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Printing, Reform, and the Catholic Reformation in Germany (1521-1545) Author(s): Richard A.

Crofts Source: The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Autumn, 1985), pp. 369-381 Published by: The Sixteenth Century Journal Stable URL: . Accessed: 08/05/2011 17:55
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Sixteenth CenturyJournal XVI, No. 3 (1986)

Printing,Reform,and the Catholic in Germany(1521-1545) Reformation

Richard A. Crofts East Tennessee State University

HISTORIANS OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY continueto dein the Reformavoteattention to theroleand significance ofprinting tion.The workof two scholarsdeservesspecial notice.First,in the oftheeffort has beenElizaforefront to developa broadinterpretation whohas discussedwithdetailand precision theprintbethEisenstein, she has ing press as an agent of change.' In her manypublications about pointedout the inadequaciesof some common generalizations the relationship betweenprinting and both the Reformation and the has used theanalysis Scientific Revolution. Second,MiriamChrisman ofprinted and intelbooksto provide insight intothe social,cultural, lectualforces at workin Strasbourg from 1480 to 1599.2 Her workhas and methodological inthatit showswhat bothsubstantive importance can be learned about Strasbourg by meansofcomputer analysisofextensivedata. and theReformation on printing also includes Scholarship generalizationswhichneed to be testedwiththe mostprecisedata possible. are the contentions Amongthese generalizations that those holding firmly to Catholicismignoredthe propagandistic potentialof the printing press," thatlocal ordinances favored Lutheran publications,4
'Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communication and Cultural Transformationin Early Modern Europe, 2 vols. (New York: Cambridge

University Press,1979).

Strasbourg, 1480-1599 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982). Chrisman writesin herpreface: "Printed books,I decided, couldserveas themajorsource inmyattempt to reconstruct thiswholecontext. Books printed in a givenyear,whether thework oflivingordead authors, record theideas currently incirculation. Theyarecultural artifacts which reflect thequestions, doubts,assumptions, and certainties oftheir time.The totality ofbookspublished in a giventimecan be used to provide insights intothecultural and social forces operating in a period"(p. xix).The companion volumeis the same
author's Bibliography of Strasbourg Imprints,1480-1599(New Haven: Yale University

2Miriam Chrisman, Lay Culture, Learned Culture: Books and Social Change in

Press,1982). 'Richard G. Cole, "The Reformationin Print: German Pamphlets and

Propaganda," Archiv fur Reformationsgeschichte 66 (1975): 93: "It is possible that

in Realencyclopedie furProtestant Theologie und Kirche, ed. Johann Jakob Herzog, 24

Catholic theologians and statesmen whowerelongaccustomed to power and authority felt little needto experiment with radically newmethods ofmass communication. Catholicreluctance was reinforced by tactilemedieval habitsoforal,visual,and ceremonial methods ofcommunication." 4KarlSchottenloher, "Buchdrucker und Buchfuhrer im DienstederReformation,"

vols. (Leipzig:J. C. Hinrichs, 1913) 23:272.


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that periodsof tensionstimulated strongresponsesin the book market,5 thatthroughout thecrucial1520s theoutputofProtestant books outnumbered enormously theworksofCatholicdefense,6 thatCatholicismdid notproducea singlewriter whoseliterary geniusand popular appeal could remotely matchthoseofMartinLuther,7 thatwe cannot infer from confidently thecontents ofa bookits readers'outlook,8 and low rateofliteracy lessensthe significance thattherelatively ofprinting to the people."This articleprovidesdata that partially addresses some of thesegeneralizations.10
in Print,"p. 98. 'Cole, "The Reformation Brace,and World, (NewYork:Harcourt, Reformation 6A.G. Dickens,The Counter in Germany, trans.RonaldWalls,2 vols. 1969),p. 35. JosephLortz,The Reformation to moderate thisview: (London:Darton,Longman,and Todd, 1968),2: 175,attempts at thattimewas much effort behind theold Church "We nowknow. . . thattheliterary ofhistorical thanwas formerly supposed.In theinterest and extensive moreimposing that Lutherand history mustbe ridofthenotion accuracy, the imageofReformation field." his followers dominated the literary utterly effort, giganticas it was, allows us to 187: "A surveyof the entireCatholicliterary literThe Catholic breakintono triumphal song.Thereis no starofdazzlingbrightness. knewno consummate, whosevoicespokeforall, leadinggenius, outstanding, aryfront and who prepared the way for their words, as Luther did on the side of the to enterintodisLortz also suggeststhat Catholicsweretoo reluctant Reformation." thattheyprowas poor(theytooktoo longin refutation), putations, thattheirtiming abouttheir on a grandscale,thattheywerenotalwaysas knowledgeable ducednothing thepoweroftheenas theyshouldhave been,and thattheyunderestimated opponents
emy (2: 190-192). See also Rudolf Hirsch, Printing, Selling and Reading, 1450-1550 7Dickens, Counter Reformation, p. 56. Cf. Lortz, The Reformation in Germany, 2:

