4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: 1450 - 1500   |   Theme: All Themes


1450 – 1571
A woodcut from the Nuremburg Chronicle, showing Erfurt, 1493.
The Library of Hartmann Schedel, One of the Largest Libraries Formed by an Individual in the 15th Century
Circa 1450
The Göttingen Model Book, dating to the mid-15th century, contains instructions for the ornamentation of books and the creation of pigments. These methods can be seen in practice in several early Gutenberg Bibles. (View Larger)
Model Book for Manuscript and Printed Book Illumination
Circa 1450
The Fra Mauro map, created by the monk around 1450, is oriented with the South at the top, and depicts Asia, Africa, and Europe. The artistry is exceptionally detailed, and quite acurate for its time. (View Larger)
"The Greatest Memorial of Medieval Cartography"
1450 – 1460
Detail of page from Philip the Good's Book of Hours.  Please click to view entire image.
The Hours of Philip the Good, Illuminated with Miniatures Using the Grisaille Technique
1450 – 1600A Summary of Printed Outputs Throughout Europe, 1450-1600 April 30, 1451
A hall of the Vatican Library. (View Larger)
Establishment of the Vatican Library
Circa 1452 – 1453
The Sibyllenbuch fragment, the oldest surviving piece of a European book printed with movable type, contains a portion of a German poem about the fate of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Earliest Surviving Remnant of Any European Book Printed by Movable…
1452 – 1483
Lorenzo Valla (View Larger)
The First Latin Translation of Thucydides
1452 – 1455
The self-portrait miniature painted by Jean Fouquet.
Jean Fouquet Paints the Earliest Portrait Miniature and Possibly the Earliest Formal Self-Portrait
April 4, 1452 – July 9, 1453
The Giant Bible of Mainz, copied by hand in large characters as to be read from a lectern, shares many artistic characteristics with the Gutenberg Bible, and may haver served as a model for it. (View Larger)
The Giant Bible of Mainz: Possibly the Model for the Typography in the…
1453 – 1533
A map of the Inca road system. (View Larger)
The Inca Road System
May 29 – June 1453
A portrait of Mehmed II by Gentile Bellini.
The Ottoman Turks Capture Constantinople, Resulting in the Transfer of…
Circa 1454Possibly the First Printed Edition Donatus's "Ars minor", the Most Widely Used Medieval Grammar October 22, 1454
The 31-line indulgence preserved in the Scheide Library at Princeton.
The Earliest Dated European Document Printed by Movable Type
1455 – 1456
The 42-line Gutenberg Bible, completed in in 1456 by Johannes Gutenberg, Johann Fust & Peter Schöffer, is the earliest European book printed from movable type, by a process of Gutenberg's own invention. (View Larger)
Gutenberg Prints the 42-Line Bible
March 12, 1455
An image of Pope Pius II in blessing, from a biographical fresco in the Cathedral Library of Siena. (View Larger)
"The Sale of a Printed Bible"
November 6, 1455
The notarial document, drafted by Ulrich Helmasperger, clerk of the Bishopric of Bamberg, royal notary and certified public recorder at the Court of the Archbishop of Mainz, which provides the only contemporary account of the suit filed by Fust against Gutenberg. (View Larger)
Fust Files a Lawsuit against Gutenberg to Recover Money Used for the "Work…
1456The Aderlasskalender, the First Known Medical or Scientific Work to be Printed, Surviving in Only One Copy June 29, 1456
Johannes Gutenberg printed the only surviving copy of the Bulla Thurcorum, which instituted special prayers for Christians during the Turkish encroachment in the Balkans as part of an effort to galvanize European unity in preparation for another Crusade. (View Larger)
The Bulla Turcorum of Calixtus III, of Which One Copy Survives
Circa July 1456
Pope Calixtus III.
