4366 entries. 93 themes. Last updated March 1, 2015.

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.
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 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)
Censorship from One of the Most Controversial of Renaissance Popes
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's David
1502Calepino: The First Modern Dictionary & the Most Successful and Widely Reprinted Reference Work of the Early Modern Period 1502Aldus Publishes the Editiones Principes of Thucydides, Sophocles, and Herodotus 1503One 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
Partially a Reflection of the Increased Availability of Information after the Development of Printing
Portrait of Symphorien Champier.
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)
The First Map to Name America: The Waldseemuller Wall Map and the Waldseemuller…
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.
The First Book Issued from the First Press in Scotland
1508The First English Book on Preparing and Carving Meat, Game and Fish 1508First Use 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)
The Aberdeen Breviary, the First Major Book Printed in Scotland
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 – 1539Collecting Books and Prints in the Early Sixteenth Century 1510The 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)
The First Illustrated Edition of Vitruvius
1512The First Book Printed in Armenian 1513The First Book Printed in the Ancient Ethiopian Language of Ge'ez and the First Book Printed in Rome in Oriental Type September 1513The 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)
The First Book Printed in Arabic by Movable Type
1514A 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.
The First Illustrated Manual on the Art of Writing
Circa 1515 – 1520The Grimani Breviary 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)
The Most Stringent Papal Censorship Before the Reformation
1516The 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)
The First Documented Legal Case Concerning Copyright
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)
Launching 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)
The First Book on Cryptography
1519 – 1523The First Printed Edition of the Complete Babylonian Talmud Circa 1520 – 1541The Autograph Manuscript of De Revolutionibus 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)
The Pope Responds to the 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)
The Manifesto of the Reformation
December 10, 1520Luther Burns the Papal Bull 1521The First Work Since the Time of Galen to Show Original Anatomical Information Based upon Personal Investigation and 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)
The Pope Excommunicates Luther
May 26, 1521"The Law of Printing" Issued 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.
Interpreting Roman Architecture in the 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's Condensation of his Commentary on Mondino
1522 – 1524The First Manual on Humanistic Cursive 1522Giovanni Nevizzano Issues the First Legal Bibliography October 14, 1522The First Book Published in England Devoted Exclusively to Mathematics Circa 1525The 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)
Renaissance Revival of Hippocrates as the Precursor of Galen
1525The Editio Princeps of Galen in Greek, and an Example of How the Editor Marked up a Manuscript for Printing 1526 – 1550Half of All Books Published in Europe are Printed in Venice May 6, 1527 – February 1528The Sack of Rome Marks the End of the High Renaissance 1528The Aesthetic Anatomy of Human Proportion 1530 – 1536First Accurate, Detailed Woodcuts of Plants Taken Directly from Nature September 1533The First Printed Edition of the Greek Text of Euclid Circa 1535Portrait of a 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)
Dissolution of the Monasteries Brings Destruction and Dispersal of Libraries
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)
The First Significant Book on the Anatomy of the Head
January 6, 1536The First European School of Higher Learning in the Americas August 9, 1537 – August 9, 1538First Printed Edition of the Qur'an in Arabic, of Which One Copy Survived November 16, 1538Pre-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)
The First Book Printed in the Western Hemisphere
1540The "Fire-Using Arts, Including the First Description of Typecasting Circa 1540
 The first page of the 'Codex Mendoza,' which was printed in Mexico in 1540 and depicted the daily life and conquests of the Aztec empire, with traditional Aztec pictograms and explanations in Spanish.  (View Larger)
The Codex Mendoza
1540 – 1585The Florentine Codex: The First Illustrated Encyclopedia of the New World 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.
The First Surviving Publisher's Catalogue in Book Form
 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)
The First "Modern" Treatise on Physiology
1542 – 1543The First Printed Edition of the Latin Translation of the Qur'an 1542The First "Modern" Herbal, with Self-Portraits of the Artists 1542The First Printed Book to Set Out Rules for a Healthy Diet 1543The Copernican Revolution Begins 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)
The First Work of Modern Antisemitism
1543Unpublished Masterpiece of Renaissance Botany May 1543The Oldest Surviving Articulated Human Skeleton in Europe 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)
Unprecedented Blending of Scientific Exposition, Art and Typography
June 1543A Condensation or Road-Map to the Fabrica 1544The 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)
Gessner Issues the First Universal Bibliography Since the Invention of…
1545 – 1546Erotic Images Made Acceptable by their Adaptation for Medical Purposes 1545Renaissance Surgery and Graphic Arts 1545The First Illustration of an Adjustable Type-Mould October 1545 – 1553The First Edition of Vesalius Published in England 1546Masterpiece of High Renaissance Manuscript Illumination 1546Pioneering Work on Environmental Science and Meteorology October 1546First Attempt to Formulate Methods of Identification of an Exotic Drug and Methods of Detecting its Adulteration 1548 – 1549Gessner Issues the First General Subject Index 1548Spiritual Exercises 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