In this special section reproduced from Aramco World (issue March/April 1981), distinguished authors cover topics related to printing in the Islamic civilisation. It is showed, in particular, that contrary to the notion that the technology of printing somehow bypassed Muslims, the Islamic civilisation have left substantial evidence that block printing was a craft familiar to many in the medieval Islamic world between the 10th and the 15th centuries, long before Gutenberg invented press printing. The most common texts to have survived are amulets, of which several dozens survived, some of which are preserved in European and US libraries and museums.
Arabic and the Art of Printing
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Figure 1. The Tabula Rogeriana, drawn by al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154, one of the most advanced ancient world maps. Modern consolidation, created from the 70 double-page spreads of the original atlas. (Source)
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