"Die Bulla widder die Turcken", also Printed by Gutenberg, of which One Copy Survives
August 14, 1457
The colophon of the 1457 Mainz Psalter, featuring the first printer's mark. (View Larger)
The Mainz Psalter. . . .without "Any Driving of the Pen"
Circa 1458
A bust of Johannes Mentlin in the Humanist Library of Sélestat. (View Larger)
Johannes Mentelin, a Scribe and Illuminator Adopts the New Technology
October 4, 1458
A portrait of Charles VII of France by Jean Fouquet.
Charles VII Orders a "Well-Qualified Agent" from his Royal Mints to Travel to Mainz to Learn Printing
Circa 1459 – 1461
The 36-line Bible, the second printed edition, was most likely published in Bamberg, Germany, around 1458-1460. No printers name appears in the book, but Johannes Gutenberg may have been involved in its publication. (View Larger)
The 36-Line Bible is Published
August 29, 1459
An illuminated page from a copy of the 1459 Mainz Psalter preserved at the Bodelian Library. (View Larger)
The 1459 Mainz Psalter
October 6, 1459
The first page of Guillelmus Duranti's Rationale divinorum officiorum. (View Larger)
Fust and Schöffer Publish the First Book Set in Fere-Humanistica or Gotico-Antiqua…
Circa 1460 – 1465An Intermediate Form Between a Collection of Prints and a Blockbook 1460
The Latin Bible printed by Johannes Mentelin in Strassbourg before 27 June 1466. ISTC No.: ib00624000.
Johannes Mentelin Issues the Second Printed Edition of the Bible
1460 – 1469Gutenberg's Last Production? An Early Form of Stereotyping? Circa 1460 – 1490
A page from Der Edelstein printed by Albrecht Pfister showing the integration of images with the printed text.
How the Relationship Between Text and Image Evolved in Early Printed Books in Essentially One Generation
Circa 1460Printing Required the Simplication of the Graphic Form of the Book February 14, 1461Albreht Pfister Publishes "Der Edelstein", the First Book Printed in German and the First Dated Book with Woodcuts 1462 – 1463
This Biblia Pauperum, or 'pauper's bible,' is the first known work to combine the woodcut images and movable type. (View Larger)
"Biblia pauperum", the First Combination of Text and Illustrations in One…
August 14, 1462
The Schöffer & Fust bible of 1462 was the first dated bible as well as the first to include a printer's mark. (View Larger)
Fust & Schöffer Issue the First Explicitly Dated Bible, with the First…
October 27, 1462
The coat of arms of Archbishop Diether von Isenberg, as depicted in the modern stain glass of the Mainz Cathedral.
Warfare Accelerates the Spread of Printing
Manuscript Title page of Bulla Cruciata Contra Turcos
Pope Pius II's "Bulla Cruciata contra Turcos", the First Publication with a Separate Printed Title Page
Circa 1463
Page from the first book printed in Italy. Click on the image to see the entire image.
"Passione di Cristo", the First Book Printed in Italy
The first page of a manuscript of De oratore by Cicero, written and illuminated in Northern Italy in the 15th century, and preserved in the British Library
Cicero's "De oratore", Perhaps the First Book Printed in Italy
Sabuncuoglu Serafeddin.
Şerafeddin Sabuncuoğlu Publishes The First Atlas of Pediatric Surgery (in Manuscript Form)
Detail from page of De officiis with Paradoxa Stoicorum.  Click on the image to see the entire page.
The First Three Printed Editions of Classical Texts, all by Cicero
Circa 1465 – 1475
The panel painting by Hans Memling depicting the Annunciation, with Mary reading from a manuscript. (Click on the image to view larger.)
Depiction of Mary Reading from a Manuscript Book by Hans Memling
October 29, 1465
Detail of page from Lactantius' Opera containing Greek text.  Please click on link to open and resize larger image showing full page.
Sweynheym & Pannartz Issue the First Dated Book Printed in Italy, Containing the First Printing in Greek
Portrait of Augustine of Hippo by Philippe de Champaigne.
