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8. Scribes and materials

8. Scribes and materials  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0008
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
Writing is a universal skill, but it can also be an art form. Almost every literate society has a class of professional scribes who are also artists. In ancient Mesopotamia scribes were ... More
4. Decipherment and undeciphered scripts

4. Decipherment and undeciphered scripts  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0004
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
In a technical sense, ‘decipher’ means different things to different scholars. At one end of the spectrum lies Egyptian script which is more or less completely decipherable with just a ... More
7. Chinese and Japanese writing

7. Chinese and Japanese writing  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0007
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
A study of the languages of China is vital if we are to understand the scripts of East Asia. Chinese is made up of eight regional languages, which are made up of many dialects. It is a myth ... More
1. Writing and its emergence

1. Writing and its emergence  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0001
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
We do not need written communication to survive. However, in history, even the most complex society has developed a script or scripts. Writing is a defining marker of civilization. Writing ... More
3. Disappearance of scripts

3. Disappearance of scripts  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0003
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
We know more about the death of scripts than we do about their birth. No single theory can encompass why scripts flourish or vanish. Many aspects influence the survival or disappearance of ... More
5. How writing systems work

5. How writing systems work  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0005
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
‘How writing systems work’ looks at the history of the academic study of decipherment. Writing systems vary in complexity from European and American alphabetic signs, numerals, punctuation ... More
9. Writing goes electronic

9. Writing goes electronic  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0009
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
Electronic writing whether in English, Chinese, Japanese or German, uses the concepts of phoneticism, logography, rebus, and abbreviation, techniques used in ancient Mesopotamia. Computing ... More
7. The uses of history

7. The uses of history  

Helen Graham

in The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Mar 2005
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191775864
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780192803771.003.0007
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780192803771
History can be used as a weapon of propaganda. The post-Civil War regime manipulated a monolithic and partisan version of the war, referring to it not as a civil war but as a ‘crusade’ or ... More
1. Foundations: ethics, parables, and fish

1. Foundations: ethics, parables, and fish  

Sabina Knight

in Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Feb 2012
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780199365739
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780195392067.003.0001
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780195392067
‘Foundations: ethics, parables, and fish’ explores ethical teachings in Chinese literature. The main theme of Chinese literature was the transience of human nature. Writing was seen as a ... More
3. Classical narrative: history, jottings, and tales of the strange

3. Classical narrative: history, jottings, and tales of the strange  

Sabina Knight

in Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Feb 2012
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780199365739
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780195392067.003.0003
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780195392067
‘Classical narrative: history, jottings, and tales of the strange’ reviews narrative forms in Chinese literature. Fictional elements were common in early narrative, and it was not until the ... More
1. Questions about murder and history

1. Questions about murder and history  

John H. Arnold

in History: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Feb 2000
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191776342
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780192853523.003.0001
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780192853523
’Questions about murder and history’ provides an introduction to historiography. Historiography is the study of writing history. History is not simply ‘the past’, and is full of questions. ... More
6. Victory and defeat: the wars after the war

6. Victory and defeat: the wars after the war  

Helen Graham

in The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Mar 2005
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191775864
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780192803771.003.0006
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780192803771
Victory in the Civil War for Franco marked the beginning of attempts to achieve economic mobilization in Spain without the accompanying political and cultural conditions that had been ... More
2. Oral literatures

2. Oral literatures  

Sean Teuton

in Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Mar 2018
Published Online: 
Jan 2018
eISBN: 
9780190231392
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199944521.003.0002
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199944521
Native Americans carefully trained their memories to record and transmit vast bodies of knowledge verbatim because, in an oral society, the known universe always stood only one generation ... More
6. Alphabets

6. Alphabets  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0006
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
Even more unknowable than the origins of writing are origins of the first alphabet. We accept that the alphabet reached the modern world via the ancient Greeks. We do not know how or when ... More
2. Development and diffusion of writing

2. Development and diffusion of writing  

Andrew Robinson

in Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Aug 2009
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777509
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199567782.003.0002
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199567782
After writing had been ‘invented’ in Mesopotamia, or Egypt, it diffused across the world. Did it go eastwards to India, China, and Japan? Did it go westwards to Europe and Meso-America? Or ... More
Introduction

Introduction  

Jennifer T. Roberts

in Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Jun 2011
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777707
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199575992.003.0001
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199575992
What is the legacy of Herodotus? Who was he and what do we know about him? The Introduction looks at what we know and for what he is remembered. It was Herodotus who first undertook the ... More
4. Writing magic

4. Writing magic  

Owen Davies

in Magic: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Jan 2012
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191777929
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780199588022.003.0005
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780199588022
‘Writing magic’ asks, Are words magical? Magic is mentioned in most of the world's sacred religious texts; universal access to these texts is relatively recent — historically, they could be ... More
Babylonia: A Very Short Introduction

Babylonia: A Very Short Introduction  

Trevor Bryce

Print Publication Year: 
Sep 2016
Published Online: 
Sep 2016
eISBN: 
9780191793288
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198726470.001.0001
Item type: 
book
ISBN: 
9780198726470
Babylonia: A Very Short Introduction takes us on a journey of more than 2,000 years across the history and civilization of ancient Babylonia, from the emergence of its chief ... More
9. Endangered languages

9. Endangered languages  

John C. Maher

in Multilingualism: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
May 2017
Published Online: 
May 2017
eISBN: 
9780191792465
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780198724995.003.0009
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780198724995
By the end of the 21st century, half the languages spoken in the world today may have disappeared. Fewer than 10,000 people speak 52 per cent of languages. Many language communities have ... More
1. The study of language

1. The study of language  

P. H. Matthews

in Linguistics: A Very Short Introduction

Print Publication Year: 
Apr 2003
Published Online: 
Sep 2013
eISBN: 
9780191775321
DOI: 
10.1093/actrade/9780192801487.003.0001
Item type: 
chapter
ISBN: 
9780192801487
‘The study of language’ argues that studying language ‘scientifically’ is, in part, to refuse to accept uncritically the ways of thinking that, without any professional training, we all ... More

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