Philippa of Lancaster
Philippa of Lancaster was Queen of Portugal from 1387 until 1415 by marriage to King John I. Born into the royal family of England, her marriage secured the Treaty of Windsor and produced several children who became known as the "Illustrious Generation" in Portugal. Born on 31 March 1360, Philippa was the oldest child of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Blanche of Lancaster. Philippa spent her infancy moving around the various properties owned by her family with her mother and her wet-nurse, Maud. Here, she was raised and educated alongside her two younger siblings, three years younger, Henry, seven years younger, who would become King Henry IV. Philippa's mother died of plague in 1369, her father remarried in 1371 to Infanta Constance of Castile, daughter of King Peter of Castile and on Constance's death in 1394, he married his former mistress, Katherine Swynford, Philippa's governess. The affair and eventual marriage was considered scandalous, in the future Philippa would protect herself against such embarrassment.
Katherine seems to have been well liked by Philippa and her Lancastrian siblings and played an important role in Philippa's education. Katherine had close ties with Geoffrey Chaucer, since Philippa Roet, was Chaucer's wife. John of Gaunt became Chaucer's patron, Chaucer spent much time with the family as one of Philippa's many mentors and teachers, she was remarkably well educated for a female at the time and studied science under Friar John, poetry under Jean Froissart, philosophy and theology under John Wycliffe. She was well read in the works of Greek and Roman scholars such as Pliny and Herodotus and was diligent in her study of religion. Philippa became Queen consort of Portugal through her marriage to King John I; this marriage was the final step in the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance against the Franco-Castillian axis. The couple were blessed by the church in the Cathedral of Porto on 2 February 1387 and their marriage was on 14 February 1387; the Portuguese court celebrated the union for fifteen days.
Philippa married King John I by proxy, in keeping with a unique Portuguese tradition, the stand-in bridegroom pretended to bed the bride. The stand-in for King John I was João Rodrigues de Sá; the marriage itself, as was the case for the nobility in the Middle Ages, was a matter of state and political alliance, the couple did not meet until twelve days after they were married. Philippa was considered to be rather plain, King João I had a mistress, Inês Peres Esteves, by whom he had three children, their son Afonso was ten when John married. Philippa allowed his sister Beatrice to be raised in the Portuguese court, their mother left the court at Philippa's command to live in a convent, under Philippa's patronage, she became the Prioress. In marrying Philippa, John I established a political and personal alliance with John of Gaunt because it was rumoured that John of Gaunt would claim the Kingdom of Castile through Catherine of Lancaster, his daughter by his second wife Constance of Castile; as the "de facto King of Castile," it was feared that John of Gaunt could challenge King John's claim to the newly installed dynasty.
Instead, at Windsor in 1386, John I of Portugal signed the remarkably long-lasting Portuguese-English Alliance, which continued through the Napoleonic Wars and ensured Portugal's tenuous neutrality in World War II. Philippa, at the age of 27, was thought to be too old to become a bride for the first time, the court questioned her ability to bear the King's children. Though Philippa was seen to present a demeanour of queenly piety, commenting that "it would be regarded as an indecent thing for a wife to interfere in her husband’s affairs", she wielded significant influence in both the Portuguese and English courts and was "actively involved in world affairs". Surviving letters show that Philippa wrote to the English court from Portugal and stayed involved in English politics. On one instance, Philippa intervened in court politics on "behalf of followers of the dethroned Richard II when they appealed for her help after her brother, Henry IV, had usurped the English throne". On another occasion, she persuaded the reluctant Earl of Arundel to marry her husband's illegitimate daughter Beatrice, further cementing the alliance between Portugal and England.