1967),p. 98. (Wiesbaden:Harrassowitz,

ler's 'Stadt und Buch,' " in The Urban Classes, the Nobility and the Reformation: Studies on The Social History of the Reformation in England and Germany, ed. by

University Press, 1975),p. 191. Stanford century at the turnof the sixteenth rate in Germany 'Ibid., p. 190. The literacy or measureit musthave been quite low,but no one has yet founda way to document in the towns,but estimatesa rate of 10 to 30 percent withprecision. RobertScribner on BerndMoelSee his "How ManyCouldRead? Comments nationally. only4 percent vol. 5 J. Mommsen, oftheGerman Historical Institute London, Publications Wolfgang of the population could Klett-Cotta, 1979),p. 44. Because onlya minority (Stuttgart: society was still predominantly read, Scribneremphasizes that sixteenth-century basic information on oralcommunication and thatfewpeopleacquiredtheir dependent throughprint. In addition to the article cited above see about the Reformation Wie kam der gemeineMann zu reforScribner's"Flugblatt und Analphabetentum.
matorischen Ideen?," in Flugschriftenals Massenmedium der Reformationszeit,ed. by

"Natalie Davis, Society and Culture in Early Modem France (Stanford, California:

und Fruhe Neuzeit: TubingerBeitrage zur Kohler, Spatmittelalter Hans-Joachim Klett-Cotta, 1981),pp. 65-76.Moellerargues vol. 13 (Stuttgart: Geschichtsforschung, and of mass literature that the Reformation book the new function gave the printed See his the supportofprinting. to imagine the Reformation without that it is difficult Bewegung in zur Strukturder reformatorischen "Stadt und Buch. Bemerkungen
Deutschland," in The Urban Classes, the Nobility and the Reformation,pp. 30-31, and Flugschriften als Massenmedium der Reformationszeit,pp. 261-268.

in Flugschriften," zum Thema: Predigten in reformatorischen "Einige Bemerkungen

of the Sixteenth versionofthispaperwas read at the annualmeeting "?An earlier disfrom heldin October of1981.The paperhas benefitted StudiesConference Century cussionswithmycolleaguesat that meeting.

