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Rediscovering the Islamic ClassicsHow Editors and Print Culture Transformed an Intellectual Tradition$
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Ahmed El Shamsy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174563

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174563.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

The Beginnings of Print

The Beginnings of Print

(p.63) Chapter 3 The Beginnings of Print
Rediscovering the Islamic Classics

Ahmed El Shamsy

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to the changing means of cultural reproduction: the constitution of books as physical objects through the medium of print. The print revolution, inaugurated by Johannes Gutenberg (d. 1468), was central to the cultural formation of modern Europe. Within decades of Gutenberg's death, the technology of the printing press had also arrived in Istanbul, carried by Jewish refugees from Spain. Arabic books were not, however, printed in the Middle East in significant numbers until the eighteenth century, and it was only in the nineteenth century that print came to dominate the production of Arabo-Islamic literature. After discussing early printing in the Arab world, this chapter focuses on the evolution of the publishing industry.

Keywords:   cultural reproduction, books, print medium, Arabic books, print revolution, early printing, publishing industry

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