An Anonymous Scholar Describes the Value and Difficulty of Preparing an Accurate Manuscript for Printing
1466 – 1471The First Printed Editions of the Speculum humanae salvationis June 1466
The German Mentelin Bible, published by Johann Mentelin in 1466, was the first bible published in a modern language. (View Larger)
Johannes Mentelin Issues the First Edition of the Bible in a Modern Language
Adolf Rusch's printing of the encyclopedia 'De Sermonum Propietate,
Adolf Rusch Issues the First Printed Encyclopedia, by Hrabanus Maurus
An engraved portrait of Leon Battista Alberti. Engraved by G. Benaglia and published in the 18th century.
Leon Battista Alberti Describes "The Alberti Cipher"
1467 – 1472Jerome's "De viris illustribus", the First Work to Stress the Bibliography Rather than the Biography of Eminent Writers June 12, 1467
The first edition of St. Augustine's 'De Civitate Dei,' meaning City of God, is the oldest printed work for which the original manuscript remains. (View Larger)
Augustine's "De civitate dei", Possibly the Earliest Printed Book for which…
December 31, 1467
An engraved portrait of Juan de Torquemada from 1791. (Click on the image to view larger.)
Torquemada's "Mediationes", the Earliest Illustrated Printed Book Published in Italy
Portrait of Pope Paul II by Cristofano dell'Atissimo (1525-1605).
Printing Decreased the Costs of Books by 80%
1469 – 1470
Detail of page from Sweynheym and Pannartz's edition of the Opera of Virgil at Rome. (Please click on image to view the entire page.)
The First Printed Editions of Virgil
1469 – 1472
The 'Rome Incunabula,' a collection of six Jewish texts, are thought to be the oldest works printed in Hebrew. (View Larger)
The Earliest Books Printed in Hebrew
Circa 1469 – 1550The Extraordinary Productivity of Early Venetian Printers June 1469 – September 1470
A portrait of Peter Schoffer.
Peter Schöffer Issues the Earliest Surviving Book List Issued by a Printer
Circa August 27, 1469
Wood engraved portrait of Cardinal Basilios Bessarion from the Bibliotheca chalcographica.
Cardinal Bessarion Issues the First Full Exposition of Plato's Thought Published in the West
September 1469
Portrait of Andrea Navagero Beazzano and Augustine by Raphael, 1516. (Click on image to view larger.)
Johannes de Spira Becomes the First Printer in Venice
A 17th century engraving of The Sorbonne, Paris.
Heynlin & Fichet Establish the First Press in France
Circa 1470Three Ways that Printing Changed Manuscript Culture 1470
The typographer's mark of Venetian Nicolas Jensen, creator of the first Roman-style typeface. (View Larger)
Eusebius Caesariensis, "De evangelica praeparatione", the First Book Printed…
1470 – 1474The First Printed Concordance of the Bible 1470The First Printed Books with Indices July 12, 1470 – 1471Ancestors of the First Newspapers? The Fall of Negroponte: One of the First News Events to be Discussed in Print 1471
Archbishop Niccolò Perotti of Spiponto was the first to suggest Vatican censorship and review of all printed works after noticing numerous errors in an edition of Pliny.
Niccolò Perotti Makes the First Call for Press Censorship
Circa 1471The First Basic Greek Grammar and the First Book Printed in Greek September 25, 1471First Printed Edition of the Only Formal Roman Treatise on Geography 1472
This edition of Roberto Valturio's 'De re militari' contains the first woodcuts on a scientific subject, used not for artistic embellishment but for diagraming and explanation. (View Larger)
"De re militari", the First Printed Book on Technology with the First Woodcuts…
1472Printers Sweynheym and Pannartz Request Financial Assistance from Pope Sixtus VI 1472 – 1475The Earliest Printings of Plato in the Fifteenth Century 1472The First Three Printed Editions of Dante's Divine Comedy April 21, 1472Bagellardo's Pediatrics, the First Medical or Scientific Treatise to be First Published as a Printed Book Rather than a Manuscript May 12, 1472Scribes in Genoa Attempt to Block Competition from Printers November 19, 1472
Earliest printed example of a classical T and O map (by Günther Zainer, Augsburg, 1472), illustrating the first page of chapter XIV of the Etymologiae of Isidore of Seville. It shows the continents as domains of the sons of Noah: Sem (Shem), Lafeth (Japheth) and Cham (Ham).
