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At the first meeting of his class in Northwest Semitic Epigraphy at Harvard, Frank Cross would inform students that one of the things each of them needed was an eye for form. By this, he meant the ability to recognize typological or evolutionary change in letters and scripts. Frank, like his teacher William Foxwell Albright, was a master of typological method. In fact, typology was the dominant feature of his epigraphic work, from the origins of the alphabet to the development of the scripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Indeed, he has written about the importance of typology itself. Because Frank Cross has so dominated the study of the ancient Near East in the last 60 years, Aufrecht once asked him what he considered his primary field of study to be. Without hesitation, he said, Epigraphy. It seems, therefore, that the field that he loved and to which he contributed so much is an appropriate subject for this Festschrift in his honor, which is being presented by his colleagues, friends, and former students. Included are an appreciation by Peter Machinist and a contribution by the late Pierre Bordreuil.
This book introduces a new linguistic reconstruction of the phonology, morphology, and lexicon of Old Chinese, the first Sino-Tibetan language to be reduced to writing. Old Chinese is the language of the earliest Chinese classical texts (1st millennium BCE) and the ancestor of later varieties of Chinese, including all modern Chinese dialects. William Baxter and Laurent Sagart's new reconstruction of Old Chinese moves beyond earlier reconstructions by taking into account important new evidence that has recently become available: better documentation of Chinese dialects that preserve archaic features, such as the Min and Waxiang dialects; better documentation of languages with very early loanwords from Chinese, such as the Hmong-Mien, Tai-Kadai and Vietnamese languages; and a flood of Chinese manuscripts from the first millennium BCE, excavated or discovered in the last several decades. Baxter and Sagart also incorporate recent advances in our understanding of the derivational processes that connect different words that have the same root. They expand our knowledge of Chinese etymology and identify, for the first time, phonological markers of pre-Han dialects, such as the development of *r to -j in a group of east coast dialects, but to -n elsewhere. The most up-to-date reconstruction available, Old Chinese: A New Reconstruction brings the methodology of Old Chinese reconstruction closer to that of comparative reconstructions that have been used successfully in other language families. It is critical reading for anyone seeking an advanced understanding of Old Chinese.
Writing and the Ancient State explores the early development of writing and its relationship to the growth of political structures. The first part of the book focuses on the contribution of writing to the state's legitimating project. The second part deals with the state's use of writing in administration, analyzing both textual and archaeological evidence to reconstruct how the state used bookkeeping to allocate land, police its people, and extract taxes from them. The third part focuses on education, the state's system for replenishing its staff of scribe-officials. The first half of each part surveys evidence from Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Maya lowlands, Central Mexico, and the Andes; against this background the second half examines the evidence from China. The chief aim of this book is to shed new light on early China (from the second millennium BC through the end of the Han period, ca. 220 AD) while bringing to bear the lens of cross-cultural analysis on each of the civilizations under discussion.
Principal librarian of the British Museum and eminent palaeographer, Sir Edward Maunde Thompson (1840-1929) had originally produced a handbook on the history and development of Greek and Latin handwriting in 1893. He extensively revised and expanded it for this 1912 edition, incorporating numerous facsimile plates. Thompson begins his treatment with an introduction to the Greek and Latin alphabets, then surveys ancient writing materials and implements, and describes the use and development of scrolls and codices. Later chapters, accompanied by valuable illustrations, examine the different forms of first Greek then Latin handwritten texts, from the earliest surviving examples (fourth century BCE) to the end of the fifteenth century. Punctuation, accents and abbreviations are considered, and the various scripts - cursive, uncial, majuscule and miniscule - are all illustrated and examined. Tables of Greek and Latin literary and cursive alphabets are also provided.
