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Litterae indulgentiarum pro tuitione catholicae fidei et defensione Cypri contra Turcos

Johannes Gutenberg1454

National Library of the Czech Republic

National Library of the Czech Republic
Staré Město, Czechia

In 2005, two copies of a single-page print by Gutenberg were discovered in the Franciscan library in Cheb - the so-called 31-line indulgence sheet, published in autumn 1454. Both single sheets printed on parchment had been cut into smaller parts and used by bookbinders as maculature. In the restoration department of the National Library they were extracted and reassembled into their original, however incomplete, form. During the indulgence campaign proclaimed by Pope Nicholas V, commissioned priests collected monetary donations for the defence of the Kingdom of Cyprus against the Turks, and issued the donors with originally handwritten indulgence certificates, which entitled them to seek out any priest who would grant them remission of punishments for sins committed after confession. Given the huge number of these documents, Gutenberg probably had the idea of printing a form of the document using his invention, in which the relevant information would just be written. Soon after its invention, the printing press also began to serve the needs of the bureaucracy.

Details

  • Title: Litterae indulgentiarum pro tuitione catholicae fidei et defensione Cypri contra Turcos
  • Creator: Johannes Gutenberg
  • Date Created: 1454
  • Rights: National Library of Czech Republic

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