The First Printed Edition of Isidore's "Etymologiae" Includes the First Map Included in a Printed Book
1473 – 1474William Caxton Issues the First Book Printed in English 1473The First Printed Edition of "Philobiblon": Collecting, Preserving and Handling Books Circa 1473The Earliest Printed Music Appears in the "Constance Gradual" 1473 – 1474Günther Zainer Issues "Vocabularius", the First Technical Dictionary August 1473 – December 1474Scribe Filippo de Strata's Polemic Against Printing 1474The Library of Giovanni di Marco da Rimini, Possibly the Earliest Physician's Library Preserved Intact 1474Probably the Best-Selling 15th Century Printed Book by a Living Author. 1474 – April 20, 1475The First Printed Editions of Herodotus 1475The First Catalogue of the Vatican Library Circa 1475 – 1479The First Printed Cookbook: Platina's "De honesta voluptate" Circa 1475The Black Hours 1475The Staff and Salaries of a 15th Century Venetian Printing Office January 26, 1475
Section of a page from the Codex Justinianus.
Peter Schöffer Issues the "Codex Justinianus", Probably the First Printed Civil Law Book
February 17, 1475Abraham ben Garton Issues the First Dated Book Printed in Hebrew August 5, 1475The First "Modern" Printed Map: Lucas Brandis' Map of the Holy Land September 13, 1475The First Printed Edition of the First Geography Contains No Maps October 30, 1475
The first edition of Konrad von Megenberg's 'Buch der Natur' was both the first German natural history and the first woodcut-illustrated natural history, including this woodcut from the chapter on zoology. (View Larger)
Konrad von Megenberg's "Buch der Natur", the First Illustrated Printed…
1476Erhard Ratdolt Issues Regiomontanus's "Kalendario", with the First "Modern" Title Page 1476Aristotle's "De animalibus", the First Printed Compilation of Works on Biology 1476 – 1477Caxton Prints the First Book Advertisement in the English Language January 30, 1476Constantine Lascaris, "Erotemata", the First Book Printed Entirely in Greek Type April 18, 1476Jean de Vigne's "La légende dorée", the First Book Printed in French July 24, 1476The Kennicott Bible, the Most Lavisly Illuminated Hebrew Bible to Survive from Medieval Spain September 29 – December 1476William Caxton Opens the First Printing Office in England and Issues A Letter of Indulgence, the First Recorded Piece of English Printing October 12, 1476Ulrich Han Issues the First Dated Printed Book Containing Music 1477
Detail of map from Ptolemy's Cosmographia showing the southeastern coast of Spain.  Click on the link to view and enlarge the entire page from the book.
The first illustrated edition of Ptolemy's Cosmographia, the First Book with Engraved Maps
May 9, 1477
First page of of the first, unillustrated edition of De viribus herbarum carmen. (Click on the image to view the full page.)
Macer Floridus's "De viribus herbarum carmen", the First Printed Herbal
August 1477 – 1480The First Hebrew Biblical Text Printed? November 18, 1477Caxton's "The Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres", the First Dated Book Printed in England 1478Leonardo Builds a Programmable Mechanical Automaton July 1478The First Printed Edition of Dioscorides October 1478Arnald of Villanova's "Von Bewahrung und Bereitung der Weine", the First Printed Book on Wine December 10, 1478
Page from Arte dell'Abbaco. 
