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Cai Lun, The Inventor of Paper in Han Dynasty

 



INDEPHEDIA.com - Paper has actually been used for a long time to record everything that is considered important. In fact, nowadays paper is widely used for various purposes. Not only as a writing tool but also as a material for wrapping, decoration and tissue.

Before paper was invented, people used to use a variety of materials to record something. The ancient Egyptians wrote notes on tree trunks, on the margins of the land by the Mesopotamians, on sheepskin by Europeans and others.

The ancient Chinese were inspired by the process of rolling silk and managed to find a paper material called bo which is made of silk. However, this bo production is very expensive and rare.

At the beginning of the 2nd century, Cai Lun managed to find a new type of paper made of bark, cloth, wheat stalks and others. This type of paper is relatively cheap, light, thin, durable and can be used as a brush.

Then spread to Korean territory, then reached Japan and penetrated into Arab lands during the Tang Dynasty to Europe in the 12th century.

Who is Cai Lun, the inventor of paper?

Cai Lun, the Chinese inventor of paper, who lived during the Han Dynasty, 2nd century AD. Cai Lun whose full name is Cai Jingzhong (often also called Jingzhong) was born in Guiyang, a region in Hunan Province, China.

The world acknowledges that Cai Lun has made a huge contribution to the world of printing, writing, and publishing because he was the one who invented paper.

He was a Chinese eunuch who worked as a civil servant at the imperial court. Although the paper he made was not as perfect as now, but Cai Lun is recognized as the inventor of paper traditionally.

Invention Paper Ideas
 
In ancient times, writing was generally done on bamboo tablets or pieces of silk called bo or some call it chih. Due to the high price of silk and the weight of bamboo, these two tools are inconvenient to use.

Based on this problem, Cai Lun then looked for ideas to make paper from tree bark. Cai Lun then made paper from mulberry bark, by soaking the inside of the bark in water and beating it, so that the fibers were released.

Together with the skin, the hemp material, used cloth, and fish nets are also soaked. After soaking and becoming a pulp, this material is pressed thinly and dried in the sun, so that it becomes paper even though the quality is not as good as it is today.

In 105 AD, Cai Lun presented Emperor Han Hedi a sample of his paper. Notes about the discovery of this paper are in the official history of the Han Dynasty.

Because of his discovery, Cai Lun then rose through the ranks, received a peerage and became a cukong. The discovery of this paper by Cai Lun had an impact on countries in East Asia. Paper became widely used as a writing medium in China in the 3rd century.

This allowed China to develop its civilization through literature and literacy, much faster than using previous writing materials, namely bamboo and silk.

Chinese papermaking techniques had spread to Korea, Vietnam and Japan in the 7th century. At first, China was very secretive about this paper-making technique. Moreover, at that time not all nations were able to make paper.

The secret of making paper was revealed around the year 750 after the experts of paper making were taken prisoner by the Arabs, so that in a short time paper was able to be produced in Baghdad and Sarmarkand.

The technique of papermaking eventually spread throughout the Arab world and it wasn't until the 12th century that Europeans learned this technique. When paper was first introduced to Europe in the 12th century, it has gradually revolutionized the way people's written communication was at that time. (KTS / IN / *)

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