Philippa's main political contribution, was in her own court. Upon the end of the Portuguese involvement in several wars with Castile and the Moors, the Portuguese economy was failing, many soldiers now unemployed. Philippa knew that the conquest and control of Ceuta would be quite lucrative for Portugal with the control of the African and Indian spice trade. Though Philippa died before her plan was realised, Portugal did send an expedition to conquer the city, a goal, realised on 14 August 1415 in the Battle of Ceuta. Philippa was a generous and loving queen, the mother of the "Illustrious Generation" of infantes and infantas, her children were: Blanche, died in infancy. Alphonse, heir of the throne, died in childhood at the age of 10, in Braga, was buried in Braga Cathedral. Edward, a writer and an intellectual who succeeded his father as King of Portugal in 1433. Peter, Duke of Coimbra, a well-travelled man who served as Regent during the minority of his nephew Afonso V. Henry, called "the Navigator", f
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
The Vita Christi known as the Speculum vitae Christi is the principal work of Ludolph of Saxony, completed in 1374. The book is not just a biography of Jesus, but a history, a commentary borrowed from the Church Fathers, a series of dogmatic and moral dissertations, spiritual instructions and prayers, it was so popular in its time. Sr Mary Immaculate Bodenstedt mentions Ludolph's particular debt to the Meditations on the Life of Christ. Bodenstedt argues that Ludolph follows Ps.-Bonaventure in his visual method of meditation. The great popularity of the Vita Christi is demonstrated by the numerous manuscript copies preserved in libraries and the manifold editions of it which have been published, from the first two editions of Strasbourg and Cologne, in 1474, to the last editions of Paris: folio, 1865, published by Victor Palme, 8vo, 1878, it has been translated into Catalan, Portuguese, French, "by Guillaume Lernenand, of the Order of Monseigneur St. François", under the title of the "Great Life of Christ", by D. Marie-Prosper Augustine, by D. Florent Broquin, Carthusian.
The Vita Christi had significant influence on the development of techniques for Christian meditation. Although Aelred of Rievaulx had introduced the concept of immersing and projecting oneself into a Biblical scene in his De institutione inclusarum, St. Bonaventure had borrowed from that work in his Lignum Vitae, Ludolph's massive work helped to spread this devotional practice into the Devotio Moderna community and to Ignatius of Loyola; the Vita Christi was translated into Spanish in 1502 by Ambrosio Montesino and was printed in Alcala. The methods of meditation in the Vita Christi thus entered Spain and were known in the early part of the 16th century. St Teresa and St Francis de Sales quote from it. Saint Ignatius of Loyola used these techniques in his Spiritual Exercises, e.g. self-projection into a Biblical scene to start a conversation with Christ in Calvary. Ludolph's Vita Christi is mentioned in every biography of St Ignatius of Loyola. St Ignatius read it whilst recovering from the cannon-ball wound after the siege of Pamplona in a Castilian translation.
Ludolph proposes a method of prayer. In his commentary on the Gospel for the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalen, the story where Mary the sister of Lazarus, comes into the house of the Pharisee where Jesus is eating, washes his feet with her tears and dries his feet with her hair, Ludolph urges the reader to see the scene of the washing, so on, he has insights into the humanity and attractiveness of Jesus. He explains why Mary the public sinner overcame her shame and entered the house of the Pharisee by noting that the Pharisee was a leper and disfigured from the disease. St Mary Magdalen could see that since Jesus was prepared to eat with a leper, he would not reject her; this simple method of contemplation outlined by Ludolph and set out in Vita Christi, in many of his commentaries on the gospel stories that he chooses it can be argued influenced the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. Indeed, it is said that St Ignatius had desired to become a Carthusian after his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but was dissuaded by a Carthusian Prior.
To this day members of the Society of Jesus may enter a Charterhouse, if a vocation there does not work out, they may return to the Society of Jesus without penalty. This closeness between the Carthusians and Jesuits is arguably due to the great influence of Ludolph of Saxony's De Vita Christi on the future founder of the Society of Jesus. Michael Foss is dismissive of the influence of Ludolph on the Exercises of St Ignatius, saying "The Exercises show a bit of Ludolph." Writing of St Ignatius, recovering from the cannon-ball wound at the Castle of Loyola, Foss says, "Bored, as only a man of action can be when driven to bed, he was driven by desperation to a few unappetising volumes that the Castle of Loyola offered. He found a Castilian translation of the long and popular Life of Christ by a certain Ludolph of Saxony, a 14th Century writer." Father Henry James Coleridge, SJ, a grand-nephew of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in his article of 1872, in the "Review of Famous Books" section of The Month, urges future translators of the Vita Christi to be cautious with the Folio edition published by Palme in 1865 since it is marred by poor punctuation, based on a poor manuscript.
