A History of
by Steven Roger
352 pp Price: UK £19.92 US $29.95
From the earliest
scratches on stone and bone to the languages of computers
and the Internet, A History of Writing offers a fascinating
investigation into the origin and development of the worlds
writing. After surveying the first stages of information storage
knot records, pictographs, message sticks or boards,
coloured pebbles Steven Roger Fischer focuses on the
emergence of complete writing systems in Mesopotamia in the
fourth millennium BC and its many reflexes in Egypt, the Indus
Valley, Canaan, Anatolia and the Aegean.
the rise of Phoenician and its effect on the evolution of
the Greek alphabet, a process that generated the Wests
many alphabetic scripts, Fischer turns his attention to the
writing systems of Asia, presenting a detailed exploration
of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese.
An analysis of
the Americas pre-Columbian writing is followed by a
close look at the evolution of handwritten and printed scripts
in Western Europe, from the Middle Ages through the invention
of printing to the technological innovations of the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries.
The most important development of writing was the invention
of the alphabet some 4,000 years ago. The book does not cover
adequately that phenomenal revolution and tries to attribute
the development of the first alphabet to the Egyptians.
We believe that
the first alphabet was the Hebrew alphabet invented by none
other than our Patriarch, Abraham, in the course of his frequent
travels to Egypt. He ridiculed the stupidity of the hieroglyphic
writing and devised the sixteen letters of consonants based
on the human speech. The names of all these consonants derive
from the Hebrew language.
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