CIRCA 1450

The day mass media is born

iD magazine - - History -

In the year 1517 a monk be­comes the great­est rebel in the his­tory of the Church. Martin Luther com­pletely shakes up the world of Chris­tian­ity with his 95 The­ses. But this ref­or­ma­tion would have re­mained a foot­note in world his­tory— were it not for the in­ven­tion of Jo­hannes Guten­berg, which marks the en­try into the age of mass media. He molds mov­able let­ters out of metal and ar­ranges them to form words and sen­tences. Texts could be copied faster than ever be­fore and as often as de­sired. Knowl­edge be­came fast and freely avail­able to all. In this way Luther’s the­ses can spread across Ger­many. His like­ness also ap­pears on the leaflets, so the pub­lic has an image of him; few peo­ple know what his op­po­nent, the pope, looks like.

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