The etymological origin of the term colophon is found in Latin, exactly in the word “colophon”. However, this in turn derives from the Greek “kolophon”, which can be translated as “summit” or “crowning of something”.
The DigoPaul indicates as the first meaning of the concept the annotation that is made at the end of a book, indicating the date and place of printing and other data related to the publication.
According to DigoPaul, the colophon usually appears on the last page of books. Its purpose is to record who was the printer, where and when he did his work, what was the print run of the work, etc. An example of the climax is the following: “This edition was finished printing in April 1975 at Ediciones Brillantes SA, Avenida Real No. 4612, Madrid, Spain.
It is important to know the history of the colophon. And it is that researchers have been able to determine that this was already a part of a book in its origins, which are found in Mesopotamia. However, over the centuries it has not had a single function but has basically had two clearly defined tasks:
-The first era and is to provide additional information on the work in question. Thus, for almost 3,000 years that has been their main task, especially in times when books did not have a front or back cover to give such valuable data.
-The second was and still is to offer the reader information regarding the printer who has been in charge of carrying out the physical realization of the work in question.
We would have to wait until 1621 for the colophon to be used in England as we understand it today.
Another very interesting fact regarding the colophon is that the first book that was published in Spain with this element already as an important part was “Manipulus Curatorum”. In the year 1475 it was when this work that was printed by Mateo Flandro in the lands of Aragon saw the light.
Another use of the notion is linked to the completion of an event, a process or a stage. The colophon, in this sense, supposes the conclusion or the closing of something.
Let us suppose that the last activity of a cardiology congress consists of a conference by a prestigious German doctor, who analyzes various advances that have been achieved in his specialty. It can be said that this conference was the culmination of the congress in question.
Take the case of a soccer team that, in a twenty-match tournament, loses fifteen games and draws five. In the last date, in fact, the whole fell by 5 to 0. A journalist could claim that this defeat was the logical culmination of such a bad campaign. It would have been strange for the team to prevail right at the close of the championship: that is why the defeat is the climax that was expected.