town of Mainz to Strassburg (then in Germany, now Strasbourg, France) around 1430. Bacon's works include his Essays, as well as the Colours of Good and Evil and the Meditationes Sacrae, all published in 1597. Gutenberg was a poor businessman, and made little money from his printing system. He died on April 9, 1626, leaving debts to the amount of £22,000. Gutenberg certainly introduced efficient methods into book production, leading to a boom in the production of texts in Europe, in large part due to the popularity of the Gutenberg Bibles, the first mass-produced work, starting on February 23, 1455. He died at Highgate. Some also claim Dutchman Laurens Coster as the first European to invent movable type. Bacon purchased a chicken (fowl) to investigate this possibility, but, during the endeavour of stuffing it with snow, contracted a fatal case of pneumonia.

It is not clear whether Gutenberg knew of these existing techniques or invented them independently. In March, 1626, he came to London, and shortly after, when driving on a snowy day, he was inspired by the possibility of using snow to preserve meat. The Koreans and Chinese knew about movable metal types at the time, but due to the complex nature of the Chinese writing system, printed material was not as abundant as that of Renaissance Europe. Francis Bacon's death had a considerable element of irony. Block printing, whereby individual sheets of paper were pressed into wooden blocks with the text and illustrations carved in, was in use in Europe and East Asia long before Gutenberg. Innocents Day. . I am as innocent of bribes as any born on St.

Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, as the son of a merchant named Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, who adopted the surname "zum Gutenberg" after the name of the neighborhood into which the family had moved. I know I have clean hands and a clean heart. By combining these elements into a production system, he allowed for the rapid printing of written materials and an information explosion in Renaissance Europe. When the book of all hearts is opened, I trust I shall not be found to have the troubled fountain of a corrupt heart. Tradition credits him with inventing movable type in Europe, an improvement on the block printing already in use there. I was the justest judge, that was in England these last fifty years. Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (circa 1398 – February 3, 1468), a German metal-worker and inventor, achieved fame for his contributions to the technology of printing during the 1440s, including a type metal alloy and oil-based inks, a mould for casting type accurately, and a new kind of printing press based on presses used in wine-making. Bacon commenting on his impeachment as Chancellor in which he was forced to plead guilty to bribery charges in order to save King James from a political scandal stated:.

World Almanac's Ten Most Influential People of the Second Millennium. However, subsequent research by Nieves Mathews in her book, Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination, Yale University Press, sets the record straight by demonstrating that Bacon was completely innocent of the bribery charges and that opportune writers from later times were themselves guilty of slandering Bacon's reputation and unfairly influencing later generations about the actual facts of this predicament. William Caxton. Thenceforth he devoted himself to study and writing. Francysk Skaryna. He narrowly escaped being deprived of his titles. Incunabulum. To the lords, who sent a committee to inquire whether the confession was really his, he replied, "My lords, it is my act, my hand, and my heart; I beseech your lordships to be merciful to a broken reed." He was sentenced to a fine of £40,000, remitted by the king, to be committed to the Tower during the king's pleasure (which was that he should be released in a few days), and to be incapable of holding office or sitting in parliament.

Typography. His public career ended in disgrace in 1621 when, after having fallen into debt, a Parliamentary Committee on the administration of the law charged him with corruption under 23 counts; and so clear was the evidence that he made no attempt at defence. Printing. He was corrupt alike politically and judicially, and now the hour of retribution arrived. showed a failure of character in striking contrast with the majesty of his intellect. In his great office B.

Bacon continued to receive the King's favor, and in 1618 was appointed by James to the position of Lord Chancellor. His obvious influence over the king inspired resentment or apprehension in many of his peers. The parliament of April 1614 objected to Bacon's presence in the seat for Cambridge—he was allowed to stay, but a law was passed that forbade the attorney-general to sit in parliament—and to the various royal plans which Bacon had supported. In 1613, Bacon was finally able to become attorney-general, by dint of advising the king to shuffle judicial appointments; and in this capacity he would prosecute Somerset in 1616.

Through this Bacon managed in frequent debate to uphold the prerogative, while retaining the confidence of the Commons. Despite Bacon's advice to him, James and the Commons found themselves frequently at odds over royal prerogatives and the king's embarrassing extravagance, and the House was dissolved in February 1611. In 1610 the famous fourth parliament of James met. However, Bacon's services were rewarded in June 1607 with the office of Solicitor.

Meanwhile (in 1608), he had entered upon the Clerkship of the Star Chamber, and was in the enjoyment of a large income; but old debts and present extravagance kept him embarrassed, and he endeavoured to obtain further promotion and wealth by supporting the king in his arbitrary policy. Little or nothing is known of their married life: modern scholars speculate that he may have been a homosexual. In the course of the uneventful first parliament session Bacon married Alice Barnham, the daughter of a London merchant. The accession of James I brought Bacon into greater favour; he was knighted in 1603, and endeavoured to set himself right with the new powers by writing his Apologie (defence) of his proceedings in the case of Essex, who had favoured the succession of James.

