IV.4. The printed book and the New Hellenism

The Greek and foreign printing houses, which were operating as early as the 15th c. in the lively Greek communities in East and West (in Western Europe, Russia, Moldavia and Wallachia and in Istanbul), made a decisive contribution to shaping the Modern Greek identity. From very early on the Greek printing houses produced mainly religious and above all liturgical publications.

At the same time the influence of the European Enlightenment led to the appearance of what has been called a religious humanism, a movement formed of progressive church scholars, which becomes part of the wider framework of the Neo-Hellenic Enlightenment (c. 1750-1830). In close collaboration with notable editors cum publishers distinguished scholars introduce ideas and values from Enlightenment Europe to Greek soil and to Rum communities everywhere by means of all kinds of publications. In this context the revolutionary ideas of Rigas Velestinlis (Pherraios) find fertile ground.