Thus, previous methods of reading books started to decline; reading was no longer monopolized by the priests and aristocratic scholars. This led to the emergence of a new self reliant ilk of humans. Before the advent of print, reading was a group event, where one literate man would read out loud to a group of people. But, with print, literacy grew in leaps and bounds, whereby reading became a solitary pursuit.
(Paper cutting guillotine)
6.2 Religion redefined
(Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis which led to the Protestant Reformation)
It’s no coincidence that the Protestant Reformation rattled Europe’s religious unity right at the time when printing technology began to spread far and wide. The clergy and government officials found that their word was not irrefutable anymore; their words began to be questioned and denied. Since printed matter was cheaply available to the masses, it allowed readers across all classes of society to study religious scriptures and political issues all by themselves. The ones who could not read felt left out and earnestly attempted to educate themselves. The power of the print shook the dictatorship of knowledge which had previously rested in the hands of the Church. The people were no longer misguided by having their thinking interceded by the religious and political authorities who tweaked recorded sayings based on their will and whims. (02)
According to an Imperial ambassador to Istanbul in the middle of the 16th century, it was a sin for the Turks to print religious books. In 1515, the Ottoman Sultan Selim I issued a decree under which the practice of printing was punishable by death. At the end of the century, Sultan Murad III permitted the sale of non-religious printed books in Arabic characters; however, a majority of books continued to be imported from Italy. (03)
6.3 Liberation of Europe
(The Renaissance Man – By Leonardo da Vinci)