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

Timeline Outline ViewEra: 1500 - 1550   |   Theme: All Themes


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 1501
 Pope Alexander VI issued a bull granting cesorial powers over book printing to Archbishops and local authorities serving under them. (View Larger)
Pope Alexander VI Confirms & Expands Censorship
April 1501The Aldine Virgil: the First Book Completely Printed in Italic Type and the First of Aldus's Pocket Editions of the Classics, Model for the Portable Printed Book Format September 13, 1501 – September 8, 1504
 Michelangelo's marble 'David,' symbol of the Florentine Renaissance, depicts the biblical hero holding rock and sling, his right hand intentionally enlarged to show the power of God acting through him. (View Larger)
Michelangelo Creates his Statue of David
1502Ambrosio Calepino Issues the First Modern Dictionary & the Most Successful & Widely Reprinted Reference Work of the Early Modern Period 1502Aldus Manutius Publishes the Editiones Principes of Thucydides, Sophocles, and Herodotus 1503Domenico Nani Mirabelli Issues One of the First General Reference Works Produced for the Printed Book Market Circa 1504Newly Discovered: The Earliest Surviving Globe Showing the New World 1505
Tomb relief of Johannes Trithemius
Johannes Trithemius Great Expands his Abbey Library as a Result of the Development of Printing
Portrait of Symphorien Champier.
Symphorien Champier Publishes the First Medical Bibliography of Medical Literature and the First Medical History after Celsus
April 1507
A portion of the last surviving copy of the Waldseemüller map, made by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in 1507, was the first published map to include the name 'America.' (View Larger)
Martin Waldseemüller Creates the First Map to Name America: A Wall Map…
September 15, 1507
 The printer's mark of Androw Myllar, who together with Walter Chepman became the first printer in Scotland under King James IV.
Walter Chepman and Andrew Myllar Issue the First Book Printed in Scotland
1508Wynkyn de Worde Issues the First English Book on Preparing and Carving Meat, Game and Fish 1508 – 1520The Introduction of Pasteboard for the Covers of Bindings 1509 – 1510
 The Aberdeen Breviary, published in 1507 and the first major work to be printed in Scotland, briefly recounts the lives of various Scottish saints. (View Larger)
Walter Chepman & Androw Myllar Issue The Aberdeen Breviary, the First "Major"…
August 19, 1509 – June 6, 1510
   Maximilain I, who greatly extended the House of Habsburg around the turn of the 16th century, decreed in 1509 the confiscation of Jewish books as a method of encouraging Jewish conversion to Christianity; however, he reversed his decision in 1510 and the texts were returned.      (View Larger)
Maximilian I Orders the Confiscation of Jewish Books, but Eventually Rescinds…
Circa 1510 – 1539Ferninand Columbus Collects One of the Largest Private Libraries of the 16th Century 1510Francesco Albertini Issues the First Guidebook to Ancient and Modern Rome: a New "Mirabilia Romae" May 22, 1511
 The first printed edition of 'De Architectura,' originally written by Roman architect Marcus Virtuvius Pollio, was printed in Venice in 1511 and contained 136 woodcut illustrations and diagrams.  (View Larger)
Fra Giovanni Giocondo Issues the First Illustrated Edition of Vitruvius
1512Hakob Meghapart Issues the First Book Printed in Armenian 1513Marcellus Silber Issues the First Book Printed in the Ancient Ethiopian Language of Ge'ez and the First Book Printed in Rome in Oriental Type September 1513Richard Fawkes Issues the Earliest English Printed Newsbook 1514 – 1517
 Gregorio de Gregorii, an Italian printer, published the first book in Arabic with moveable type in 1514, commissioned by Pope Julius II for delivery to Christians in the Middle East.    (View Larger)
Gregorio de Gregorii Issues the First Book Printed in Arabic by Movable…
1514Painter Quentin Matsys Uses a Book of Hours as a Prop for Satire 1514
Detail from page of Theorica et practica . . .de modo scribendi fabricandique omnes literarum species.  Please click on image to view entire page opening.