The work has been translated into English from the Bodenstedt edition by Milton Walsh and will appear in 2017 from Cistercian Publications. Various portions of the work have been translated over the years; the meditations of the Hours of the Passion were translated by Henry James Coleridge in 1887. The Prologue was translated by Milton Walsh, Walsh's translation of the Easter Meditations appeared in 2016 from Cistercian Publications The prayers have been translated twice: first, by H Kyneston in 1908, second, by Sister Mary Immaculate Bodenstedt in 1973; the Imitation of Christ The Vita Christi was first published in an 1865 folio edition, in an 1870 4-volume octavo reprint, as Ludolphus de Saxonia, Vita Jesu Christi ex Evangelio et Approbatis ab Ecclesia Catholic Doctoribus Sedule Collecta. A reduced-size facsimile of the 1865 edition
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person, first in a line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting by the birth of another person. An heir presumptive, by contrast, is someone, first in line to inherit a title but who can be displaced by the birth of a more eligible heir. Today these terms most describe heirs to hereditary titles or offices when only inheritable by a single person. Most monarchies refer to the heir apparent of their thrones with the descriptive term of crown prince but these heirs may be accorded with a more specific substantive title, such as Prince of Orange in the Netherlands, Duke of Brabant in Belgium, Prince of Asturias in Spain, or Prince of Wales in the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. In France the title was le Dauphin, in Imperial Russia; the term is used metaphorically to indicate an "anointed" successor to any position of power, e.g. a political or corporate leader. This article describes the term heir apparent in a hereditary system regulated by laws of primogeniture—as opposed to cases where a monarch has a say in naming the heir.
In a hereditary system governed by some form of primogeniture, an heir apparent is identifiable as the person whose position as first in the line of succession to a title or office is secure, regardless of future births. An heir presumptive, by contrast, can always be "bumped down" in the succession by the birth of somebody more related in a legal sense to the current title-holder; the clearest example occurs in the case of a holder of a hereditary title, one that can only be inherited by a single person, with no children. If at any time he were to produce children, they rank ahead of whatever more "distant" relative had been heir presumptive. Many legal systems assume childbirth is always possible regardless of health. In such circumstances a person may be, in a practical sense, the heir apparent but still speaking, heir presumptive. Indeed, when Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle King William IV, the wording of the proclamation gave as a caveat:...saving the rights of any issue of his late Majesty King William IV, which may be born of his late Majesty's consort.
This provided for the possibility that William's wife, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, was pregnant at the moment of his death, since such a posthumous child, regardless of its sex, would have displaced Victoria from the throne. Adelaide was 44 at the time, so pregnancy was possible if unlikely. Daughters may inherit titles that descend according to male-preference primogeniture, but only in default of sons; that is, both female and male offspring have the right to a place somewhere in the order of succession, but when it comes to what that place is, a female will rank behind her brothers regardless of their ages or her age. Thus even an only daughter will not be heir apparent, since at any time a brother might be born who, though younger, would assume that position. Hence, she is an heir presumptive. For example, Queen Elizabeth II was heir presumptive during the reign of her father, King George VI, because at any stage up to his death, George could have fathered a legitimate son. In a system of absolute primogeniture that disregards gender, female heirs apparent occur.
As succession to titles, positions, or offices in the past most favoured males than females, females considered to be an heir apparent were rare. Absolute primogeniture was not practised by any modern monarchy for succession to their thrones until the late twentieth century with Sweden being the first to adopt absolute primogeniture in 1980 and other Western European monarchies following suit. Since the adoption of absolute primogeniture by contemporary Western European monarchies, examples of female heirs apparent include: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium. Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway is heir apparent to her father, Victoria herself has a female heir apparent in her oldest child, Princess Estelle. Victoria was not heir apparent from birth, but gained the status in 1980 following a change in the Swedish Act of Succession, her younger brother Carl Philip was thus heir apparent for a few months. In 2015, pursuant to the 2011 Perth Agreement, the Commonwealth realms changed the rules of succession to the 16 thrones of Elizabeth II to absolute primogeniture, except for male heirs born before the Perth Agreement.
The effects are not to be felt for many years. But in legal systems that apply male-preference primogeniture, female heirs apparent are by no means impossible: if a male heir apparent dies leaving no sons but at least one daughter the eldest daughter would replace her father as heir apparent to whatever throne or title is concerned, but only when it has become clear that the widow of the deceased is not pregnant; as the representative of her father's line she would assume a place ahead of any more distant relatives. Such a situation has not to date occurred with the British throne.
John, Constable of Portugal
Infante John, Constable of Portugal was a Portuguese infante of the House of Aviz, Constable of Portugal and master of the Portuguese Order of St. James. In Portugal, he is referred to as the O Infante Condestável. Infante John was the son of his wife Philippa of Lancaster. John and his brothers Edward, Peter and Ferdinand, sister Isabella and half-brother Afonso, constitute what Portuguese historians have traditionally labelled the'illustrious generation' With his brothers, Infante John participated in the conquest of Ceuta and was knighted by his father in the aftermath, he was invested as the 1st Lord of Reguengos de Monsaraz and Belas shortly after. In October 1418, at the king's request, Pope Martin V approved the appointment of Infante John as the 10th Master of the Order of St. James of the Sword, bringing the old military order into the hands of the royal family; that same year and his brother Henry the Navigator led a relief fleet to Ceuta and helped lift the Siege of Ceuta. After the death of Nuno Álvares Pereira in 1431, Infante John was appointed the 3rd Constable of Portugal.
