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If one enters a beit midrash and takes out a masechta of Talmud, one will invariably find that it is typeset following the exact form of the page found in the edition from Vilna.

So here are two questions about that:

  1. Why did the Vilna edition become so widespread?
  2. When did it supersede other editions as the primary version of the Talmud?
  • The story of the vilna and slavita shas is well documented. Almost all the rabbonim in the world took sides. At the end R Akiva Eiger approved the Vilna shas. – cham Jun 3 '15 at 14:22
  • @cham, that was a different sha"s. It was also published by Romm, but it was an earlier edition (On the Mainline has a wonderful blog about the Acharit Davar to the more notable Vilna Sha"s: onthemainline.blogspot.com/2011/03/…) – Noach MiFrankfurt Jun 3 '15 at 15:20
  • Once the Romm brothers had the rights to be the only printers for several years, they had the monopoly. – HaLeiVi Jun 3 '15 at 17:00
  • @HaLeiVi, That doesn't explain why it's used so commonly by Sephardim and western/central Europeans – Noach MiFrankfurt Jun 3 '15 at 17:04
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    They were the only printers. It was a heavy investment. It took many years to produce. There was little room for startups. – HaLeiVi Jun 3 '15 at 17:14

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