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Armenian Publishing and the Quest for Modernity (16th–19th Centuries)

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Chapter Summary

In the Armenian world, the potential of the printing press, as a tool for spreading ideas, seems to have been perceived from a very early date. From the beginning of the sixteenth century, steps were taken to master and use typographic techniques in order to use them to renew and modernize Armenian society. The printer-publishers there found Armenian merchants willing to help them financially and to provide them with wellhoned distribution circuits. The creation of the order of Mekhitarist Fathers, which was established in Venice from 1715, however, allowed the West to maintain steady production. The establishment of printer-publishers in the Ottoman capital made it possible for the local intelligentsia to disseminate new ideas to the population, sometimes using a language accessible to the general public. Its strong printing tradition and its proximity to the Ottoman Empire strengthened its appeal.

Keywords: Mekhitarist Fathers; modernize Armenian society; Ottoman Empire; printer-publishers; typographic techniques

10.1163/9789004270961_006
/content/books/b9789004270961_006
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