Shakespeare's sonnets are poems that William Shakespeare wrote on a variety of themes. When discussing or referring to Shakespeare’s sonnets, it is always a reference to the 154 sonnets that were first published all together in a quarto in 1609. Shakespeare’s sonnets are considered a continuation of the sonnet tradition that swept through the Renaissance, from Petrarch in 14th-century Italy and was introduced in 16th-century England by Thomas Wyatt. With few exceptions, Shakespeare’s sonnets observe the stylistic form of the English sonnet — the rhyme scheme, the 14 lines, the meter, but Shakespeare’s sonnets introduce such significant departures of content that they seem to be rebelling against well-worn 200-year-old traditions. Instead of expressing worshipful love for an goddess-like yet unobtainable female love-object, as Petrarch and Philip Sidney had done, Shakespeare introduces a young man, he introduces the Dark Lady, no goddess. Shakespeare explores themes such as lust, misogyny and acrimony in ways that may challenge, but which open new terrain for the sonnet form.
The primary source of Shakespeare’s sonnets is a quarto published in 1609 titled Shake-speare’s Sonnets. It contains 154 sonnets, which are followed by the long poem "A Lover's Complaint". Thirteen copies of the quarto have survived in good shape from the 1609 edition, the only edition. There is evidence in a note on the title page of one of the extant copies that the great Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn bought a copy in June 1609 for one shilling; the sonnets cover such themes as the passage of time, infidelity, jealousy and mortality. The first 126 are addressed to a young man; the title of the quarto, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, is consistent with the entry in the Stationer Register. The title appears in upper case lettering on the title page, where it is followed by the phrase “Neuer before Imprinted”; the title appears every time the quarto is opened. That the author’s name in a possessive form is part of the title sets it apart from all other sonnet collections of the time, except for one — Sir Philip Sidney’s posthumous 1591 publication, titled, Syr.
P. S, his Astrophel and Stella, considered one of Shakespeare’s most important models. Sidney’s title may have inspired Shakespeare if the “W. H." of Shakespeare's dedication is heir, William Herbert. The idea that the persona referred to as the speaker of the Shakespeare’s sonnets might be Shakespeare himself, is aggressively repudiated by scholars, the title of the quarto does seem to encourage that kind of speculation; the first 17 poems, traditionally called the procreation sonnets, are addressed to the young man – urging him to marry and have children in order to immortalize his beauty by passing it to the next generation. Other sonnets express the speaker's love for the young man; the final two sonnets are allegorical treatments of Greek epigrams referring to the "little love-god" Cupid. The publisher, Thomas Thorpe, entered the book in the Stationers' Register on 20 May 1609: Tho. Thorpe. Entred for his copie under the handes of master Wilson and master Lownes Wardenes a booke called Shakespeares sonnettes vjd.
Whether Thorpe used an authorised manuscript from Shakespeare or an unauthorised copy is unknown. George Eld printed the quarto, the run was divided between the booksellers William Aspley and John Wright. Shakespeare's Sonnets include a dedication to "Mr. W. H.": TO. THE. ONLIE. BEGETTER. OF. THESE. INSUING. SONNETS. Mr. W. H. ALL. HAPPINESSE. AND. THAT. ETERNITIE. PROMISED. BY. OUR. EVER-LIVING. POET. WISHETH. THE. WELL-WISHING. ADVENTURER. IN. SETTING. FORTH. T. T; the upper case letters and the stops that follow each word of the dedication were intended to resemble an ancient Roman lapidary inscription or monumental brass accentuating the declaration in Sonnet 55 that the work would confer immortality to the subjects of the work: “Not marble, nor the gilded monuments Of princes shall outlive this pow'rful rhyme”The initials "T. T." are taken to refer to the publisher, Thomas Thorpe, though Thorpe signed prefatory matter only if the author was out of the country or dead. However, Thorpe's entire corpus of such consists of three prefaces.