As a result, John is characterised by the appellation O Infante Condestável. After King John I's death in 1433, John's eldest brother ascended the throne as king Edward of Portugal. In 1437, Infante John joined another brother Peter, Duke of Coimbra, in arguing against a projected Portuguese expedition to seize Tangier that led to the Battle of Tangier; the campaign ended in disaster. After the Tangier fiasco, John urged the ratification of a treaty with Marinid Morocco that called for the relinquishment of Ceuta in exchange for his captive brother Ferdinand the Holy Prince; the Cortes refused, Ferdinand was left to die in captivity. King Edward died in September 1438, leaving a young son to ascend the throne as king Afonso V of Portugal under the regency of his widow Eleanor of Aragon; this was an unpopular arrangement among the common people of the country, who feared Eleanor would be a puppet of the high nobility who sought to recover the political privileges they lost during the revolution of the 1380s.
The prospect of civil war raised its head. To forestall a rebellion, Infante John seized control of Lisbon and oversaw the assembly of a burgher-packed Cortes to elect his brother Peter of Coimbra as regent for his nephew Afonso V; the high nobility, led by his half-brother Afonso of Barcelos, urged Eleanor to hold fast, a tense power-sharing regency arrangement was agreed upon between Peter and Eleanor. Peter of Coimbra relied on his close alliance with Infante John to secure the lion's share of power during the first few years of the regency. Infante John's sudden death in October 1442 was a terrible blow to Peter, who thereafter found it difficult to fend off the aspirations of his half-brother Afonso of Barcelos. Regent Peter appointed John's son Diogo of Portugal to succeed his father as Master of the Order of Santiago and Constable of Portugal. In 1424, John married his half-niece Isabella of Barcelos, daughter of his half-brother Afonso of Barcelos; the couple had four children: Infante Diogo of Portugal – 4th Constable of Portugal and 11th Master of the Order of St. James.
Infanta Isabella of Portugal, married John II of mother of Isabella I of Spain. Infanta Beatrice of Portugal, married Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, mother of Manuel I of Portugal. Infanta Phillipa of Portugal, Lady of Almada. "Nobreza de Portugal e do Brasil" – Vol. I, pages 296–297. Published by Zairol Lda. Lisbon 1989
Portugal the Portuguese Republic, is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain, its territory includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled and fought over since prehistoric times; the pre-Celtic people, Celts and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples. Portugal as a country was established during the Christian Reconquista against the Moors who had invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128; the Kingdom of Portugal was proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique in 1139, independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias' sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India and the European discovery of Brazil. During this time Portugal monopolized the spice trade, divided the world into hemispheres of dominion with Castille, the empire expanded with military campaigns in Asia. However, events such as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil, a late industrialization compared to other European powers, erased to a great extent Portugal's prior opulence. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being superseded by the Estado Novo right-wing authoritarian regime.
Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to all its overseas territories; the handover of Macau to China in 1999 marked the end of what can be considered the longest-lived colonial empire. Portugal has left a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe, a legacy of around 250 million Portuguese speakers, many Portuguese-based creoles, it is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and high living standards. Additionally, it is placed in rankings of moral freedom, democracy, press freedom, social progress, LGBT rights. A member of the United Nations and the European Union, Portugal was one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries; the word Portugal derives from the Roman-Celtic place name Portus Cale. Portus, the Latin word for port or harbour, Cala or Cailleach was the name of a Celtic goddess – in Scotland she is known as Beira – and the name of an early settlement located at the mouth of the Douro River which flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the north of what is now Portugal.
At the time the land of a specific people was named after its deity. Those names are the origins of the - gal in Galicia. Incidentally, the meaning of Cale or Calle is a derivation of the Celtic word for port which would confirm old links to pre-Roman, Celtic languages which compare to today's Irish caladh or Scottish cala, both meaning port; some French scholars believe it may have come from ` Portus Gallus', the port of the Celts. Around 200 BC, the Romans took the Iberian Peninsula from the Carthaginians during the Second Punic War, in the process conquered Cale and renamed it Portus Cale incorporating it to the province of Gaellicia with capital in Bracara Augusta. During the Middle Ages, the region around Portus Cale became known by the Suebi and Visigoths as Portucale; the name Portucale evolved into Portugale during the 7th and 8th centuries, by the 9th century, that term was used extensively to refer to the region between the rivers Douro and Minho. By the 11th and 12th centuries, Portugallia or Portvgalliae was referred to as Portugal.
