Sonntag, 13. November 2016

The Way to the Book

Hello, friends!

Since Key is very busy these days, I'll be doing another info post today. I thought that, since we're all talking about books and fictional adventures, we should take a minute to step back in time.
It all started in the 3rd millenium BC. Back then, people wrote on clay tablets. That was before the ancient Egyptians produced something called "Papyrus". It is the closest thing to what we know as paper, today, King Neferirkare Kakai from the Fifth Dynasty (2400 BC) first used it for his messeges. The production of the "Papyrus" included many steps:
First, the marrow was extracted from the stems, and then the raw material was humidified, pressed, dried, glued and cut. Bird feathers were used for writing. This tradition continued to exists till the late 18th century. It is remarkable to say that the first books appeared during the reign of Ramses III. They just looked different from what we'd define as books nowadays. Writers pasted several sheets together, and the result looked like a roll of 10 meters.

Later, Eumenes II, the King of Pergamon, invented the parchment, and his invention replaced the innovative Papyrus. That was around the 3rd century BC. Parchment was made out of animal skin, and, therefore, it was easier to conserve over time. Around the 6th and 5th century BC, people in Geece and Rome started using the "scroll", which counts as an early version of the book. 

Note that books only started to speard because of Aristotle. During the Hellenistic period, people started building libraries. Aristotle's desire for knowledge became exemplary, and everybody wanted to share their thoughts and learn from history and from the greatest thinkers. Some of these libraries were: 
The Library of Alexandria
The Library at Pergamon
The Library at Rhodes
The Library at Antioch

The production of books developed in Rome (1st century BC). Latin literature was largely influenced by the Greek

Paper first appeared in China (105 AD). Cai Lun, an official, used mulberry to produce the "new parchment". After many years of experimental usage (e.g. for the preservation of tea), people eventually started writing on Lun's creation. 

Between the 2nd and the 4th century, the scroll was replaced by the codex, and the sheets were no longer just rolled up; they were pinned to each other. After many years of handcopying, Gutenberg eventually invented a new system that allowed printing (1414). Ever since, literature and knowledge were more accessible among people. 

So, you see that it took humanity many years to be able to talk of "books". Books manifest knowledge and bring the light into the world.