This unpretentious little book could almost be taken as a symbol of the third component in the collection of George A. Plimpton:
"Arte dell’Abbaco", the First Dated Printed Book on Arithmetic and the Operation of the Abacus
August 28, 1479
Detail from page of Breviarium (1479) printed by Pachel and Scinzenzeler depicting the author, Paulus Attavanti.
The Earliest Portrait of an Author in a Printed Book
1480A Typical Print Run in 1480 1480 – 16001775 Different Editions of Printed Books of Hours Were Issued Between 1480 and 1600 1480"La edifichation de molti pallazi & tempii & altri gradissimi edificii de roma", an Early Printed Guidebook to Rome, Known from a Single Surviving Copy March 21, 1480Franciscus Niger's "Grammatica", Containing the First Appearance of a "Musical Idea" in a Printed Book September 1480Nicolas Jensen's Will: the First Concrete Evidence of the Existence of Matrices for the Casting of Type Fonts Circa 1481 – 1482
Detail of page from Herbarium apulei with illustration of herb.  Please click to view entire image.
"Herbarium Apulei", the First Printed Herbal with Illustrations and Probably the First Series of Illustrations on a Scientific Subject
1481"Psalterium Graeco-latinum cum Canticis", the Earliest Printing of Any Book of the Bible in Greek 1482
Detail of map from Pomponius Mela's Cosmographi geographia printed in 1482.  Please click to view entire image.
The First World Map to Show the Results of the Age of Discovery
January 26, 1482The First Printed Edition of the Torah in Hebrew May 25, 1482
Detail of page from Euclid's Elements.  Please click to view entire page.
Euclid's Elements, the Most Famous Textbook Ever Published
Circa 1483"Treatise on the Pestilence", the Earliest Medical Work Printed in English 1483The First Printed Bibliography of a Medical Author: Galen February 1 – October 25, 1483Printed on Vellum and Illuminated by Girolamo da Cremona, and Others July 4, 1483"Tabulae Alphonsinae", Among the Earliest Printed Mathematical Tables September 13, 1483Ratdolt's Edition of Eusebius's "Chronicon" Contains One of the Earliest Acknowledgments of Gutenberg's Invention 1484The Sultan Prohibits Turks from Printing 1484 – 1485The First Edition of Plato's Opera, Printed by the First Press to Employ Women November 3, 1484Rules of the Library, Merton College, Oxford, 1484 Circa 1485 – 1516Leonardo's Anatomical Drawings 1485
The first book illustration printed in three colors of ink. Detail from page of Theoricae novae planetarium. Please click to view entire page.
The First Book Illustration Printed in Three Colors
Circa 1485An Early Depiction of a Child Crumpling the Pages of a Book Circa 1485 – 1525Law Books Are the Leading Subject in Venetian Publishing August 1485"A Horse, A Horse, My Kingdom for a Horse." 1486"Book of Hawking, Hunting and Heraldry", the Earliest Work Printed in England to Contain Color Printing 1486 – August 16, 1487 Vitruvius, "De architectura", the First Printed Work on Classical Architecture 1486The First Printed Haggadah February 11, 1486Breydenbach's "Peregrinatio in terram sanctam", the First Illustrated Travel Book: An International Bestseller April 1, 1486Erhard Ratdolt Issues the Earliest Known Type Specimen September 1, 1486 – May 21, 1487Marco Antonio Sabellico Receives the First Known Author's Copyright 1487 – 1488Discovery of a Lost Painting by Michelangelo? March 23, 1487Isaac Judaeus' "De particularibus diaetis", the First Separately Printed Treatise on Diet April 1487"Malleus Malleficarum", Handbook for Witch-Hunters and Inquisitors November 17, 1487Pope Innocent VIII Begins Prepublication Censorship 1488 – 1489The Editio Princeps of Homer: The First Printing of a Major Greek Work in its Original Language April 22, 1488The First Complete Printed Hebrew Bible December 19 – December 29, 1488Gershom Soncino Sells the First Copy of His First Book July 16 – November 25, 1489The First and Second Books Printed in Lisbon Circa 1490
Detail of leaf of Les Basses danses de Marguerite d'Autriche.  Please click on link below to view and resize complete image.