He received a gift of a fine of £1200 on one of Essex's accomplices. the Earl of Essex, etc. This act Bacon endeavoured to justify in A Declaration of the Practices and Treasons, etc., of .. His relationship with the queen also improved when he severed ties with Essex, a fortunate move considering that the latter would be executed for treason in 1601; and Bacon was one of those appointed to investigate the charges against him, and examine witnesses, in connection with which he showed an ungrateful and indecent eagerness in pressing the case against his former friend and benefactor.

She had begun to employ him in crown affairs a few years previously, and he gradually acquired the standing of one of the learned counsel, though he had no commission or warrant and received no salary. His standing in the queen's eyes, however, was beginning to improve. His friends could find no public office for him, a scheme for retrieving his position by a marriage with the wealthy widow Lady Elizabeth Hatton failed, and in 1598 he was arrested for debt. During the next few years, his financial situation remained bad.

In 1596 he was made a Queen's Counsel, but missed the appointment of Master of the Rolls. To console him for these disappointments Essex presented him with a property at Twickenham, which he subsequently sold for £1800, equivalent to a much larger sum now. When the Attorney-Generalship fell vacant in 1594 and Bacon became a candidate for the office, Lord Essex's influence could not secure him the position; in fashion, Bacon failed to become solicitor in 1595. His opposition to a bill that would levy triple subsidies in half the usual time (he objected to the time span) offended many people; he was accused of seeking popularity, and was for a time excluded from the court.

Bacon took his seat for Middlesex when in February 1593 Elizabeth called a Parliament to investigate a Catholic plot against her. By 1591 he was acting as the earl's confidential adviser. During this period Bacon became acquainted with Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (1567-1601), Queen Elizabeth's favourite. About this time he seems again to have approached his powerful uncle, the result of which may possibly be traced in his rapid progress at the Bar, and in his receiving, in 1589, the reversion to the Clerkship of the Star Chamber, a valuable appointment, the enjoyment of which, however, he did not enter into until 1608.

In the Parliament of 1586 he took a prominent part in urging the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. He wrote on the condition of parties in the church, and he set down his thoughts on philosophical reform in the lost tract, Temporis Partus Maximus, but he failed to obtain a position of the kind he thought necessary for success. In 1584 he took his seat in parliament for Melcombe in Dorset, and subsequently for Taunton (1586). His application failed, and for the next two years he worked quietly at Gray's Inn giving himself seriously to the study of law, until admitted as an outer barrister in 1582.

Knowing that a prestigious post would aid him toward these ends, in 1580 he applied, through his uncle, Lord Burghley, for some post at court which might enable him to devote himself to a life of learning. In the fragment De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium (written probably about 1603) Bacon analyses his own mental character and establishes his goals, which were threefold: discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. To support himself, he took up his residence in law at Gray's Inn in 1579. Having started with insufficient means, he borrowed money and became habitually in debt.

Sir Nicholas had laid up a considerable sum of money to purchase an estate for his youngest son, but he died before doing so, and Francis was left with only a fifth of that money. The sudden death of his father in February 1579 necessitated Bacon's return to England, and seriously influenced his fortunes. The disturbed state of government and society in France under Henry III afforded him valuable political instruction. On June 27, 1576, he and Anthony were entered de societate magistrorum at Gray's Inn, and a few months later they went abroad with Sir Amias Paulet, the English ambassador at Paris.

His reverence for Aristotle conflicted with his dislike of Aristotelian philosophy, which seemed barren, disputatious, and wrong in its objectives. Here also his studies of science brought him to the conclusion that the methods (and thus the results) were erroneous. At Cambridge he first met the Queen, who was impressed by his precocious intellect, and was accustomed to call him "the young Lord Keeper.". He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1573 at the age of 13, living for three years there with his older brother Anthony Bacon.

Biographers believe that Bacon received an education at home in his early years, and that his health during that time, as later, was delicate. His mother, Ann Cooke Bacon was the second wife of Sir Nicholas, a member of the Reformed or Puritan Church, and a daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, whose sister married William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the great minister of Queen Elizabeth. He was the youngest of five sons of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal under Elizabeth I. Francis Bacon was born at York House, Strand, London.

. In the context of his time, such methods were connected with the occult trends of hermeticism and alchemy. Induction implies drawing knowledge from the natural world through experimentation, observation, and testing of hypotheses. His works establish and popularize an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method.

He began his professional life as a lawyer, but he has become best known as a philosophical advocate and defender of the scientific revolution. He was knighted in 1603, created Baron Verulam in 1618, and created Viscount St Albans in 1621; both peerage titles becoming extinct upon his death. Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, spy, freemason and essayist. Some material originally from the 1911 Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion..

Dutton. Dent & sons; New York, E.P. A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London, J.M. This article incorporates text from: Cousin, John William (1910).

This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which is in the public domain..

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