In 1655, after more than two decades of toil, Athanasius Kircher, S. J. (1601/2-80) published his solution to the Egyptian hieroglyphs, Oedipus Aegyptiacus , a work that has been called one of the most learned monstrosities of all times. Here Daniel Stolzenberg presents a new interpretation of Kircher's hieroglyphic studies, placing them in the context of seventeenth-century scholarship on paganism and Oriental languages. Situating Kircher in the social world of baroque Rome, with its scholars, artists, patrons, and censors, Stolzenberg shows how Kircher's study of ancient paganism depended on the circulation of texts, artifacts, and people between Christian and Islamic civilizations. Along with other participants in the rise of Oriental studies, Kircher aimed to revolutionize the study of the past by mastering Near Eastern languages and recovering ancient manuscripts hidden away in the legendary libraries of Cairo and Damascus. The spectacular flaws of his scholarship have fostered an image of Kircher as an eccentric anachronism, a throwback to the Renaissance hermetic tradition. Stolzenberg argues against this view, showing how Kircher embodied essential tensions of a pivotal phase in European intellectual history, when pre-Enlightenment scholars pioneered modern empirical methods of studying the past while still working within traditional frameworks, such as biblical history and beliefs about magic and esoteric wisdom.
Learning to read in medieval Germany meant learning to read and understand Latin as well as the pupils' own language. The teaching methods used in the medieval Abbey of St Gall survive in the translations and commentaries of the monk, scholar and teacher Notker Labeo (c.950-1022). Notker's pedagogic method, although deeply rooted in classical and monastic traditions, demonstrates revolutionary innovations that include providing translations in the pupils' native German, supplying structural commentary in the form of simplified word order and punctuation, and furnishing special markers that helped readers to perform texts out loud. Anna Grotans examines this unique interplay between orality and literacy in Latin and Old High German, and illustrates her study with many examples from Notker's manuscripts. This study has much to contribute to our knowledge of medieval reading, and of the relationship between Latin and the vernacular in a variety of formal and informal contexts.
Anyone involved in the study of ancient Iudaea/Palaestina and its vicinity has felt the need for a comprehensive work containing all the inscriptions in various languages found in the region. The lack of such a work was all the more regrettable, as the material concerns not only those interested in the region, but also students of a great variety of related subjects, such as the history of the ancient Near East, ancient Jewish history and early Christianity, and, of course, historians of the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. A group of scholars from Israel and Germany is now producing such a corpus. It contains all the inscriptions from the time of Graeco-Roman rule in the area, from the time of Alexander until the end of Byzantine rule in Palestine around 640. The territory covered is the strip between the Mediterranean and the river Jordan, the Negev, and the Golan Heights. Unlike traditional corpora of inscriptions it is intended to include inscriptions in all languages represented: not only Greek and Latin, but also Semitic languages, primarily Hebrew, Aramaic (Jewish, Samaritan, Nabataean, Christian and Syriac), Thamudic and the Caucasian languages. The advantages of such a Corpus are obvious: all cultural phenomena expressed in inscriptions can be seen together. The inscriptions are presented within their specific context, and complemented by a translation and commentary; where available, the texts are accompanied by a reproduction. Each volume of the edition is dedicated to a specific region: Vol. 1 Jerusalem, Vol. 2 Caesarea and the Middle Coast, Vol. 3 South Coast, Vol. 4 Judea/Idumea, Vol. 5 Galilee, Vol. 6 Negev.
This book is made up of 7 chapters, mainly explaining the sounds, forms and meanings of above 100 Chinese characters, in the perspectives of the forms of single-element pictographs in inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty and inscriptions on ancient bronze objects, the initial false forms of the characters and the evolution of forms, etc.
The cuneiform script, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, was witness to one of the world's oldest literate cultures. For over three millennia, it was the vehicle of communication from (at its greatest extent) Iran to the Mediterranean, Anatolia to Egypt. The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture examines the Ancient Middle East through the lens of cuneiform writing. The contributors, a mix of scholars from across the disciplines, explore, define, and to some extent look beyond the boundaries of the written word, using Mesopotamia's clay tablets and stone inscriptions not just as 'texts' but also as material artefacts that offer much additional information about their creators, readers, users and owners.
This book provides an outline history of English spelling from the Anglo-Saxon' adoption of the Roman alphabet to the present day. It shows the respective influences on modern usage of native French and Latin orthographies and attempts a definition of the manner in which spelling stabilised. A final chapter traces changing notions of correctness in spelling during the last four centuries, and also gives a summary of the principle movements for its reform in favour of a more consistent and phonetic system of notion. Students in higher education specialising in English or linguistics and also those studying other languages at an advanced level should find this a useful book. The general reader with an interest in the history of his language or the question of spelling will find it most readable -- .