Printing,Reform,& Catholic Reformation


Before reporting and commenting upontheresults ofthisstudy, it I have tabulatedbookspubis important to describe its methodology. 1521 to 1545,collecting lishedin Germany from titlesfrom theBritish The titlesweretabulatedon an annual basis, Speaking Countries." broken downintoLatinand German and intosevensubjectcategories: nonreligious books,booksby reformers, books by Catholics, editions of the Bible,books by humanists, and a largegroup Jewishauthors, that couldnot easilybe classified. Books written by Lutherwereincluded in the 'reformers' but a separate tally was maincategory, tained.Catholic worksweredividedamongthreesub-groups: reprints works naofearlier orofa controversialist works, by controversialists The booksplacedin thecontroand non-controversialist works.'2 ture, versialist groupwereones whichwereobviouslyattempting to confront or refute the positionof the reformers. The books placed in the non-controversialist groupwereofa moretraditional nature and notso the Reformation. clearly attempts to counter My countbeganin 1521 because by that time Luther had been excommunicated and condemned by theDiet; thebattlelinesappeareddrawn. My countended in 1545 withthe Councilof Trent. The size and breadth ofthisstudy required thatit rely on thetabuin the size of editionsand the lationoftitles,discounting differences lengthof the works.Estimates of the average size of editionsvary from a minimum of two or threehundred to one thousand,though and imprecise. mostoftheseestimatesseemhighly conjectural In contrast an ingento thisimprecision, Chrisman has suggested which avoids theproblem ofboth ious meansofmeasuring production as a unitofprosize ofeditions and lengths ofworks: themasterforme is thebodyoftypelockedup bythecomposThe masterforme duction. number makesup whatever ofpages are to be itorintoa frame which printed at oneoperation ofthepresson one sideofonesheet.Chrisman an averageedition of1,250copieson thelogicalbasis thata arguesfor couldpull 1,250sheetsoff printing teamusinga pressmostefficiently thepressin a day. A smaller wouldmeanthattheywouldhave edition in themiddleoftheday,a costlyand inefficient to changetheformes
and Museum,1962).The data in thisstudycan be refined oftheBritish don:Trustees and completeassurance, certainty, outwithgreater studiescarried additionalsimilar its publicacompletes ofTubingen nesswhenthegroupof scholarsat the University in Germanand Latin pamphlets of sixteenth-century tionof texts and bibliography 1501to 1530.The projectis beingeditedby intheHolyRomanEmpirefrom published Weismann. and Christoph HildegardHebenstreit-Wilfart, Kohler, Hans-Joachim 12 See theexcellent in Lortz,The Theology" of"CatholicControversial discussion
of Leon Voet in his workentitled The Golden Compass: A History and Evaluation of the "Short-titleCatalogue of Books Printed in the German-speaking Countries (Lon-

Museum's Short Title Catalogue of Books Printed in the German-

Reformationin Germany,2: 175-223.

that parallels argument p. 5. Chrisman's LearnedCulture, Lay Culture, '3Chrisman,


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Two methodological limitsmust be admittedat the outset. Of wouldbe folly. RelianceupontheShort course,to claimcompleteness oftinumber Title Cataloguewithout doubtmeansthata significant As one indication oftheincompleteness oftheShort tles are omitted. has discovered that the Italian Short Title Catalogue,Paul Grendler less thanhalfofthe titlesthathave Title Catalogueincludesslightly of been foundin a census of some Italian libraries.14 Substantiation thisdegreeofincompleteness can also be seen by inference-if thetohereare approximately tals reported doubled, thenumbers areroughly in an earlier consistent withthoseI published studydealingwith1510 ofadditional sourcesoftitlespermitted to 1520,where theavailability a closerapproachto completeness.'The lack ofcompleteness leads to a relatedlimitation-ahigher degreeofconfidence can be placedin the thanin the numbers themselves. relationships betweenthe numbers In addition,it must be admittedthat the resultsof this studyare based upon the assumptionthat this sample of sixteenth-century books has not beenbiased in ways thatwouldalterthebroadconcluit is willbe offered. Withtheexception ofLuther'sworks, sionswhich times survived likelythat pamphletscomingdownto us in modern wars and destruction equal rate.'6 at a roughly in relying on The relatedquestionof possiblebias ofprovenance a comof Germanbooks by an Englishlibrary the collection requires herwealth Museum.Considering mentaboutthehistory oftheBritish surand politicaland commercial England developedlibraries power, prisingly late compared to otherEuropeannationalpowers.Although in 1753, theBritishMuseumwas established by an Act ofParliament in largenumbers ofthe untilthemiddle it didnotadd to its collections nineteenth century.It is also true that the collectionshave often grownin an apparently haphazardand accidentalway due to the unPrinting and Publishing Activities of the OfficinaPlantiniana at Antwerp, 2 vols. (New

