There are three major eras in the tradition of storytelling:

The Oral Tradition

The Written Tradition

The Modern Tradition


Printing press courtesey of Kj

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The Written Tradition

Printing Press Type

In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg created the printing press, thus making possible the spread of literacy and education. Before the printing press, written materials were largely limited to religious texts written by hand. Gutenberg's invention eventually allowed for more affordable, mass production of printed materials. This mass production of printed materials led to the spread of literacy and the decline of the revered storyteller.

While live entertainment has remained important throughout our history, the fine art of storytelling lost its hold over the masses. With the written word more and more readily available to individuals, respect for the bards and shamans dwindled.