Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and by William A. Johnson, Holt N. Parker PDF

By William A. Johnson, Holt N. Parker

ISBN-10: 0195340159

ISBN-13: 9780195340150

Classicists were sluggish to use the real advances within the approach that literacy is seen in different disciplines (including particularly cognitive psychology, socio-linguistics, and socio-anthropology). nevertheless, historians of literacy proceed to depend upon outmoded paintings via classicists (mostly from the 1960's and 1970's) and feature little entry to the present reexamination of the traditional proof. This well timed quantity makes an attempt to formulate new attention-grabbing methods of conversing in regards to the whole thought of literacy within the historic world—literacy no longer within the feel of no matter if 10% or 30% of individuals within the old international may well learn or write, yet within the experience of text-oriented occasions embedded in a selected socio-cultural context.

The quantity is meant as a discussion board within which chosen prime students reconsider from the floor up how scholars of classical antiquity could top strategy the query of literacy long ago, and the way that research could materially intersect with adjustments within the method that literacy is now seen in different disciplines.

The consequence will provide readers new methods of wondering particular components of "literacy" in antiquity, equivalent to the character of non-public libraries, or what it skill to be a bookseller in antiquity; new constructionist questions, akin to what constitutes interpreting groups and the way they style themselves; new takes at the public sphere, similar to how literacy intersects with commercialism, or with using public areas, or with the development of civic identification; new essentialist questions, resembling what "book" and "reading" represent in antiquity, why literate cultures advance, or why literate cultures subject. The booklet derives from a convention (a Semple Symposium held in Cincinnati in April 2006) and comprises new paintings from the main extraordinary students of literacy in antiquity (e.g., Simon Goldhill, Joseph Farrell, Peter White, and Rosalind Thomas).

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Two amusing remarks occur in fourthcentury speeches. 18, the speaker goes into the family relationships of Hagnias’ family necessary for this complex inheritance case of the mid-fourth century. He says he was intending to write the genealogy out on a board, but those farther away would be at a disadvantage, therefore word of mouth would be fairer, and he proceeds with the spoken word. This is both tantalizing and suspicious, the only hint, so far as I know, that a written text might be set up in the courts to be read: Apollodorus leaves out some significant items of genealogy, and given the complexity of this case, he may have benefited from a certain lack of clarity!

XXI), this would mean that more citizens were reading and writing in relatively simple ways. The ‘‘democratic minimum’’ for an Athenian citizen in courts or assembly, however, could have remained the ability to read or write little more than names. 19. See Boegehold 1995; also Boegehold 1960. 20. This seems to become more common as the fourth century progresses: see Thomas 1989, ch. 1, esp. , 83ff. Writing, Reading, Public and Private ‘‘Literacies’’ 25 COMMERCIAL LITERACY? THE CASE OF THE MERCHANT ‘‘Commercial literacy’’ is another case in point.

32 A contract’s usefulness depends on the degree of trust and the nature of the guarantees or penalties. It is possible that in Athens the state led the way in the use of written agreements—for instance, in tax leases—and Athenian officials were sufficiently confident of the machinery of the polis and had faith in its power of redress. It is difficult at the moment to reach further certainty: it would be unwise to posit a universal system. 29. Wilson 1997–8 esp. good on this, esp. pp. : following Millett 1991, written contract developed first in Athens in banking.

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