York:AbnerSchram, 1972),2: 169: "The number ofcopieswas as a rule1,250forordinary editions, 1,000for black-and-red liturgical Thesefigures werenotarrived works. at arbitrarily but werebased on therateat which thejourneymen-printers worked: an averageof 1,250 sheetsper day forordinary works, 500 per day forservicebooks." Voet presents data indicating thatapproximately halfoftheeditions published bythe Officiana Plantiniana weredonein multiples ofthesefigures (2: 172). (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1977),p. 299. Despite this limitation, MichaelPegg has concluded that the ShortTitleCatalogueis a basic bibliographical See his essay, "ShortTitle Catatool,somewhat crude,but worthwhile nonetheless.
"4Paul Grendler, The Roman Inquisition and the Venetian Press, 1540-1605

"Richard Crofts, "Books,Reform and theReformation," Archiv furReformationsgeschichte 71 (1980):21-36. '6Thislast pointis argued by RichardCole in "The Reformation Pamphletand p. 147.
Communication Processes," in Flugschriftenals Massenmedium der Reformationszeit,

logues. Notes on Identity of Texts," in Flugschriftenals Massenmedium der Reformationszeit, p. 30.

Printing,Reform,& Catholic Reformation


in knowing whennew materialwouldbecomeavailable by certainty gift, sale,ordiscovery. Therefore, there is little reasonto conclude that thecollection ofthesebookswas biased by thereligious convictions of sixteenth-century librarians embroiled in religious controversy.17 Whileit mustbe admitted thattheamount ofconfidence intherelin thisdata is higher ative proportions thanin theraw numbers, it is striking to notethatthe number ofbookspublished in each five-year segment of thisperiodactuallydeclined.Table I presentsthe breakdownofthebookspublished 1521 to 1545in thethree from largestcategories.Chrisman's detailedstudyrevealsa similar pattern in StrasThe highest bourg. herentire productivity for periodis also reached in


= = =

890 209 169 1707

Works by

Works by


1936 1063 924 892 836 5651


1521 - 1525 1526 - 1530 1531 - 1535 1536 - 1540 1541 - 1545 Total

291 = 15.0% 352 425 450 33.1% 46.0% 50.4%

46.0% 22.6% 18.9%

328 = 16.9% 247 23.2% 167 = 18.1% 135 = 15.1% 115 = 13.8% 992

268 = 25.2%
= =

411 = 49.1% 1929 = 34.1%

171 = 20.4%



the early 1520s, followed by a rapid declineand a secondarypeak around1530.18Fromthedata in this study, thedeclinewas mostprecipitousbetween thefirst and secondfive-year periodswhenit was 45 is to notethat34 Another percent. wayofexpressing thatrelationship of the books talliedforthe twenty-five percent yearperiodwerepublishedin the first fiveyears.This maybe a reflection ofthe eventsof 1521 to 1525 and oftheimportance authors, printers, and thereading publicplaceduponthem. The factthatthetotalnumber ofbookspublisheddeclinedafter1525 and was fairly stable from thatpointon is reflected in thefactthatfrom 1526 to 1545 onlytwoyearsvariedfrom the meanforthe periodby morethanone standarddeviation. in As Table I shows,slightly ofthebookspublished overone-third the entire periodwereon non-religious subjects(34 percent). Slightly
"7SeeEdward Miller,That Noble Cabinet:A History of the BritishMuseum (Athens, Ohio:Ohio University Press,1974),especially pp. 15, 24-25, 95. "8Chrisman, Lay Culture, LearnedCulture, p. 287,fig.II.


