I've been wondering what "a recent iteration" mean here in the following? I think the word "iteration" generally mean a repetition, a different form or version of something, and so on. I've been trying to translate the first sentence below into my language and understand it, but I can't.
We take books and mass literacy for granted, but in reality, they are a recent iteration, going back not even a millennium. Less than four hundred years ago—barely a century and a half after Gutenberg—John Milton could still pride himself without exaggeration on having read every book then available, the entire history of written thought accessible to a single mind.