Sigismondo Fanti Issues the First Illustrated Manual on the Art of Writing
Circa 1515 – 1520The Grimani Breviary: a Remarkable Artistic Collaboration May 4, 1515
 Pope Leo X, famous for later fighting Martin Luther's 95 theses, issued the strictest decree of papal censorship to date in 1515, with the aim of eliminating 'dangerous' texts which were causing evil to propogate 'from day to day.' (View Larger)
Pope Leo X Decrees the Most Stringent Papal Censorship Before the Reformation
1516Samuel ben Isaac Nedivot & his Son Isaac Issue the First Book Printed on the Continent of Africa 1517
    Alessandro Minuziano was effectively the first to challenge a 'copyright' by reprinting an edition with exclusive rights; the Pope who issued the right was angered, but later allowed the publication after a detailed apology from Minuziano.   (View Larger)
Alessandro Minuziano Records the First Documented Legal Case Concerning…
October 31, 1517
 Martin Luther begins the Protestant Reformation in Germany in 1517, the spread of which is largely due to the mass availability of Luther's 95 Theses in German, making the movement of the Reformation 'one of the first in history to be aided by the printing press.' (View Larger)
Martin Luther Launches the Protestant Reformation
July 1518
 The 'square table' of abbot Johannes Trithemius’s 'Polygraphiae libri sex. - Clavis polygraphiae' was an example of how a message might be encoded through the use of multiple alphabets. (View Larger)
Johannes Trithemius Issues the First Book on Cryptography
1519 – 1523Daniel van Bomberghen, a Devout Christian, Issues the First Printed Edition of the Complete Babylonian Talmud Circa 1520 – 1541Nicolaus Copernicus Writes "De Revolutionibus" in His Own Handwriting Circa 1520 – 1850Some Tentative Observations on Dating Carta Rustica Bindings June 15, 1520
 The title page of Pope Leo X's bull 'Exsurge Domine,' bearing the Papal coat of arms, was written to warn Martin Luther that he must recant his 95 Theses or risk excommunication. (View Larger)
Pope Leo X Responds to Luther's "95 Theses"
August 1520
Martin Luther's 'On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church,' in which he criticizes the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, was the second of three treatises published by Luther in 1520 which became manifestos for the Reformation.  (View Larger)
Martin Luther Issues the Manifesto of the Reformation
December 10, 1520Luther Burns Leo X's Papal Bull 1521Giacomo Berengario da Carpi Issues the First Work Since the Time of Galen to Show Original Anatomical Information Based upon Personal Investigation & Observation January 3, 1521
 Pope Leo X excommunicates Reformation leader Martin Luther after Luther refused to recant his 95 Theses criticizing the Church. (View Larger)
Pope Leo X Excommunicates Martin Luther
May 26, 1521The Emperor Charles V Issues "The Law of Printing" in Response to the Excommunication of Luther July 15, 1521
Detail of Title Page of De Architectura Libri Dece.  Please click on the image to see the full page.
Cesare Cesariano & Colleagues Interpret Roman Architecture in the Artistic Language of the Renaissance
Detail of recto 32 of Berengario da Carpi's Isagoge breves perlucide ac uberime in anatomia humani corporis.  Please click on image to view entire page.
Berengario da Carpi Issues a Condensation of his Commentary on Mondino
1522 – 1524Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi Issues the First Manual on Humanistic Cursive 1522Giovanni Nevizzano Issues the First Legal Bibliography October 14, 1522Cuthbert Tunstall Issues the First Book Published in England Devoted Exclusively to Mathematics Circa 1525The Venetian Arsenal Develops the First Large-Scale Production-Line 1525
 The manuscript of Marco Fabio Calvo's Hippocratic Collection, transcribed in his own had, was used in the preparation of his 1525 Latin printing of the work.  (View Larger)
Marco Fabio Calvo Revives Hippocrates as the Precursor of Galen
1525Andrea Torresani di Asolo Issues the Editio Princeps of Galen in Greek 1526 – 1550Half of All Books Published in Europe are Printed in Venice May 6, 1527 – February 1528Troups Loyal to Charles V Sack Rome, Marking the End of the High Renaissance 1528Albrecht Dürer Expounds the Aesthetic Anatomy of Human Proportion 1530 – 1536Otto Brunfels & Hans Weiditz Issue the First Accurate, Detailed Woodcuts of Plants Taken Directly from Nature September 1533Johannes Herwagen Issues the First Printed Edition of the Greek Text of Euclid Circa 1535Bronzino Paints a Portrait of an Elegant Young Man Mishandling a Book 1536 – 1541
 In 1536, King Henry VIII formally disbands all monasteries in his realm and seizes their property, including thousands of books and manuscripts, most of which were subsequently lost or destroyed.  (View Larger)
Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries Brings Destruction and Dispersal…
1536 – 1537
 Johann Dryander, one of the first German doctors to perform public disections, published his 'Anatomia Capitis Humani' in 1536, which contained the most extensive study on the human head to date, and the first 'Galenic dissection' of the brain.  (View Larger)
Johann Dryander & Hans Brosamer Issue the First Significant Book on the…
January 6, 1536Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza Establishes the First European School of Higher Learning in the Americas August 9, 1537 – August 9, 1538Paganino & Alessandro Paganini Issue the First Printed Edition of the Qur'an in Arabic, of Which One Copy Survived November 16, 1538Henry VIII Establishes Pre-Publication Censorship in England June 12, 1539
 The 'Casa de la Primera Imprenta de América,' where printer Juan Pablos printed what is likely the first book in the Western Hemisphere, still stands today in Mexico City.  (View Larger)
Juan Pablos Issues the First Book Printed in the Western Hemisphere
1540Vannoccio Biringuccio Describes the "Fire-Using Arts, Including the First Description of Typecasting Circa 1540The Codex Mendoza, Perhaps Commissioned by Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza 1540 – 1585Masters at Colegio de Santa Cruz de Santiago Tlaltelolco Create the Florentine Codex, the First Illustrated Encyclopedia of the New World Circa 1540 – 1609John Dee Collects Perhaps the Largest Library in Elizabethan England 1541 – 1614The Library of the Painter El Greco and its Influence upon his Art 1542
 Robert Estienne, 16th Century Parisian scholar and printer, issued the first book-form publisher's catalog of which any copies survive in 1542.
