Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome

Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0199793980

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Recent advances in cognitive psychology, socio-linguistics, and socio-anthropology are revolutionizing our understanding of literacy. However, this research has made only minimal inroads among classicists. In turn, historians of literacy continue to rely on outdated work by classicists (mostly from the 1960's and 1970's) and have little access to the current reexamination of the ancient evidence. This timely volume seeks to formulate interesting new ways of conceiving the entire concept of literacy in the ancient world, as text-oriented events embedded in particular socio-cultural contexts.

In the volume, selected leading scholars rethink from the ground up how students of classical antiquity might best approach the question of literacy in the past, and how that investigation might materially intersect with changes in the way that literacy is now viewed in other disciplines. The result will give readers new ways of thinking about specific elements of "literacy" in antiquity, such as the nature of personal libraries, or what it means to be a bookseller in antiquity; new constructionist questions, such as what constitutes reading communities and how they fashion themselves; new takes on the public sphere, such as how literacy intersects with commercialism, or with the use of public spaces, or with the construction of civic identity; new essentialist questions, such as what do "book" and "reading" signify in antiquity, why literate cultures develop, or why literate cultures matter.

Containing new work from today's outstanding scholars of literacy in antiquity, Ancient Literacies will be an indispensable collection for all students and scholars of reading cultures in the classical world.

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lists of the sixtieth of the tribute paid to Athena, the list of allies and newly calculated payments made in 425, the lists of the confiscated property of the Hermokopidai inventoried elegantly and at length under the name of each malefactor.43 The First Fruits decree of 434 B.C. orders that a wooden tablet (pinakion) should be made listing the weights of grain dedicated as First Fruits of the Greek states and arranges for copies to be set up in the Eleusinion and Bouleuterion, and a list of

Political Centralisation. One World Archaeology 4. London. Goldhill, S., ed. 2001. Being Greek under Rome: Cultural Identity, the Second Sophistic and the Development of Empire. Cambridge. Goody, J. R., ed. 1968. Literacy in Traditional Societies. Cambridge. ——. 1986. The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society. Cambridge. Gratwick, A. 2002. ‘‘A Matter of Substance: Cato’s Preface to the De agri cultura.’’ Mnemosyne 55: 41–72. Hanson, W. S., and R. Conolly. 2002. ‘‘Language and Literacy

close by: he was the famous sophist Dionysios of Miletos, who spent the last part of his life speaking and teaching in Ephesos.62 Philostratos confirms that the Ephesians buried Dionysios with the greatest of honors, for his grave was in the most important part of the Agora.63 Philostratos would have known; he came to Ephesos several times, to visit a later but equally famous sophist, Damianos. So in the second century this plaza may have been considered not just part of the Agora, but its most

149–165. Companions to Ancient Thought 3. Cambridge. Blass, F. 1997 (1887). ‘‘Eudoxi ars astronomica qualis in charta aegyptiaca superest.’’ Keil Universita¨tsprogramm fu¨r das Sommersemester, 1887. Reprinted ZPE 115: 79–101. Brandon, R. 1996. Concepts and Methods in Evolutionary Biology. Cambridge. Brown, E. L. 1963. Numeri Vergiliani: Studies in Eclogues and Georgics. Collection Latomus 63. Brussels. Campbell, B. G. 2001. Performing and Processing the Aeneid. Berkeley Insights in Linguistics

is, one might say, an apocryphal epigram. One addresses a gadfly (9.739). Another does not even mention the name Myron (9.740), calling him simply ‘‘the artist’’ (› ôååíßôÆò). We can therefore understand the central place of imitation in Alexandrian poetic culture. It is essential to the writing of books, because only it allows a text to have a form. Writing books within this framework allows playing with the ‘‘book-as-support.’’ If the fictive utterance (e´nonciation) takes the form of that which

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