The early history of Portugal is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula located in South Western Europe. The name of Portugal derives from the joined Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale; the region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians, Ancient Greeks and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions as Lusitania and part of Gallaecia, after 45 BC until 298 AD. The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by Neanderthals and by Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula; these were subsistence societies that, although they did not establish prosperous settlements, did form organized societies. Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing, it is believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of Celts invaded Portugal from Central Europe and inter-married with the local populations, forming differe
A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium, thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in which the cloth, paper or other medium was brushed or rubbed to achieve the transfer of ink, accelerated the process. Used for texts, the invention and global spread of the printing press was one of the most influential events in the second millennium. Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith by profession, circa 1439, a printing system by adapting existing technologies to printing purposes, as well as making inventions of his own. Printing in East Asia had been prevalent since the Tang dynasty, in Europe, woodblock printing based on existing screw presses was common by the 14th century. Gutenberg's most important innovation was the development of hand-molded metal printing matrices, thus producing a movable type-based printing press system, his newly devised hand mould made possible the precise and rapid creation of metal movable type in large quantities.
Movable type had been hitherto unknown in Europe. In Europe, the two inventions, the hand mould and the printing press, together drastically reduced the cost of printing books and other documents in short print runs; the printing press spread within several decades to over two hundred cities in a dozen European countries. By 1500, printing presses in operation throughout Western Europe had produced more than twenty million volumes. In the 16th century, with presses spreading further afield, their output rose tenfold to an estimated 150 to 200 million copies; the operation of a press became synonymous with the enterprise of printing, lent its name to a new medium of expression and communication, "the press". In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication, which permanently altered the structure of society; the unrestricted circulation of information and ideas transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities.
The sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class. Across Europe, the increasing cultural self-awareness of its peoples led to the rise of proto-nationalism, accelerated by the development of European vernacular languages, to the detriment of Latin's status as lingua franca. In the 19th century, the replacement of the hand-operated Gutenberg-style press by steam-powered rotary presses allowed printing on an industrial scale; the rapid economic and socio-cultural development of late medieval society in Europe created favorable intellectual and technological conditions for Gutenberg's improved version of the printing press: the entrepreneurial spirit of emerging capitalism made its impact on medieval modes of production, fostering economic thinking and improving the efficiency of traditional work-processes. The sharp rise of medieval learning and literacy amongst the middle class led to an increased demand for books which the time-consuming hand-copying method fell far short of accommodating.
Technologies preceding the press that led to the press's invention included: manufacturing of paper, development of ink, woodblock printing, distribution of eyeglasses. At the same time, a number of medieval products and technological processes had reached a level of maturity which allowed their potential use for printing purposes. Gutenberg took up these far-flung strands, combined them into one complete and functioning system, perfected the printing process through all its stages by adding a number of inventions and innovations of his own: The screw press which allowed direct pressure to be applied on flat-plane was of great antiquity in Gutenberg's time and was used for a wide range of tasks. Introduced in the 1st century AD by the Romans, it was employed in agricultural production for pressing wine grapes and oil fruit, both of which formed an integral part of the mediterranean and medieval diet; the device was used from early on in urban contexts as a cloth press for printing patterns.
Gutenberg may have been inspired by the paper presses which had spread through the German lands since the late 14th century and which worked on the same mechanical principles. Gutenberg adopted the basic design. Printing, put a demand on the machine quite different from pressing. Gutenberg adapted the construction so that the pressing power exerted by the platen on the paper was now applied both evenly and with the required sudden elasticity. To speed up the printing process, he introduced a movable undertable with a plane surface on which the sheets could be swiftly changed; the concept of movable type was not new in the 15th century. In Europe, sporadic evidence that the typographical principle, the idea of creating a text by reusing individual characters, was well understood and employed in pre-Gutenberg Europe had been cropping up since the 12th century and before; the known examples range from Germany to England to Italy. However, the various techniques employed did not have the refinement and efficiency needed to become accepted.
Gutenberg improved the process by treating typesetting and printing as two separate work steps. A goldsmith by profession, he created his type pieces from a lead-based alloy