Robert Estienne Issues the First Surviving Publisher's Catalogue in Book…
 In 1542, Jean Fernel published the first treatise on human physiology in thirteen-hundred years, originally titled 'De naturali parte medicinae libri septem,' which remained the defining work on the subject for more than a century.  (View Larger)
Jean Fernel Issues the First "Modern" Treatise on Physiology
1542 – 1543Theodore Bibliander & Johannes Oporinus Issue the First Printed Edition of the Latin Translation of the Qur'an 1542Leonhard Fuchs, Albrecht Mayer, Heinrich Füllmaurer & Viet Rudolf Speckle Issue the First "Modern" Herbal, with Self-Portraits of the Artists 1542Andrew Boorde Issues the First Printed Book to Set Out Rules for a Healthy Diet 1543Nicolaus Copernicus Begins the Copernican Revolution 1543
 In 1543, Martin Luther publishes the first modern antisemitic work, going so far as to condone the enslavement and murder of Jews, writing that the public is 'at fault in not slaying them.' (View Larger)
Martin Luther Issues the First Work of Modern Antisemitism
1543Leonhard Fuchs' Unpublished Masterpiece of Renaissance Botany May 1543The Oldest Surviving Articulated Human Skeleton in Europe, Articulated by Andreas Vesalius May 12, 1543Henry VIII Restricts the Reading of the Bible June 1543
 The title page of Andreas Versalius' 'De humani corporis fabrica libri septem,' published in 1543, was a revolutionary work of unmatched scientific and artistic precision.  (View Larger)
Andreas Vesalius Produces a Unprecedented Blend of Scientific Exposition,…
June 1543Simultaneously with the "Fabrica" Vesalius Issues a Condensation, or Road-Map, of the Encyclopedic Work 1544William Turner Issues the First Ornithological Treatise to Contain Descriptions of Individual Species Based upon the Author's own Observations 1545 – 1555
 In 1545, Swiss zoologist and naturalist Conrad Gessner publishes the first 'universal bibliography,' cataloging about 12,000 titles in an attempt to control the 'labyrinth' of books and information which had arrisen since the invention of printing.  (View Larger)
Conrad Gessner Issues the First Universal Bibliography Since the Invention…
1545 – 1546Charles Estienne Includes Erotic Images Made Acceptable by their Adaptation for Medical Purposes 1545Guido Guidi Issues a Spectacular Book of Renaissance Surgery and Graphic Arts 1545Joos Lambrechit Publishes the First Illustration of an Adjustable Type-Mould October 1545 – 1553Thomas Geminus Issues the First Edition of Vesalius Published in England 1546Guilio Clovio Completes a Masterpiece of High Renaissance Manuscript Illumination 1546Johannes Werner Issues a Pioneering Work on Environmental Science and Meteorology October 1546Andreas Vesalius Publishes the First Attempt to Formulate Methods of Identification of an Exotic Drug and Methods of Detecting its Adulteration 1548 – 1549Conrad Gessner Issues the First General Subject Index 1548Ignacio López de Loyola Issues Exercitia Spiritualia 1548John Bale Issues the First National Bibliography, of Writers in England, Wales, and Scotland Circa 1550A Sixfold Dos-à-Dos Binding from the Sixteenth Century Circa 1550The "Wide" Distribution of "Popular" Broadsides and Pamphlets by the Mid-16th Century Circa 1550Widely Distributed Cheap "Scientific Works" from the Mid-Sixteenth Century