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Home page for Design and Prototype Testing for the Rebirth Panel in the Walkabout series.

Panel 6 - Rebirth

Panel 6 - Rebirth

The great stone cathedrals and mosques of the planets two most powerful religions provided an edifice and secure physical focus for the faithful and their priestly mentors. Together, they enabled the extensions of the faith through good works, manuscripts, artworks, and obedience.

In Germany, around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg builds a printing press. Gutenberg's press enables the quick lay out and print of a single page of information written in a common language. The pages are duplicated on cheap, easy-to-make paper. Separate pages are assembled in sequence, then bound to form books. Printed books are cheap enough and portable enough to become available in public markets far beyond the great edifices of the church.

In the visual arts Leonardo of Vinci begins to use cheap paper in place of expensive, hard-to-find vellum. Instead of one sketch on vellum, Leonardo makes many paper sketches of possible machines of war; of vessels and organs in the human body; of a bird's wing in flight. After working the details of an idea on paper, Leonardo is able to build a physical model. Leonardo's study of a bird's wing evolved into the mechanical wing used by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk over 400 years later.

In Wittenberg Germany, on Halloween, 1517, Martin Luther recognizes the ferment among the faithful as the spread of new ideas mature. He writes 95 Theses which challenge the foundations of faith as they have been defined and adopted by the Christian Church since the time of Christ. He nails them on the door of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

With the free exchange of cheap, printed books, two authors contemporary with each other, and not tied to the church - Shakespeare in England; Cervantes in Spain - begin to write in the language of their home countries. They write stories in their mother tongue on the cheap paper that allows them to be read in books, heard from story-tellers, and seen by anyone who could afford to pay a penny or two to get into a theater.