Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The invention of writing was a huge step in the development of civilization. Writing provided an artificial memory that could be consulted at any time; seeing replaced hearing as a means of communication and as the means of storing communication. The long-term evolution of writing tended toward an ever closer adaptation of script to sound. The diversity of local alphabets in the archaic and classical periods suggests that writing spread quickly, before all the problems of adaptation to Greek had been confronted. The variety of writing materials in antiquity may be illustrated by the last dispositions of Augustus. The choice of writing materials was dictated by their availability and by the purpose they were meant to serve. A discussion on book production and book trade is then provided. Orality and literacy are indeed not opposites, but orality continued to hold a strong position throughout antiquity.

Keywords: writing, book production, book trade, orality, literacy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.