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First I would say that during the medieval period the demand for books was much lesser than after the books became comparatively cheap after Gutenberg. The key here is the expense a quickly worn out woodblock presents that could only be used for one page. Whereas you already mentioned the crucial innovation for European book printing Gutenberg is known for: ...


33

There is some truth in it, but the printing press adoption delay was only a late symptom of an attitude that began much earlier. In short is was more of contempt for the culture and aesthetics of print and the demand for censorship than an outright real, complete ban. The first book in Arabic was published in an Italian town named Fano in 1514. During ...


6

Partial answer In fact, the earliest printing technology wasn’t for written text at all. There are silk fragments from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE) in China that have flowers printed on them using a woodcut illustration. Woodblock printing, aka xylography, can be used for printing words as well, but it has a number of downsides: it’s hard to create ...


5

In 1900 Hufvudstadsbladet (Swedish language newspaper in Finland) had a circulation of 17,500, putting it far ahead of the nearest Finnish language rival, Uusi Soumetar at 11,300.(Conflict and Compromise in Multilingual Societies: Finland, Volym 3) But Swedish is one of the two national languages of Finland so it may not count.


5

Islam at first mostly spread by the sword. It could rapidly spread because of convenient circumstances. The everlasting border wars between the Byzantine and Sassanid empires hurt both empires seriously. They were not able to resist first Muslim border raids and later outright conquest. If those two empires hadn't bled themselves white against each other, ...


3

Sufism is responsible for the proselytism and spread of Islam, first in the Middle East, then as far as Africa and South Asia. Sufism was a mystical form of Islam. The Sufi doctrine was established by certain mystics, and propagated widely by missionaries. It focused on one's personal experience with god and a divine love. Its message had popular appeal. ...


2

My assumption about ships' libraries may have been in error. Chamisso, in "A voyage around the world...", wrote about his trip on the Rurik, on which in 1816 he found in Petropavlovsk not just books, but several volumes useful for his expedition. According to Chamisso, these books had been accumulating in Kamchatka "since the time of Bering" (early 1740s). ...


2

There is no much difference between reproducing maps and other pictures. Since the end of 19th century maps (and other pictures) were photo-reproduced. Before that time they were engraved. The originals were drawn by hand.


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I focus on: How did Islam end up with a single Qur'an, without variant readings? In the early years of Islam two key factors ensured the production of a single version, without variants, of a book, the Qur’an, for the whole of Islam. The first factor was the existence of a single, centralised, controlling authority of the whole of the Muslim world with ...


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