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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines archaeological evidence that demonstrates literacy/illiteracy in the Roman Empire based on the ancient written documents available, including stone inscriptions. It first considers the level of education amongst the Italian population in ancient Rome, particularly in the Roman provinces, along with the level of literacy prior to Roman provincialization in Western Europe. It then turns to other documents such as books, wooden tablets, small inscriptions, and pictorial representations, and the Roman military’s ability to read and write. Finally, it discusses the level of literacy in late antiquity.

Keywords: writing, literacy, illiteracy, reading culture, inscriptions, education

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