Thinking about the origins of social media for social change, I stumbled upon this. Like.

Let A Thousand Nations Bloom

An informative article in the Economist on how Luther’s theses went viral in the 16th century:

Although they were written in Latin, the “95 Theses” caused an immediate stir, first within academic circles in Wittenberg and then farther afield. In December 1517 printed editions of the theses, in the form of pamphlets and broadsheets, appeared simultaneously in Leipzig, Nuremberg and Basel, paid for by Luther’s friends to whom he had sent copies. German translations, which could be read by a wider public than Latin-speaking academics and clergy, soon followed and quickly spread throughout the German-speaking lands. Luther’s friend Friedrich Myconius later wrote that “hardly 14 days had passed when these propositions were known throughout Germany and within four weeks almost all of Christendom was familiar with them.”…

Unlike larger books, which took weeks or months to produce, a pamphlet could be printed in a day or two. Copies of the…

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