A Podcast Exploring the Wit and Weirdness of Medieval Texts

MDT Ep. 100: Concerning the Litigious Origins of Printing

Leaf from a Gutenberg Donatus (British Library).

For our 100th episode, we look at one of the technologies that marks an endpoint for the middle ages, the printing press, and consider how Johann Gutenberg may be a prototype for today’s paranoid tech tycoons and the lawsuits that so often dog them.

Today’s Texts

  • Van der Linde’s, A. The Haarlem Legend of the Invention of Printing. Translated by J.H. Hessels, Blades, East, & Blades, 1871. Google Books.
  • Schröder, Edward. Das Mainzer Fragment vom Weltgericht. Gutenberg-Gesellschaft, 1908. Archive.org.
  • Trithemius, Johannes. “From In Praise of Scribes.” In Writing Material: Readings from Plato to the Digital Age. Edited by Evelyn B. Tribble and Anne Trubek, Longman, 2003, pp. 469-475.


Music Credit: Edvard Grieg, Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, II. Adagio, performed by Skidmore College Orchestra and made available under the CC-PD license on MusOpen.org.

Image: Leaf from a Gutenberg Donatus (British Library) and an image of the Sibyllenbuuch Fragment (via Wikimedia Commons).

The Sibyllenbuch Fragment

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