В 1564 году с Государева печатного двора вышла первая датированная русская печатная книга – «Апостол»

Apostle is a service book – the extracts from it are read in churches at a certain day. It contains the acts and epistles of apostles. This book is absolutely indispensable for every church, yet it takes time to copy it. It was Ivan the Terrible who took care of supplying printed books to the churches. The fact was that many mistakes were made in hand-written books, which could give rise to heresy. Besides, it was a matter of prestige, as printing books had been underway in Europe for some time already. Tsar Ivan ordered to “build a house for print yard at the expense of state treasury,” in order to avoid mistakes in religious books. The foundation for the print yard was laid in Kitay-Gorod near Nikolsky Monastery. After that, the authorities started looking for specialists. Meanwhile, deacon of the Church of Nikolay Gostunsky in Kremlin Ivan Fedorov became a widower. He was not a common person. There is information that he came of a noble family from Belarus. Besides, the deacon could boast of European education bachelor’s degree of Krakow University, which was beyond the scope of a common Russian. Having become a widower, the deacon was to take monastic vows. Ivan Fedorov did not do it, but started working at the printing house with the blessing of Moscow Archbishop Macarius. Soon, he mastered the sophisticated profession of book printer. The circulation of the first book was about 2,000 copies. This is what historian Nikolay Karamzin wrote about the first dated Russian book: “This book is a rarity. I have seen it at the library of Moscow Printing House. It features the format of small list, as well as thick and clean paper. The capital letters are printed with vermillion ink. The spelling is poor.”