Joshua J. Mark
published on 02 September 2009
Script is any particular system of writing or the written means of human communication. In the West, writing begins in Sumeria over 4,000 years ago and the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh is a stunning example of what the written word can produce. The Sumerians considered writing a gift from the god Enlil (as, later, the Babylonians would also claim from their own god, Nabu).
In ancient Egypt the god Thoth (not surprisingly, the patron god of scribes) created script. Thoth
was not only the scribe and historian of the gods but also kept the calendar and invented art and science. In some Egyptian myths, Thoth is also portrayed as the creator of speech and possessing the power to transform speech into material objects. This ties in closely with the Egyptian belief that in order for a person to achieve immortality his or her name must be spoken or inscribed somewhere forever.
In Greece, writing begins with the Myceneaen Civilization and the only partially decipherable Linear B script. The alphabet of most modern languages originated in ancient Phoenicia and first came to Greece sometime before the 8th century BCE, from whence it spread. Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey, written around the 8th century BCE, are early examples of the Greek use of the Phoenician alphabet, as are the classics Theogony and Works and Days by Hesiod.
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published on 18 May 2012
M. Isabel Panosa
published on 28 November 2011
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