It has been suggested that Thorpe signing the dedication, rather than the author, might indicate that Thorpe published the work without obtaining Shakespeare's permission. Though Thorpe's taking on the dedication may be explained by the great demands of business and travel that Shakespeare was facing at this time, which may have caused him to deal with the printing production in haste before rushing out of town. After all, May 1609 was an extraordinary time: That month saw a serious outbreak of the plague, which shut down the theatres, caused many to flee London. Plus Shakespeare’s theatre company was on tour from Ipswich to Oxford. In addition, Shakespeare had been away from Stratford and in the same month, was being called on to tend to family and business there, deal with the litigation of a lawsuit in Warwickshire that involved a substantial amount of money; the identity of Mr. W. H. “the only begetter of Shakespeare's Sonnets”, is not known for certain. His identi
The Vulgate is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible that became the Catholic Church's promulgated Latin version of the Bible during the 16th century. The translation was the work of Jerome, who in 382 had been commissioned by Pope Damasus I to revise the Vetus Latina Gospels in use by the Roman Church. Jerome, on his own initiative, extended this work of revision and translation to include most of the books of the Bible, once published, the new version was adopted and eclipsed the Vetus Latina; the Catholic Church affirmed the Vulgate as its official Latin Bible at the Council of Trent, though there was no authoritative edition at that time. The Clementine edition of the Vulgate of 1592 became the standard Bible text of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church and remained so until 1979 when the Nova Vulgata was promulgated; the Vulgate has a compound text, not the work of Jerome. While Jerome revised all the Gospels of the Vetus Latina from the Greek, it is unknown who revised the rest of the New Testament.
Several unrevised books of the Vetus Latina Old Testament commonly became included in the Vulgate. Medieval Vulgate Bibles might further include the Prayer of Manasses, 4 Esdras, the Epistle to the Laodiceans and Psalm 151. Jerome himself translated all books of the Jewish Bible from Hebrew; the Vulgate's components include: Independent translation from the Hebrew by Jerome: the books of the Hebrew Bible, including a translation of the Psalms from the Hebrew, found in early medieval Vulgate manuscripts but is supplanted by Jerome's Gallican version in bibles. This was completed in 405. Free translation from a secondary Aramaic version by Jerome: Tobias and Judith. Translation from the Greek of Theodotion by Jerome: The three additions to the Book of Daniel; the Song of the Three Children was retained within the narrative of Daniel, Susanna was moved by Jerome from before the beginning of Daniel to the end of the book along with Bel and the Dragon. These additions he marked with an obelus to distinguish them from the canonical text.
Translation from the Common Septuagint by Jerome: the Additions to Esther. Jerome gathered all these additions together at the end of the Book of Esther, marking them with an obelus. Translation from the Hexaplar Septuagint by Jerome: his Gallican version of the Book of Psalms. Jerome's Hexaplaric revisions of other books of Old Testament continued to circulate in Italy for several centuries, but only Job and fragments of other books survive. Revision of the Old Latin by Jerome: the Gospels, corrected with reference to the best Greek manuscripts Jerome considered available. Revision of the Old Latin: the Roman Psalter including Psalm 151, undertaken prior to Jerome but continuing in liturgical use, included in many medieval Vulgate Old Testaments and liturgical psalters. Revision of the Old Latin by a person or persons unknown, contemporary with Jerome: Acts, Pauline epistles, Catholic epistles and the Apocalypse. Old Latin, wholly unrevised: Epistle to the Laodiceans, Prayer of Manasses, 4 Esdras, Ecclesiasticus, 1 and 2 Maccabees.
