| movable type ： ウィキペディア英語版|
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document (usually individual letters or punctuation).
The world's first known movable type system for printing was made of ceramic materials and created in China around A.D 1040 by Bi Sheng (990–1051) during the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127). In 1377, the first metallic types were invented in Goryeo Dynasty in Korea, which were used to print Jikjishimcheyojeol or simply Jikji, which is the oldest extant movable metal print book. The diffusion of both movable-type systems was, however, limited.〔Zhou He (1994): "Diffusion of Movable Type in China and Europe: Why Were There Two Fates?", in: ''International Communication Gazette'', Vol. 53, pp. 153–173〕 They were expensive, and required an enormous amount of labour involved in manipulating the thousands of ceramic tablets, or in the case of Korea, metal tablets, required for scripts based on the Chinese writing system, which have thousands of characters.
Around 1450 Johannes Gutenberg made a mechanical metal movable-type printing press in Europe, along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould. The more limited number of characters needed for European languages was an important factor.〔Beck with, Christopher I., ''Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present'', Princeton University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-691-15034-5〕 Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony—and these materials remained standard for 550 years.〔Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved November 27, 2006, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD—entry 'printing'〕
For alphabetic scripts, movable-type page setting was quicker than woodblock printing. The metal type pieces were more durable and the lettering was more uniform, leading to typography and fonts. The high quality and relatively low price of the Gutenberg Bible (1455) established the superiority of movable type in Europe and the use of printing presses spread rapidly. The printing press may be regarded as one of the key factors fostering the Renaissance〔Eisenstein, Elizabeth L., ''The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe'', Cambridge University Press, 1983〕 and due to its effectiveness, its use spread around the globe.
The 19th-century invention of hot metal typesetting and its successors caused movable type to decline in the 20th century.
== Precursors to movable type ==
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