Download Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in by Jean Bottero, Clarisse Herrenschmidt, Jean Pierre Vernant, PDF

By Jean Bottero, Clarisse Herrenschmidt, Jean Pierre Vernant, Francois Zabbal, Teresa Lavender Fagan

With Ancestor of the West, 3 amazing French historians exhibit the tale of the start of writing and cause, demonstrating how the logical non secular buildings of close to japanese and Mesopotamian cultures served as precursors to these of the West."Full of topic for a person drawn to language, faith, and politics within the historic world."—R. T. Ridley, magazine of non secular History"In this obtainable creation to the traditional global, 3 major French students discover the emergence of rationality and writing within the West, tracing its improvement and its survival in our personal traditions. . . . Jean Bottero specializes in writing and faith in old Mesopotamia, Clarisse Herrenschmidt considers a broader heritage of historic writing, and Jean-Pierre Vernant examines classical Greek civilization within the context of close to japanese history."—Translation overview

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Extra resources for Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece

Sample text

We'll never have the an­ swers to these questions) understood that by systematically using a given number of such sketches in a design that was uniform enough to be recognizable everywhere, one could, like artists, not only give birth to an emotion, evoke a state of mind, but also trans­ mit a message in plain language. The most ancient documents em­ ploying this writing, small clay tablets covered with these picto­ grams and dating, according to archeologists, from around 3 200, indeed offer us a thousand different such sketches, all clearly traced, easy to distinguish from each other, and easy to recognize.

The total number of days I have had to work at school is as follows: I had three days of vacation each month: and since each month has three holidays when one doesn't work, I therefore spent twenty-four days in school each month. And it didn't seem like a very long time to me! From now on,I will be able to devote myself to recopying and composing tablets, undertaking all useful mathematical opera­ tions. Indeed, I have a thorough knowledge of the art of writing: how to put the lines in place and to write.

Writing enables speech to transcend space and time: once speech in all its details has been fixed and materialized as it was originally intended by its author, through writing it can be distributed completely in all directions. Writing enables us to communicate at long distances and through the centuries. It con­ siderably enlarges the range of language. Moreover, if oral discourse is flowing, continuous, as impossible to retain as running water or as time (one never bathes twice in the same river, as Heraclitus once said), written discourse is consistent and autonomous.

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