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less than one-third (30 percent) werewritten by reformers and about werewritten one-sixth For comparative (16 percent) by Catholics. purposes, the data from my earlierstudyindicatedthat forthe period from 1510 to 1520 non-religious booksaccounted foraboutone-half of in theperiod. For theyear1520,however, thebookspublished thisfigure was 31 percent. Moreis learnedwhenthe totalis broken downintofive-year periods than from the aggregate.Betweenthe first and secondintervals booksmore ofnon-religious thepercentage thandoubled(15 percent to 33 percent) and forthe last fifteen years of the periodnon-religious for abouthalfofthetitles(49 percent). booksaccounted Books by reformers constituted almosthalf(46 percent) ofthetotal forthe first fiveyears,droppedto about one-fourth in the second fiveyears,and retained a fairly steadyshareofthemarket 1526 from ofbooks by Catholicauthorsdeclined to 1545. The number each fiveyearperiod, but reachedits highest percentage ofthemarket (23 per1526to 1530.Thereformers German cent)in theyearsfrom dominated 1521 to 1525,butfrom printing from thatpointon non-religious books morefrequently werepublished thanclearly identifiable Catholicand reformers' books,and the number of Catholicbooks was only19 percent smallerthan the reformers. For all threegroups,1525/1526 apline.Fromthatpointon,thenumber pears to be a significant dividing ofnon-religious bookswas up, and thenumber ofbooksby reformers and Catholicswas down.A one-way analysisofvariancerevealsthat the meansforeach divisionare statistically wellbeyondthe different 99 percent confidence level,indicating the thatthedifference between two groupsis greater thanwhatcouldlikely be ascribedto chance. It is also of significance to notethelanguagein which bookswere published.Of the total books tallied from1521 to 1545, 57 percent in German. werewritten That compares to 60 percent ofthetitlesfrom the 1510-1520 the categories downbetween study.Breaking religious and non-religious works, it is discovered that 67 percentof the religious booksand 39 percent ofthenon-religious bookswerepublished in German. This comparesto 61 percent and 58 percent in the earlier period.Slightly morereligious books werepublished in German, but fewer substantially non-religious books were.Breakingthe religious booksdownfurther revealsa striking as can be seenin Tadifference, ble II. The Catholic thereligious publications, works ofthehumanists, oftheBible had similar and editions percentages ofpublication in German.The percentage for thereformers roughly doubledthatoftherest of the groups.Table III showsthe number ofworkspublished annuand Catholicsand the percentage ally by reformers whichwerepublishedin German. It is easilyseenthatCatholics published in German

Printing,Reform,& Catholic Reformation


Humanists' Works CatholicWorks Editionsof Bible Reformers' Works

38.9% 34.8% 42.5% 79.7%

Percentage of GermanPublications

All Religious Works TABLE

Reformers 1521 1522 1523 1524 1525 1526 1527 1528 1529 1530 1531 1532 1533 1534 1535 1536 1537 1538 1539 1540 1541 1542 1543 1544 1545 Total 125 176 249 195 145 66 60 33 27 82 51 32 44 32 50 25 34 34 40 36 25 27 43 29 47 1707 79.7 85.8 90.4 87.1 82.1 77.3 65.0 81.8 88.9 79.3 86.3 84.4 79.5 71.9 76.0 84.0 58.8 64.7 65.0 63.9 64.0 81.5 76.7 69.0 68.1 79.7

67.3% III
Catholics 74 69 59 59 67 50 48 51 45 53 31 30 24 43 39 38 31 31 17 18 19 19 19 25 33 992 50.0 40.6 44.1 55.9 26.9 36.0 27.1 41.2 26.7 37.7 6.5 6.7 37.5 32.6 43.6 34.2 35.5 38.7 11.8 5.6 31.6 42.1 36.8 12.0 36.4 34.8 1.69 2.55 4.22 3.31 2.16 1.32 1.25 0.65 0.60 1.55 1.65 1.07 1.83 0.74 1.28 0.66 1.10 1.10 2.35 2.00 1.32 1.42 2.26 1.16 2.04 1.72