The Book of Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah were excluded by Jerome as non-canonical, but sporadically re-admitted into the Vulgate tradition from the Additions to the Book of Jeremiah of the Old Latin from the 9th century onwards. Independent translation, distinct from the Old Latin, he had been commissioned by Damasus I in 382 to revise the Old Latin text of the four Gospels from the best Greek texts. By the time of Damasus' death in 384, Jerome had completed this task, together with a more cursory revision from the Greek Common Septuagint of the Old Latin text of the Psalms in the Roman Psalter, a version which he disowned and is now lost. How much of the rest of the New Testament he revised is difficult to judge today, but none of his work survived in the Vulgate text of these books; the revised text of the New Testament outside the Gospels is the work of one or more other scholars. This unknown reviser worked more than Jerome had done using older Greek manuscript sources of Alexandrian text-type, had published a complete revised New Testament text by 410 at the latest, when Pelagius quoted from it in his commentary on the letters of Paul.
In 385, Jerome was forced out of Rome and settled in Bethlehem. There he was able to use a surviving manuscript of the Hexapla from the nearby Theological Library of Caesarea Maritima, a column
Miniature (illuminated manuscript)
The word miniature, derived from the Latin verb miniare is a small illustration used to decorate an ancient or medieval illuminated manuscript. The small scale of the medieval pictures has led secondly to an etymological confusion of the term with minuteness and to its application to small paintings portrait miniatures, which did however grow from the same tradition and at least used similar techniques. Apart from the Western and Byzantine traditions, there is another group of Asian traditions, more illustrative in nature, from origins in manuscript book decoration developed into single-sheet small paintings to be kept in albums, which are called miniatures, as the Western equivalents in watercolor and other mediums are not; these include Persian miniatures, their Mughal and other Indian offshoots. The earliest extant miniatures are a series of colored drawings or miniatures cut from the Ambrosian Iliad, an illustrated manuscript of the Iliad from the 3rd century, they are similar in style and treatment with the pictorial art of the Roman classical period.
In these pictures there is a considerable variety in the quality of the drawing, but there are many notable instances of fine figure-drawing, quite classical in sentiment, showing that the earlier art still exercised its influence. Such indications, too, of landscape as are to be found are of the classical type, not conventional in the sense of medieval conventionalism, but still attempting to follow nature if in an imperfect fashion. Of greater value from an artistic point of view are the miniatures of the Vatican manuscript of Virgil, known as the Vergilius Vaticanus, of the early 5th century, they are in a more perfect condition and on a larger scale than the Ambrosian fragments, they therefore offer better opportunity for examining method and technique. The drawing is quite classical in style, the idea is conveyed that the miniatures are direct copies from an older series; the colors are opaque: indeed, in all the miniatures of early manuscripts the employment of body color was universal.
The method followed in placing the different scenes on the page is instructive of the practice followed, as we may presume, by the artists of the early centuries. It seems that the background of the scene was first painted in full, covering the whole surface of the page. Again, for the purpose of securing something like perspective, an arrangement of horizontal zones was adopted, the upper ones containing figures on a smaller scale than those below, it was reserved for the Byzantine school to break away more decidedly from the natural presentment of things and to develop artistic conventions. Yet in the best early examples of this school the classical sentiment still lingers, as the relics of the miniatures of the Cotton Genesis, the best of the miniatures of the Vienna Dioscurides testify, but on comparing the miniatures of the Byzantine school with their classical predecessors, one has a sense of having passed from the open air into the cloister. Under the restraint of ecclesiastical domination Byzantine art became more and more stereotyped and conventional.
The tendency grows to paint the flesh-tints in swarthy hues, to elongate and emaciate the limbs, to stiffen the gait. Browns, blue-greys and neutral tints are in favor. Here we first find the technical treatment of flesh-painting which afterwards became the special practice of Italian miniaturists, namely the laying on of the actual flesh-tints over a ground of olive, green or other dark hue. Landscape, such as it was, soon became quite conventional, setting the example for that remarkable absence of the true representation of nature, such a striking attribute of the miniatures of the Middle Ages, and yet, while the ascetic treatment of the miniatures obtained so in Byzantine art, at the same time the Oriental sense of splendour shows itself in the brilliancy of much of the coloring and in the lavish employment of gold. In the miniatures of Byzantine manuscripts are first seen those backgrounds of bright gold which afterwards appear in such profusion in the productions of every western school of painting.
