Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bibles in Latin Only

From the early beginnings of the printing process, we have clear evidence how the system was initially geared towards the rich and famous. The idea of publishing only “certain books” only contributed to keeping the masses ignorant and subservient. Such is the case of the first bibles and law books written only in Latin as a means of entrenchment forcing the “public” to seek interpretation by those specifically qualified for such task.

One fact must not be lost sight of: the printer and the bookseller worked above all and from the beginning for profit.” Starr P.25

Only highly educated people were able to read and most importantly afford such books making it very difficult or almost impossible for someone from the “general public” to get ahead intellectually and making it impossible to challenge the existing established system. It would take many years and a very strong determination by a few people to exercise change for the public and finally bring some level of equality.


At 11:17 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

What is the connection between profit and power?

The first paragraph of your post is about limiting access; the quote you selected is about how printers and printing were driven by profit. So, isn't there a contradiction here? Wouldn't profit seeking printers be against limits on access to books? What does Starr say?

At 11:27 AM, Blogger SandroB said...

Yes, there is a contradiction. Profit seeking printers would be against limits but in some instances, the choice was not for them to make. The best example we discussed in class relates to the Church having a need for more bibles, not for the public, but for more priests to continue the work of the Church. Printers would be happy to oblige to the Churches demand for more bibles while at the same time the Church maintains their power over the people. In the initial stages, the printers could not print bibles at will and sell them in an open market. The printers made their profit the Church kept their power.


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