#ofWorks % in German#ofWorks % in German Ratio


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The third column ofTable at a rateless thanhalfthatofthereformers. and Catholics. books by reformers III gives the ratiobetween is theextent to which thedeconcerns One ofourmostimportant in representing and the church weresuccessful of the church fenders in print.For thiswe look to that groupof confronting the reformers as the controversialists.'9 Catholicauthorswhichhas been identified authors weretallied.Of by Catholic From1521 to 1545,992 works of the Fathers,medievaltheolowerereprints these,139 (14 percent) threegians,and otherauthorsofthe MiddleAges. Not surprisingly, in Latin.Slightly overhalf(52 percent) ofthesewerepublished fourths nature.Seventy oftheseCatholicworkswereofa non-controversialist of the Catholic percentof those were publishedin Latin. One-third workspublishedbetween1521 and 1545 wereof a clearlycontroversialist character-thatis, theywereobviouslyattemptsto confront as opposedto traditional ofCathoexpressions thereformers directly that category It is onlyin thecontroversialist lic pietyand theology. in Latin changedappreciably. Even the percentage of worksprinted But even in German. ofthesebookswerepublished so, only45 percent activity in level of expect the highest onewould in thiscategory, where that for all one-half of slightly over is only the percentage German, books published by the reformers. better The data thatis availableindicatesthatno one understood in German. Taofcommunicating thanMartinLuthertheimportance of ofLuther hispercentage bytabulating ble IV showsthesignificance the reformers' works,his percentageof the total numberof books and the annual percentage of his workspublishedin Gerpublished, of the man. Between1521 and 1525 Lutheraccountedfor60 percent for In 1522 and 1523 his works accounted works published. reformers' of all the books published.For the entireperiod,89 about one-third In thelowestof in German. ofLuther'sworkswerepublished percent wereonlytwoannualperwas 67 and there thoseyearsthepercentage ofworks ofthenumber by published centagesbelow75. A comparison thegenconfirms ofthemajorCatholicfigures Lutherto thenumbers his productivity. eralization thatno one came close to matching
"9For a bibliography of these authors see Katholische Kontroverstheologen und Reformer des 16. Jahrhunderts: Ein Werkverzeichnis, ed. by Wilbirgis Klaiber,

Studienund Texte, vol. 116 (Munster:Aschendorffsche Reformationsgeschichtliche is helpful butcouldnotcontribute in general 1978).The volume Verlagsbuchhandlung, "La bibliographie Gilmont, articlesee Jean-Francois muchto thisstudy.For a review methodologiques," catholiqueau 16e siecle; quelques suggestions de la controverse theworkas a good regards Gilmont ecclesiastique 74 (1979):362-371. -Revued'histoire He proofaspectsofits methodology. butis critical an important project, starttoward catholicasaeculixvi." poses to enlargetheprojectto a "bibliotheca

Printing,Reform,& Catholic Reformation


Luther's % of Reformers' Works 68.8 71.0 63.9 46.7 49.0 45.5 50.0 36.4 37.0 57.3 45.1 56.3 36.4 40.6 30.0 32.0 35.3 52.9 35.0 22.2 52.0 33.3 30.2 41.4 46.8 51.3

% of Luther's Works in German 84.9 88.8 95.6 90.0 85.9 86.7 73.3 100.0 100.0 93.6 95.7 94.4 93.8 84.6 86.7 87.5 83.3 66.7 78.6 87.5 76.9 100.0 84.6 83.3 77.3 88.6

1521 1522 1523 1524 1525 1526 1527 1528 1529 1530 1531 1532 1533 1534 1535 1536 1537 1538 1539 1540 1541 1542 1543 1544 1545

Luther's % of Total Works 28.7 33.6 32.4 21.0 20.9 14.5 14.4 7.1 5.3 16.3 12.6 9.4 10.1 7.0 7.2 4.3 6.9 9.9 8.5 4.3 8.0 6.0 8.0 7.1 11.4 15.5


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Table V lists the annual number of Catholicworksclassifiedas controversialist. The secondcolumn is the percentage ofthoseworks in German.The thirdcolumnis thepercentage published the controversialistworkswereof the Catholictotal. The data suggestthat it was notuntil1523 thatCatholicauthorsbeganto riseto their controof controversialist versialist task. From 1522 to 1523 the percentage 1523 to 1530 the averageperworksdoubledand fortheperiodfrom at a similar centageremained level.After therestofthe 1530, and for works dropped froman period,the percentageof controversialist That the mostinto an averageof 32 percent. averageof 40 percent came between 1523 and 1530 is seen terestin controversialist writing in thefactthat 52 percent ofthe controversialist worksfortheentire in this eight-year periodwerepublished span. The annualaverageof TABLE Controversialist Works
1522 1523 1524 1525 1526 1527 1528 1529 1530 1531 1532 1533 1534 1535 1536 1537 1538 1539 1540 1541 1542 1543 1544 1545 # of

