The rise of Western universities from the 11th century onwards stimulated
the market for a growing number of secular texts, a development that led
to greater diversity in writing styles and a proliferation of books. When
printing came on the scene in the 1450s, early printers closely imitated
the look of medieval manuscripts, modeling their letterforms and page
layouts after those of professional scribes. It took the rise of Italian
humanism, with its revival of roman letterforms and its emphasis on scholarly
presentation of classical knowledge, to transform the book into the modern
format we know today.
Lombard Gradual. Northern Italy, mid-fifteenth
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