Muzeul Naţional al Unirii, Alba Iulia National Museum of the Union, Alba Iulia
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5-6 / 2014
Items of the printing house from Blaj and some of their benefficiaries in 1777
In the first part of the study was attempted theorisation of the manner by which typographical items from Blaj contributed to delineation of specific identity of Transylvanian Greek-Catholic Romanians in the general context of Romanianism. And to point out this aspect we insisted upon the moment 1805, when items of printing from Blaj were forbidden in Moldavia and Wallachia, there being emphasised what particularised books printed in Blaj from the other Romanian printings of the age. It was also pointed out the fact that spreaders of books of Blaj attempted to place massively the typographical items from confluence of the Târnave Rivers beyond the mountains, in Moldavia and Wallachia, respectively to conquer this important market of their spiritual goods. They betook even typographical fakes, respectively replaced original title pages of the Triodion from 1800, with other false ones. But despite official obstacles and scandal broke in 1805, the books of Blaj continued to reach in Romanian territories from south and east of the Carpathians, contributing to uniformity of Romanians’ cultural development. In the second part, the study brings forward an important way of spreading old printings from Blaj, that of buying on trust copies from the prefect of the publishing house, either for personal usage, or for their advantageous redistribution by the spreaders specialised in books. The lists with debtors of the typography, out of which the oldest known in the specialised bibliography is that from 1777, offer interesting information about dimensions of this collective effort of social implementation of the items of the printing house from Blaj. They reveal involvement in this concentrated effort of the servants of the Transylvanian Greek-Catholic church, starting with the active bishop and continuing with protopopes, or priests of different parishes. Beside the remembered clerics, there were involved in this process extremely interesting and beneficial by its cultural consequences, both employees of the publishing house from Blaj (prefect of the publishing house, typographical masters or simple typographers-bookbinders etc.), as well as inhabitants of Blaj, or from closer or more remote areas, of different occupations. By interpretation in a new manner of the debtors’ list of the publishing house from Blaj we could demonstrate supplementarily the cultural advance of Blaj, in 1777, by reporting to the whole Romanian territory, advance that had as consequence also defining individualising characteristics that distinguished Transylvanian Greek-Catholics Romanians from the wide framework of their national affiliation (Translated by Adina Bogdan).
Keywords: history of printing, typography of Blaj, printing products, typographic forgery, book vendors, sale on credit, debtor, Greek-Catholic Church
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