V % of Catholic Total
18.8 37.3 42.4 49.3 36.0 45.8 45.1 37.8 26.4 16.1 23.3 37.5 46.5 38.5 28.9 25.8 25.8 35.3 5.6 36.8 15.8 36.8 48.0 45.5

% Published in German
46.2 54.5 64.0 36.4 55.6 31.8 73.9 41.2 57.1 40.0 14.3 66.7 40.0 53.3 63.6 37.5 37.5 33.3 0.0 28.6 0.0 28.6 0.0 26.7


13 22 25 33 18 22 23 17 14 5 7 9 20 15 11 8 8 6 1 7 3 7 12 15


53.3 -20.3



20.2 Avg.

-51.4 Avg.

40.3 Avg.

8.9 Avg.

31.3 Avg.

32.1 Avg.

Printing,Reform,& Catholic Reformation


controversialist worksbetween1521 and 1530 was 20.2. The annual 1531 to 1545 was 8.9. averagefrom The middlecolumn of Table V gives thepercentage of thesecontroversialist works published in German. For theentire period, 45 percent were publishedin German.However,the average percentage variesgreatly when1530 is used as a dividing lineto demark twopopworkspublished ulations. Fifty-one percentof the controversialist 1530 werepublishedin German.After1530 the percentage through droppedto 31. Publishing activity forthereformers and Catholicsfollowed similar patterns. Early in the periodactivity increaseddramatically, and aftera brief periodof timeactivity declinedalmostas dramatically. For the reformers, the average number of books per year was sixtyin was exceededonlyonce (eighty-two eight.After1525 thatnumber 1530). Fifty-two percent of the reformers' books forthe wholeperiod 1521 to 1525. werepublished from For theCatholics, theaveragenumber ofbooksperyearwas forty. After 1530 thatnumber was exceededonlyonce (forty-three in 1534). Fifty-eight percentof the Catholicbooks forthe wholeperiodwere publishedfrom 1521 to 1530. The patternsforthe two groupswere quite similar. The Catholicincreaseand subsequentdeclinefollowed thatofthereformers by a fewyears. Threegraphspicture thispattern. GraphA showsthedramatic increaseofthereformers' 1521 to 1523,a steadydeclineto worksfrom
A Graph Reformers Works by

250200150100 50 1521 1525 1530 1535 1540 1545



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1529,and a muchsmallersecondpeak of activity in 1530.20 GraphB showsthe total production of Catholicworksin generaldeclinefrom 1521 to 1539 withincreasescomingin 1525, 1530, and 1534. After was a modestincrease. 1539,there GraphC portrays theCatholiccontroversialist workswherethe similarity to the reformers' patternis The peaks and lowpointsfor moststriking. thecontroversialist works follow the reformers at an interval of about two to fouryears.When the two graphsare superimposed, the similarity is mostapparent.
70 60B Graph Works by Catholics


30 20-

1521 1525 1530 1535 1540 1545


ofinthepattern If anything, data is striking. theparallelto Chrisman's 20Again, See Chrisman, Lay Culture, creasesand decreasesin herdata is even moredramatic. p. 289, fig.V. LearnedCulture,

Printing,Reform,& Catholic Reformation


3530 2520 1510 5-

C Graph Controversialists Works Catholic by



1530 Years




someofthegenIn conclusion, we can see thatthisdata supports eralizations notedat the start: unsettled, after Despitethefactthatthereligious issues remained 1530 about halfof the books publishedin Germany wereon non-re1510 for theperiodfrom ligioussubjects.This approximates thefigure to 1520. was surprisingly After 1525,thenumber ofCatholicpublications high,nearly matching the total of the reformers. on the Despite the surprising numberof Catholicpublications, in failed wholetheCatholics thevalue ofpublishing either to recognize German or wereunwilling to do so. withtheliterary talFinally, theCatholics did notfind a defender entsand popularappeal ofLuther.If theyhad,thesefigures, and perIf haps the course of the Reformation, would have been different. Luther'sworksare excludedfrom total,the Catholics the reformers' theiropponents. outpublished