Chapter : 4. Print Culture and The Modern World

Print Comes To Europe

Print Comes To Europe
(i) Marco Polo, a great explorer reached Italy after several years of exploration in China in the year 1295. Macro Polo brought back with him the technology of woodblock printing. Now Italians started publishing books with woodblocks and soon the technology spread to other parts of Europe. Merchants and students in the university towns bought the cheaper printed copies.
(ii) As the demand for books increased, Scribes or skilled handwriters were no longer solely employed by wealthy or influential patrons but increasingly by booksellers as well. More than 50 scribes often worked for one bookseller.
Limitations of handwritten manuscripts :
It could not satisfy the ever-increasing demand for books. Copying was an expensive, laborious and time-consuming business. Manuscripts were fragile, awkward to handle, and could not be carried around or read easily. Their circulation therefore remained limited.
Hence woodblock printing gradually became more and more popular.

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