By Andrew Robinson
Writing is the defining marker of civilization, with out which there might be no files, no background, no books, no accumulation of information. but if did this crucial a part of our lives start? Why will we all write otherwise and the way did writing evolve into what we use at the present time? All of those questions are responded during this Very brief creation. Andrew Robinson tells the attention-grabbing tale of the heritage of writing, laying off gentle on its improvement and analyzing the big number of writing and scripts we use at the present time. beginning with the origins of writing 5 thousand years in the past, with cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs, Robinson explains how those early varieties constructed into thousands of scripts, together with the Roman alphabet and chinese language characters. He unearths how the fashionable writing symbols and abbreviations we take without any consideration today--including airport signage and textual content messaging--resemble historical ones even more heavily than we'd imagine. The ebook additionally encompasses a chronology of occasions from 3300 BC to advert 2000, an inventory of titles for extra analyzing, and an index.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and magnificence, Very brief Introductions provide an advent to a few of life's best subject matters. Written by means of specialists for the newcomer, they display the best modern puzzling over the significant difficulties and concerns in hundreds and hundreds of key issues, from philosophy to Freud, quantum idea to Islam.
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Extra info for Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction
One other Canaanite scan in making a script happened at the coast south of Ugarit, at Byblos, your time throughout the second millennium (the date is particularly uncertain). The Byblos script has been known as ‘pseudo-hieroglyphic’, implying that it was once inﬂuenced through Egyptian hieroglyphic. whereas this can be rather attainable, there isn't any sure bet, and a few of the indicators resemble Linear A from Crete, an both most likely candidate as an inﬂuence. At any cost, the Byblos ‘pseudo-hieroglyphs’ are undeciphered; all that may be stated evidently is there are approximately a hundred and twenty detailed indicators, and consequently the script can't be an alphabet. it kind of feels to have had no impression at the next Phoenician script. ninety eight Yet one other early inscription from what's now Israel, an ostracon (inscribed potsherd) courting from in regards to the twelfth century BC, means that the alphabetic inspiration was once catching on. It has greater than eighty letters in ﬁve traces written through an unskilled hand, and looks to be a slightly unsuccessful try out through a semi-literate individual at writing an abecedary, which after a few letters degenerated right into a selection of random symptoms with out which means. The Phoenicians have been the traditional world’s maximum investors, who set out from their city-states, akin to Byblos, Sidon, and Tyre, explored the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast and should also have circumnavigated Africa, greater than 2,000 years earlier than the Portuguese. between their most vital goods of item used to be the pink dye exuded via the ‘murex’ snail, certainly ‘Phoenician’ is a Greek observe (ﬁrst utilized in Homer’s Iliad), suggestion to intend ‘dealer in purple’. we don't understand greatly in regards to the Phoenicians, in comparison with the traditional Egyptians and Greeks, simply because they left few documents and nearly no literature, yet we will inform from their inscriptions that their script went with them anyplace they ventured. The names in their 22 letters – which ninety nine Alphabets The earliest recognizably Phoenician inscriptions come from Byblos. They date from the eleventh century BC, and inaugurate a script that might stay written all over the Mediterranean for the subsequent millennium and extra. Its most up-to-date variation, stumbled on at Carthage, the Phoenician urban at the coast of north Africa close to sleek Tunis, is called the Punic script. Punic inﬂuenced the script of the traditional Libyans – there are Punic-Libyan bilingual inscriptions from the 2d century – who have been the progenitors of the Berbers, the present indigenous population of northern Africa. This Libyan script supplied a prototype for Tiﬁnagh, which means ‘characters’, the alphabet used at the present time through the Tuareg, a Berber tribe. (Most languages in Africa are written both within the Arabic script, like Swahili, or within the Roman alphabet, with an insignificant handful of alternative indigenous scripts, particularly the 1820s Vai syllabary of Liberia. ) begin with ‘aleph’, ‘beth’, ‘gimel’, and ‘daleth’ – have been kind of like these utilized by the Hebrews and in today’s Hebrew script. The Phoenicians indicated no vowels, purely consonants. If we observe their venerable alphabet to at least one of the earliest Phoenician inscriptions – inscribed within the eleventh century at the outstanding sarcophagus of King Ahiram of Byblos – we obtain the next a bit sinister caution: ‘Beware!