5 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2024
    1. Gutenberg Prints the 42-Line Bible1455 to 1456 PermalinkImage Source: www.themorgan.org Prologue to the Pentateuch, I, 3v–4r . Biblia Latina, Mainz: Johann Gutenberg & Johann Fust, ca. 1455, PML 12, I, 3v–4r. From the copy in the Morgan Library & Museum.  Books of the Bible on these pages: Letter of Saint Jerome to Paulinus, Prologue to the Pentateuch During 1455 and 1456 Johannes Gutenberg, working in Mainz with merchant and money-lender Johann Fust and former scribe turned printer Peter Schöffer, completed printing the 42-line Bible (B42) (Gutenberg Bible), the first book printed in Europe from movable type. It is thought that Gutenberg may have begun the first, experimental printing of the Bible as early as 1452. To accomplish this monumental task Gutenberg, previously a goldsmith, invented a special kind of printing ink, a method of casting type, and a special kind of press derived from the wine or oil press. This complex set of integrated technologies has been called the first invention in Europe attributed to a single individual. Printing books was also the first process of mass production—the process that centuries later became the model for the Industrial Revolution. Yet the process of printing from movable type, for centuries attributed to Gutenberg, without supporting documents on the technical aspects of the process, except for the surviving examples of his printing, seems to have evolved in stages from the early 1450s, and may or may not have involved other inventors besides Gutenberg. In 2002 physicist and software developer Blaise Aguera y Arcas and Paul Needham, Librarian of the Scheide Library at Princeton University, working on original editions in the Scheide Library, used high resolution scans of individual characters printed by Gutenberg, and image processing algorithms to locate and compare variants of the same characters printed by Gutenberg. "The irregularities in Gutenberg's type, particularly in simple characters such as the hyphen, made it clear that the variations could not have come from either ink smear or from wear and damage on the pieces of metal on the types themselves. While some identical types are clearly used on other pages, other variations, subjected to detailed image analysis, made for only one conclusion: that they could not have been produced from the same matrix. Transmitted light pictures of the page also revealed substructures in the type that could not arise from punchcutting techniques. They [Agüera y Arcas and Needham] hypothesized that the method involved impressing simple shapes to create alphabets in "cuneiform" style in a mould like sand. Casting the type would destroy the mould, and the alphabet would need to be recreated to make additional type. This would explain the non-identical type, as well as the substructures observed in the printed type. Thus, they feel that 'the decisive factor for the birth of typography', the use of reusable moulds for casting type, might have been a more progressive process than was previously thought. . . . " (Wikipedia article on Johannes Gutenberg, accessed 02-08-2009). When the punch-matrix process of typefounding which became dominant was introduced, and by whom, remained an unsolved problem in 2010. References: Blaise Agüera y Arcas and Paul Needham, "Computational analytical bibliography," Proceedings Bibliopolis Conference The future history of the book', The Hague: Koninklijke Bibliotheek, (November 2002). Agüera y Arcas, "Temporary Matrices and Elemental Punches in Gutenberg's DK type", in: Jensen (ed) Incunabula and Their Readers. Printing , Selling, and Using Books in the Fifteenth Century (2003) 1-12. ISTC no. ib00526000 It has been determined that there were three phases in the printing process of the B42: 1. The first sheets were rubricated by being passed twice through the printing press, using black and then red ink. This process was soon abandoned, with spaces left for rubrication to be added by hand. 2. Some time later, after more sheets had been printed, the number of lines per page was increased from 40 to 42, presumably to save paper. Therefore, pages 1 to 9 and pages 256 to 265, presumably the first ones printed, have 40 lines each. Page 10 has 41, and from there on the 42 lines appear. The increase in line number was achieved by decreasing the interline spacing, rather than increasing the printed area of the page. 3. The print run was increased, probably to 180 copies, necessitating resetting those pages which had already been printed. The new sheets were all reset to 42 lines per page. Consequently, there are two distinct settings in folios 1-32 and 129-158 of volume I and folios 1-16 and 162 of volume II. As the work contains 1,282 pages it is thought that the printing process took roughly two years as the press could make between eight and sixteen impressions per hour. It is believed that  approximately 180 copies of the Bible were produced, 135 on paper and 45 on vellum. When illuminated, the vellum copies would have even more closely resembled traditional medieval manuscripts. 47 or 48 copies survived, but of these only 21 are complete. Others are missing leaves or whole volumes. The 48 copies include volumes in Trier and Indiana which seem to be two parts of one copy. There are a substantial number of fragments, including numerous individual leaves. Twelve vellum copies survived, of which four are complete, and one is the New Testament only.  See White, Eric M. "The Gutenberg Bibles that Survive as Binder's Waste," Wagner & Reed (eds) Early Printed Books as Material Objects. Proceedings of the Conference Organized by the IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Munich, 19-21 August 2009 (2010) 21-35. "Customers paid around 20 gulden for a paper copy of the Gutenberg Bible and 50 for a copy on vellum. By way of comparison, a stone-built house in Mainz would have cost between 80 and 100 gulden; a master craftsman would have earned between 20 and 30 guilden a year" (Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance [2010] 29). ♦ When I checked the ISTC in January 2010 there were four different digital facsimiles available online, from the British Library, Keio University, Niedersächische Staats- und Universitäts Bibliothek Göttingen, and the Library of Congress. The British Library site offers the opportunity to compare in a virtual sense their copies printed on paper and on vellum.



  2. Apr 2024
    1. in 1946, Joseph Stalin had changed tack, feeling that he needed religion to shore up popular support. He revived the Church in zombified form, an instrument of the state that was massively surveilled and controlled by the security services. When some of the KGB’s archives were exposed in 2014—thanks in part to the brave efforts of the late Gleb Yakunin, a dissident Russian priest who spent years in prison—the collusion of the Church’s leaders was revealed.
  3. Jan 2023
    1. T he REVELATIONS about the possible complicity of the Bulgarian secret police in the shooting of the Pope have produced a grudging admission, even in previously skeptical quarters, that the Soviet Union may be involved in international terrorism. Some patterns have emerged in the past few years that tell us some- thing about the extent to which the Kremlin may use terrorism as an instrument of policy. A great deal of information has lately come to light, some of it accurate, some of it not. One of the most interesting developments appears to be the emergence of a close working relation- ship between organized crime (especially drug smug- glers and dealers) and some of the principal groups in the terrorist network.

  4. Dec 2022
    1. Conspiracy theories that provide names of the beneficiaries of political, social and economic disasters help people to navigate the complexities of the globalized world, and give simple answers as to who is right and who is wrong. If you add to this global communication technologies that help to rapidly develop and spread all sorts of conspiracy theories, these theories turn into a powerful tool to target subnational, national and international communities and to spread chaos and doubt. The smog of subjectivity created by user-generated content and the crisis of expertise have become a true gift to the Kremlin’s propaganda.
    2. Instead, to counter US hegemonic narratives, the Kremlin took to systematically presenting alternative narratives and dissenting voices. Russia’s public diplomacy tool — the international television channel Russia Today — was rebranded as RT in 2009, probably to hide its clear links to the Russian government11. After an aggressive campaign to expand in English-, Spanish-, German- and French-speaking countries throughout the 2010s, the channel became the most visible source of Russia’s disinformation campaigns abroad. Analysis of its broadcasts shows the adoption of KGB approaches, as well as the use of novel tools provided by the global online environment