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 Gutenbergs century.
Only when looking at it within the context of these changing times can Gutenbergs
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.