History The more you know

How was writing born?

Today, my starting question is this: Have you ever wondered how writing came about? When we walk through the streets of our city we come across lots of writings: on posters hanging on walls, on signs, on road signs. But when is writing born?

The origins

The writing was born among the Sumerians, in Mesopotamia, in 3000 BC and uses stylized drawings called pictograms. So to indicate a herd a bovine head is drawn, to write wheat an ear is drawn and so on.

We think of our rebus: to indicate the verb “to plant” we can put near the drawings, also stylized, of a plant and the crowned head of a king.
As you can easily guess now the signs enough to write are much less: about six hundred.

writing Obviously, this way of writing presented some considerable difficulties: in fact, a drawing was needed to represent everything, certainly more than a thousand to be able to articulate an average complex course in writing. For this reason, the drawings begin to take on a different value and indicate sounds and not things.

The writing of the Sumerians is called cuneiform in that the words are formed by small signs, engraved with a stick from the wedge-shaped end, on clay tablets. The invention soon spread to all neighboring countries.

And our alphabet?

… What we deal with every day, whether we do our homework or send a Happy Birthday to a friend? As everyone knows, our alphabet is nothing but a collection of letters: 21 to be exact, to which different sounds correspond. Playing with all the possible combinations, you get the words that belong to the different modern European languages.

Phoenician alphabetBut who invented our alphabet? The Phoenicians who, around 1200 BC, create a list of 22 signs that allows reproducing in writing all the sounds pronounced, even if only consonants.
The Greeks will in fact inherit the Phoenician invention and perfect it, adding vowels to it. It is no coincidence that the alphabet is a word of Greek origin: alpha and beta are in fact the first two letters of the Greek alphabet.
The Romans then, our close ancestors, adopt the “Greek” alphabet to adapt it to the written rendering of their official language: Latin.

Hello everyone and see you soon !!!

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4 Comments

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