The Invention of Paper in Eastern Han Dynasty in China

Did you know? Paper was invented by Cai Lun in the Eastern Han Dynasty in China. While paper is widely used worldwide today, the creator of this extremely important invention is only somewhat known outside East Asia. After 105, paper became widely used as a writing medium in China by the 3rd century. Paper enabled China to develop its civilization (through widespread literature and literacy) much faster than it had with earlier writing materials (primarily bamboo and silk). By the 7th century, China's papermaking technique had spread to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

When paper was first introduced to Europe in the 12th century, it gradually revolutionized the manner in which written communication could be spread from region to region. Along with contact between Arabs and Europeans during the Crusades (with the essential recovery of ancient Greek written classics), the widespread use of paper aided the foundation of the Scholastic Age in Europe.

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