The Earliest Known Dance Notation
Circa 1490The Macclesfield Alphabet Book, the Most Complete Pattern Book from Medieval Britain July 26, 1491Ketham's "Fasciculus medicinae", the First Medical Book with Anatomical Illustrations 1492Martin Behaim's "Erdapfel", the Oldest Surviving Terrestrial Globe January 30, 1492Restoring the Whole of Spain to Christian Rule March 31, 1492Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand Expell the Jews from Spain July 30 – October 12, 1492Departure of Columbus for the New World & the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain August 1492Sultan Bayezid II Wellcomes Jewish Refugees from Spain August 18, 1492"Grammatica Nebrissensis", the First Printed Grammar of a Vernacular February 15, 1493Columbus's Description of the New World: the First Eyewitness Report to Become a Bestseller; in 2016, Reports of a Theft and Forgery of a Copy of the Third Edition June 12 – December 23, 1493The Nuremberg Chronicle December 13, 1493The First Book Printed in the Ottoman Empire 1494Trithemius Favors Vellum over Paper for Long Term Information Storage 1494Johannes Trithemius Publishes the Earliest Subject Bibliography 1494Probably the Earliest European Depiction of Native Americans February 11, 1494Sebastian Brant's "Book Fool", and Others November 10 – November 20, 1494
Page from Summa de arithmetica geometria, proporzioni et proporzionalita at the Libarary for Humanitities and Social Sciences at the Kobe University. (Click on the image to view the full page opening.)
Pacioli Issues "Summa de arithmetica", the First Great General Work on Mathematics
1495Trithemius Issues the First Printed Bibliography on Secular Subjects 1495 – 1498The Aldine Aristotle, One of the Most Significant Publishing Ventures of the Fifteenth Century February 1495 – 1496The Aldine Theocritus: Scholarly Compromises in Running a Publishing House Circa 1496The First English Book Printed on Paper Made in England 1498 – 1500Before the Reformation Indulgences Remained a Huge Business for Printers May 25, 1498 – 1501
 'Harmonice Musices Odhecaton,' a collection of secular songs, was the first book of music to be printed using movable type.  (View Larger)
The First Book of Sheet Music Printed from Movable Type
Circa 1499The Persistence of Illuminated Manuscript Production Fifty Years After the Introduction of Printing February 18, 1499The First Illustration of a Printing Office & Bookshop in a Printed Book 1500Early Printing in Hebrew Circa 1500 – 1565
 Pencil 'lead' has never actually contained the metal; its name arrose from a visual similarity between the two substances. (View Larger)
Origins of the Pencil
A recipe for Custarde taken from the Boke of Kokery, c. 1440.
Richard Pyson Issues the First English Cookbook, Known from a Single Surviving Copy
Circa 1500 – 1600The Transition from Latin to the Vernacular in the 16th Century Circa 1500The Growth of Literacy from 1100 to 1500 Circa 1500Leonardo's Lost Painting, "Salvator Mundi", Discovered 1500A Census of Print Runs for Fifteenth-Century Books 1500 – 1700Avvisi: Hand-Written Newsletters Conveying Political, Military and Economic News Circa 1500 – 1520The Rothschild Prayerbook is Illuminated Circa 1500"Paper accounts for as much as fifty percent of the cost of a Renaissance-era book" Circa 1500Aldus's "Rules of the Modern Academy" Known From a Single Surviving Copy Circa 1500By 1500 Five Different Kinds of Music Notation Were Cut into Type December 1500
 The 'Nuremberg Chronicle,' written in Latin by Hartmann Schedel and published in 1493, is represented by c. 1250 surviving copies, more than any other incunabulum.  (View Larger)
Printing Presses are Established in 282 Cities
December 1500The Number of Early Printed Editions Which Survived Versus the Number of Surviving Medieval Manuscripts