How often did scribes have to copy an ancient text before the invention of printing in order for that text to survive throughout the centuries?

At an absolute minimum in Europe, four times. Each time there was a technological advance in book production, the superseded tech books were copied and discarded. Tech advances included:

  • The introduction of papyrus
  • The introduction of the codex
  • The introduction of parchment
  • The introduction of lowercase

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