Westward Dissemination of Paper-making Technology
Paper-making Technology in China first appeared during the Western Han Dynasty.Cai Lun,an Eastern Han eunuch improved the technology which facilitated its further extension. Westward dissemination of Chinese paper was very early.Primitive hemp paper produced during the Han Dynasty has been discovered in Dunhuang and western Gansu. It is generally believed that paper-making technology was introduced to Central Asia during the Tianbao Period of the Tang Dynasty under the region of Emperor Xuanzong(742-756).Tang Dynasty paper-making artisans first made paper in Samarkand where it became a paper manufacturing center outside the Chinese territory. In 794,a paper mill was set up in Baghdad,capital of the Dashi Kingdom(Arab Empire),inviting Chinese paper-making artisans to serve as advisers.Sunce then ,paper mills also appeared in Yemen,Damascus and other Arab districts and cities.
By the end of the 9th century,Chinese paper-making technology was introduced to Egypt and not long after Chinese paper replaced the local straw paper. During the 12th century,Chinese paper-making technology spread from North Africa to Spain and France. Nuremberg of Germany also built its first paper mill in 1391.The invention of paper and its westward dissemination produced an immeasurable impact on the development of te European civilization in modern times.
*Westward Dissemination of Printing Technology
Printing technology,one of the China’s”four great inventions”in ancient times,appeared during the Tang Dynasty.The extant world’s early woodblock printed book was the Diamond Sutra found in the Dunhuang Cave for Storing Buddhist Scriptures.The Specified printing date on the sutra was “April 15,9th year of Xiantong Period(868)”.During the Northern Song Dynasty,craftsman Bi Sheng invented clay carved movable type i 1313,a renovation that had greatly improved the efficiency of the printing technology.
Woodblock printing technology was introduced to Korea and Japan much earlier than to the West.According to speculation woodblock printing was probably introduced to Central West Asia,North Africa and Europe around the tome of the Song and the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongol chivalry crusaded along the silk road
to the west.In early years of the 14th century an Erie Khanate historian named Rashid-al-Din Hamadani in his book Collection of History the Chinese woodblock printing method. In later years of the 14th century and early years of the 15th century,woodblock printed cards,religious paintings and books,as well as students textbooks in Latin appeared in Europe. The extant earliest print of European woodcut painting was the Portrait of Saint Christophe,engraved and printed in 1423.This woodcut painting,produced in southern Germany,employed the same printing method as Chinese woodblock printing.By mid-15th century,woodblock printing was already very popular in Europe.Between 1440 and 1448,a German named Gutenberg invented the lead movable type printing method,an invention four hundred years later than thar of the clay moveable type method incented by Bi Sheng.Gutenberg’s invention laid the foundation for the modern printing technology.Some western historians believe thar Gutenberg’s invention was inspired by the Chinese movable type printing technology.