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Introduction

[Time-Table of 15th Century]
[Gutenberg and Mainz]





BildThe 15th century marks the transition from the Middle Ages to Modern Times. In virtually all areas of human interaction there were far-reaching changes. Dangerous and long sea voyages of Portuguese and Spanish explorers opened up new worlds, while in Europe, the old world, the political balance of power was completely remodelled.

Technical innovations, a marked increase in written communication even outside monastery walls, attempts to reform the church, a first spread of humanistic thought, as well as new art forms were some of the positive developments of this time. On the negative side however horrible inquisition proceedings and many long-lasting wars were also part of the many contradictions of Johannes Gutenberg’s century.

Only when looking at it within the context of these changing times can Gutenberg’s invention be understood. The schedule of events of the 15th century presents an overview of the political and cultural developments of this era. Further information on the life and work of the inventor can then be found in a comprehensive summary of the most important dates and facts or in the detailed article on Gutenberg and his time.