The Early Greek Alphabets: Origin, Diffusion, Uses

Author:   Robert Parker (University of Oxford) ,  Philippa M. Steele (Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics, Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge)
Publisher:   Oxford University Press
ISBN:  

9780198859949


Pages:   368
Publication Date:   26 August 2021
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
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The Early Greek Alphabets: Origin, Diffusion, Uses


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Overview

The birth of the Greek alphabet marked a new horizon in the history of writing, as the vowelless Phoenician alphabet was borrowed and adapted to write vowels as well as consonants. Rather than creating a single unchanging new tradition, however, its earliest attestations show a very great degree of diversity, as areas of the Greek-speaking world established their own regional variants. This volume asks how, when, where, by whom and for what purposes Greek alphabetic writing developed. Anne Jeffery's Local Scripts of Archaic Greece (1961), re-issued with a valuable supplement in 1990, was an epoch-making contribution to the study of these issues. But much important new evidence has emerged even since 1987, and debate has continued energetically about all the central issues raised by Jeffery's book: the date at which the Phoenician script was taken over and adapted to write vowels with separate signs; the priority of Phrygia or Greece in that process; the question whether the adaptation happened once, and the resulting alphabet then spread outwards, or whether similar adaptations occurred independently in several paces; if the adaptation was a single event, the region where it occurred, and the explanation for the many divergences in local script; what the scripts tell us about the regional divisions of archaic Greece. There has also been a flourishing debate about the development and functions of literacy in archaic Greece. The contributors to this volume bring a range of perspectives to bear in revisiting Jeffery's legacy, including chapters which extend the scope beyond Jeffery, by considering the fortunes of the Greek alphabet in Etruria, in southern Italy, and on coins.

Full Product Details

Author:   Robert Parker (University of Oxford) ,  Philippa M. Steele (Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics, Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge)
Publisher:   Oxford University Press
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Dimensions:   Width: 16.20cm , Height: 2.50cm , Length: 24.00cm
Weight:   0.698kg
ISBN:  

9780198859949


ISBN 10:   0198859945
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   26 August 2021
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
Stock availability from the supplier is unknown. We will order it for you and ship this item to you once it is received by us.

Table of Contents

1: Robert Parker and Philippa M. Steele: Introduction Part I. Origins 2: Rudolf Wachter: The Genesis of the Local Alphabets of Archaic Greece 3: Nino Luraghi: Sounds, Signs, and Boundaries 4: Rosalind Thomas: Writing and Pre-Writing at Methone and Eretria 5: Roger Woodard: Contextualizing the Origin of the Greek Alphabet Part II. Alphabet and Language 6: Alan Johnston: Dodona and the Concept of Local Scripts 7: Julian Mendez Dosuna: The Pronunciation of Upsilon and Related Matters: A U-Turn 8: Sophie Minon: Letter Forms and Distinctive Spellings: Date and Context of the New Festival Calendar from Arkadia Part III. Themes and Regions 9: Andrew Meadows: Local Scripts on Archaic Coins: Distribution and Function 10: James Whitley: Regions within Regions: Patterns of Epigraphic Habits within Archaic Crete 11: Angelos Matthaiou: New Archaic Inscriptions: Attica, the Attic-Ionic Islands of the Cyclades, and the Dorian islands 12: Nikolaos Papazarkadas: Boeotian Inscriptions in Epichoric Script: A Conspectus 13: Alessandro Naso and Enrico Benelli: Etruria between the Iron Age and Orientalizing Period and the Adoption of Alphabetic Writing 14: Kathryn Lomas: The Greek Alphabet in South-East Italy: The Culture of Writing Between Greeks and Non-Greeks

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Author Information

Robert Parker was Fellow and Tutor in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at Oriel College, Oxford, from 1976-1996, and Wykeham Professor of Ancient History in the University of Oxford from 1996 until retirement in 2016. Philippa M. Steele is a Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, where she directs the ERC-funded project Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems (CREWS, grant no. 677758). She is a Senior Research Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

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