Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July 24: Trithemius

In the 15th century there was a monk named Trithemius who loved books. At a very young age he was made abbot of his Benedictine monastery and later curated its library.

He hated the printing press. He thought it would make monks' souls get lazy if they didn't have to spend their lives hunched over in the scriptorium copying books by hand. Not only that, but he hated the feel of the printed book, the look of the standardized pages, the quickness and availability of these newfangled products.

He bemoaned this at length, publishing his thoughts using a printing press so that more people could read them.

Like everyone I know on Facebook whining about how e-readers are making us lose touch with what makes reading important.

What makes reading important is the transfer of ideas. Hand copied or digital or anything in between.


  1. Good point. And hunching over for hours on end sounds very bad for one's posture. Those monks needed to unionize.

  2. OMG OMG have you seen medieval help desk?

  3. I 100% agree. And I love IB's medieval help desk.