The influence of Byzantine art on that of medieval Italy is obvious. The early mosaics in the churches of Italy, such as those at Ravenna and Venice afford examples of the dominating Byzantine influence, but the early Middle Ages provide. In the native schools of illumination of Western Europe, decoration only was the leading motive. In the manuscripts of the Merovingian period, in the school which connected Frankland and northern Italy, and, known as Lombardic or Franco-Lombardic, in the manuscripts of Spain, in the productions of the Insular art of the British Isles, figure-drawing was scarcely known, serving rather as a feature of decoration than as a representation of the human form; the Anglo-Saxon school, developed at Canterbury and Winchester, which derived its characteristic free-hand drawing from classical Roman models
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented with such decoration as initials and miniature illustrations. In the strictest definition, the term refers only to manuscripts decorated with either gold or silver. Comparable Far Eastern and Mesoamerican works are described as painted. Islamic manuscripts may be referred to as illuminated, illustrated or painted, though using the same techniques as Western works; the earliest extant substantive illuminated manuscripts are from the period 400 to 600, produced in the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths and the Eastern Roman Empire. Their significance lies not only in their inherent artistic and historical value, but in the maintenance of a link of literacy offered by non-illuminated texts. Had it not been for the monastic scribes of Late Antiquity, most literature of Greece and Rome would have perished; as it was, the patterns of textual survivals were shaped by their usefulness to the constricted literate group of Christians. Illumination of manuscripts, as a way of aggrandizing ancient documents, aided their preservation and informative value in an era when new ruling classes were no longer literate, at least in the language used in the manuscripts.
The majority of extant manuscripts are from the Middle Ages, although many survive from the Renaissance, along with a limited number from Late Antiquity. The majority are of a religious nature. From the 13th century onward, an increasing number of secular texts were illuminated. Most illuminated manuscripts were created as codices. A few illuminated fragments survive on papyrus, which does not last nearly as long as parchment. Most medieval manuscripts, illuminated or not, were written on parchment, but most manuscripts important enough to illuminate were written on the best quality of parchment, called vellum. Beginning in the Late Middle Ages, manuscripts began to be produced on paper. Early printed books were sometimes produced with spaces left for rubrics and miniatures, or were given illuminated initials, or decorations in the margin, but the introduction of printing led to the decline of illumination. Illuminated manuscripts continued to be produced in the early 16th century but in much smaller numbers for the wealthy.
They are among the most common items to survive from the Middle Ages. They are the best surviving specimens of medieval painting, the best preserved. Indeed, for many areas and time periods, they are the only surviving examples of painting. Art historians classify illuminated manuscripts into their historic periods and types, including Late Antique, Carolingian manuscripts, Ottonian manuscripts, Romanesque manuscripts, Gothic manuscripts, Renaissance manuscripts. There are a few examples from periods; the type of book most heavily and richly illuminated, sometimes known as a "display book", varied between periods. In the first millennium, these were most to be Gospel Books, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells; the Romanesque period saw the creation of many large illuminated complete Bibles – one in Sweden requires three librarians to lift it. Many Psalters were heavily illuminated in both this and the Gothic period. Single cards or posters of vellum, leather or paper were in wider circulation with short stories or legends on them about the lives of saints, chivalry knights or other mythological figures criminal, social or miraculous occurrences.
The Book of Hours commonly the personal devotional book of a wealthy layperson, was richly illuminated in the Gothic period. Other books, both liturgical and not, continued to be illuminated at all periods; the Byzantine world produced manuscripts in its own style, versions of which spread to other Orthodox and Eastern Christian areas. The Muslim World and in particular the Iberian Peninsula, with their traditions of literacy uninterrupted by the Middle Ages, were instrumental in delivering ancient classic works to the growing intellectual circles and universities of Western Europe all through the 12th century, as books were produced there in large numbers and on paper for the first time in Europe, with them full treatises on the sciences astrology and medicine where illumination was required to have profuse and accurate representations with the text; the Gothic period, which saw an increase in the production of these artifacts saw more secular works such as chronicles and works of literature illuminated.
