The art of printing

Posted by Bella on April 30, 2003

In Reply to: The art of printing posted by R. Berg on April 30, 2003

: : I am struggling with the following paragraph. Could anybody explain it for me ? Thank you.

: : He who first shortened the labour of copyists by device of moveable types was disbanding hired armies, and cashiering most Kings and Senates, and creating a whole new democratic world; he had invented the art of printing.

: : Mei

: The invention of movable type served the cause of the common people, against royalty and rulers. It put much of the ruling class out of business ("disbanding," "cashiering").

: That's a paraphrase of the sentence. What is implied is that Gutenberg's invention accomplished these things by making information more accessible.

Mei, when an army, which was once all hired men, was no longer needed, they were "disbanded" (separated, not a group), and "cashiered out" (paid a small amount of money by the government).