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Science and the spread of knowledge (Roman Printing)

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Access of scientists, naturalists and other seekers of knowledge to the new technology depended in part upon their relevant establishments, or their having sufficient personal wealth to pay for the materials, processing and distribution. Independent researchers often had to rely on traditional methods, of well-trained copyists - until they gained sufficient notability to be incorporated into the paper-print system. This contributed to a growth of multi-author publications, where individual scholars combined their resources, and encyclopedias - of which that produced by the Plinys was one of the more notable. Other encyclopedias were, however, regarded with some suspicion, much as Diderot's Encyclopedia was in a later period in OTL.

The chief problem faced by the scientific, mathematical and geographic scholarly communities was the printing of images. While with most printing the typepage could be broken up and the letters reused in new arrangements, images and diagrams were much more specific to particular contexts. This led to two results - the development of a few specialist publishers, who could carry the images as stock in trade, and the development of non-diagrammatic methods and descriptives.


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