Was Leonardo Da Vinci, one of history's great philosophers, artists and engineers, a secret prophet? And did he envision world destruction of such biblical proportions that it haunted him until the end of his days? Clues hidden in Da Vinci's paintings, his re-discovered prophetic "riddles" and the events of his life now suggest that he, too, was influenced by the Nostradamus Effect. 400 years ago, Da Vinci may have intercepted signs and warnings as early as his boyhood. He witnessed a devastating flood that ravaged his city and that seems to have haunted him with depictions of a watery apocalypse similar to the biblical great flood. Are the clues Da Vinci hid within his writings, his sketches and his masterpieces, all a secret code pointing to a great deluge that will wipe out all mankind?
The printing press was invented by Gutenberg who lived in Strasbourg in the 1440's. Before the printing press written works had been confined to manuscripts, Gutenberg's invention led to the production of affordable books that could be widely distributed on a scale that had been unimaginable previously.
Small editions of the classics begin to appear in 1500, championed by the printer Aldus Manutius in Venice. This innovation marked the birth of the modern book, vital to the intellectual development of the renaissance.