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Effect Of The Creation Of A Printing Press in Antiquity?

Horton

Administrator
Administrator
#1
Title says the idea. Let us say someone such as Archimedes or Aristotle was able to build a printing press before the birth of Christ.

Possible impact on history?
 

Salbazier

Well-known member
#4
Nothing, unless someone make effort to do significant things with it. :V

Well, I dunno. What's the impact of OTL invention of printing press and what polisocioeconomic factor that make it so?
 
#6
It will require an explosion of literacy to really impact society. Europe had an increasing literacy rate when the printing press was created, which meant a large audience for printed works. A printer could support himself on printing local stuff as well as reprinting out of town items for people to buy and read. A lot of this came from the expanding schooling system which was supported and often partly paid for by the Catholic Church, although there were also Protestant and Secular movements towards universal education.

From I understand in the Hellenic timeperiod most people couldn't read? If you don't have a good part of your society as literate, then it doesn't matter how cheap it is to make books on a certain level.

Could a printing press start a drive towards universal education and thus create a larger literate population?
 

Vyor

Well-known member
#9
It will require an explosion of literacy to really impact society. Europe had an increasing literacy rate when the printing press was created, which meant a large audience for printed works. A printer could support himself on printing local stuff as well as reprinting out of town items for people to buy and read. A lot of this came from the expanding schooling system which was supported and often partly paid for by the Catholic Church, although there were also Protestant and Secular movements towards universal education.

From I understand in the Hellenic timeperiod most people couldn't read? If you don't have a good part of your society as literate, then it doesn't matter how cheap it is to make books on a certain level.

Could a printing press start a drive towards universal education and thus create a larger literate population?
The protestant movement led to the mass printing of bibles in english.

That's... essentially what paid for it.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
#10
The only civilizations that could benefit immensely from an early printing press is China and Rome. China because, well, it's China and their civilization has done widespread education far earlier than we would believe. Rome because, well, Rome was considered one of the most educated civilizations of it's era.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
#12
Literacy rates in Rome where as high as 20% at times and this was concentrated among the wealthy and their servents aka those with spending money.

I think a printing press could prove quite popular in that time.
From what I understand, Rome was able to do a lot of what it did thanks in part by it's vastly more educated populous, more than the 20% described. Maybe 20% in our definition, but likely far higher in the Roman definition.
 
#16
To address the elephant in the room, the common trope of this leading to an early industrial revolution is pretty unlikely.
Definitely not a significantly earlier one, but a slightly earlier one. Because as long as the importance of the PP is realised, many, and I mean many documents that were lost in places like Alexandria due to it being a case of one version or such would suddenly have the potential to have been replicated, thus saving some good and tasty knowledge for the literate of the time.
 
#18
Papyrus tends to rot/mold much quicker than does paper or parchment, so outside of a dry climate (Such as Egypt, for example), it will be more problematic to maintain papyrus sheets/scrolls/books than would a parchment or paper sheet/scroll/book et cetera in a colder clime with more moisture.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
#19
How good is papyrus compared to paper? As in, availability and compatibility with a printing press?
Unless Papyrus has been weaved with Asbestos? Complete and utter crap outside of Egypt. China would likely be the first to fully utilize the printing press because they used hemp-paper (paper made out of hemp pulp) since the BCE 100s or earlier... or so I've read.
 

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