Wealthy people began to build up personal libraries. Up to the 12th century, most manuscripts were produced in monasteries in order to add to the library or after receiving a commission from a wealthy patron. Larger monasteries contained separate areas for the monks who specialized in the production of manuscripts called a scriptorium. Within the walls of a scriptorium were individualized areas where a monk could sit and work on a manuscript without being disturbed by his fellow brethren. If no scriptorium was available “separate little rooms were assigned to book copying.
Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, inventor and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with the printing press. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is regarded as a milestone of the second millennium, ushering in the modern period of human history, it played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses. Gutenberg in 1439 was the first European to use movable type. Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type, his epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system that allowed the mass production of printed books and was economically viable for printers and readers alike. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mould for casting type.
The alloy was a mixture of lead and antimony that melted at a low temperature for faster and more economical casting, cast well, created a durable type. 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—including revolutionary ideas—transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities. Across Europe, the increasing cultural self-awareness of its people led to the rise of proto-nationalism, accelerated by the flowering of the 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, while Western-style printing was adopted all over the world, becoming the sole medium for modern bulk printing.
The use of movable type was a marked improvement on the handwritten manuscript, the existing method of book production in Europe, upon woodblock printing, revolutionized European book-making. Gutenberg's printing technology spread throughout Europe and the world, his major work, the Gutenberg Bible, was the first printed version of the Bible and has been acclaimed for its high aesthetic and technical quality. Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, the youngest son of the patrician merchant Friele Gensfleisch zur Laden, his second wife, Else Wyrich, the daughter of a shopkeeper, it is assumed. According to some accounts, Friele was a goldsmith for the bishop at Mainz, but most he was involved in the cloth trade. Gutenberg's year of birth is not known, but it was sometime between the years of 1394 and 1404. In the 1890s the city of Mainz declared his official and symbolic date of birth to be June 24, 1400. John Lienhard, technology historian, says "Most of Gutenberg's early life is a mystery.
His father worked with the ecclesiastic mint. Gutenberg grew up knowing the trade of goldsmithing." This is supported by historian Heinrich Wallau, who adds, "In the 14th and 15th centuries his claimed a hereditary position as... retainers of the household of the master of the archiepiscopal mint. In this capacity they doubtless acquired considerable knowledge and technical skill in metal working, they supplied the mint with the metal to be coined, changed the various species of coins, had a seat at the assizes in forgery cases."Wallau adds, "His surname was derived from the house inhabited by his father and his paternal ancestors'zu Laden, zu Gutenberg'. The house of Gänsfleisch was one of the patrician families of the town, tracing its lineage back to the thirteenth century." Patricians in Mainz were named after houses they owned. Around 1427, the name zu Gutenberg, after the family house in Mainz, is documented to have been used for the first time. In 1411, there was an uprising in Mainz against the patricians, more than a hundred families were forced to leave.
As a result, the Gutenbergs are thought to have moved to Eltville am Rhein, where his mother had an inherited estate. According to historian Heinrich Wallau, "All, known of his youth is that he was not in Mainz in 1430, it is presumed that he migrated for political reasons to Strasbourg, where the family had connections." He is assumed to have studied at the University of Erfurt, where there is a record of the enrolment of a student called Johannes de Altavilla in 1418—Altavilla is the Latin form of Eltville am Rhein. Nothing is now known of Gutenberg's life for the next fifteen years, but in March 1434, a letter by him indicates that he was living in Strasbourg, where he had some relatives on his mother's side, he appears to have been a goldsmith member enrolled in the Strasbourg militia. In 1437, there is evidence that he was instructing a wealthy tradesman on polishing gems, but where he had acquired this knowledge is unknown. In 1436/37 his name comes up in court in connection with a broken promise of marriage to a woman from Strasbourg, Ennelin.
Whether the marriage took place is not reco