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Anniversary of Russian Printing

450 years of the publication of the Apostle,
the first exactly dated Russian book

Successors of Ivan Fedorov and Petr Mstislavets

Despite the fact Ivan Fedorov and Petr Mstislavets had moved to the Duchy of Lithuania, book publishing continued to grow in Moscow. Soon thereafter, in 1568, there was published another book - the Psalter. The printers were Nikifor Tarasiev and Andronik Timofeev nicknamed Nevezha (Nevezha - not showing good manners): he was called in the afterword, 'Nevezha Timofeev'. The Book of Psalms was printed in the typeface that Fedorov used for the Apostle and the Book of Hours, the same lettering is found in the Zabłudów and Lvov publications of Ivan Fedorov. It can be assumed that the fathers of Eastern Slavonic printing left some matrices for casting letters in Moscow.

The Psalter was produced in quarto format (one fourth of the sheet) that has become the most typical size for this book. The print was made on a full sheet of paper which then was folded twice to produce four leaves a book. Following the first printers, the new Moscow publishers considered it necessary to provide the publication with the first figure engraving depicting King David and with an imprint. Unfortunately, the Psalms of 1568 was the only book published by them.

The next attempt to establish a printing press in Russia was made in Alexandrov, a tax-exempt settlement in 113 kilometers from Moscow where was the country residence of Tsar Ivan the Terrible during the 70s of the 16th century. The press was run by Andronik Timofeev who could have learned printing from Ivan Fedorov when working in the first Moscow state publishing house.

The only known publications of the suburban printing house were the Book of Hours and Psalter. Andronik Timofeev Nevezha decided to issue a small sized Book of Hours. Such small format edition "in eighth" was the first in the history of Russian printing. The Psalms dating 1577 was modeled and designed after Timofeev's 1568 Moscow edition. It is noteworthy that the lettering used in the books produced in Alexandrov is the same as before.

The font remained unchanged even when Andronik Timofeev was called up for the state printing service for the third time. This happened after receiving the news of the agreement of the ecumenical patriarchs to establish a patriarchate in Russia in 1587. The first publcation was a liturgical book for the Lent: the Lenten Triodition appeared in the autumn of 1589, already after the election of the first Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Job. The book took so long to publish because it required a lot of serious work to arrange text for printing, like the Apostle in 1564.

Since then the regular book publishing started in Russia. In 1721, the Print Yard was transformed into the Synod Printing House which operated until the beginning of the XX century.

Psalter. Moscow : [Print Yard ], printers Nikifor Tarasiev and Nevezha Timofeev, 20 December 7077 (1568).
Fol. [*]4 v.–1/21.
Psalter. [Alexandrovsky] Kremlin: [Print Yard], printer Andronik Timofeev Nevezha,
31 January 7085 (1577).
Fol. [*]4 v.–11.
Lenten Triodion . Moscow : [Print Yard ], printer Andronik Timofeev Nevezha, 8 November 7098 (1589).
Fol. 10 v.–11.