See below for a selection of the latest books from Palaeography (history of writing) category. Presented with a red border are the Palaeography (history of writing) books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Palaeography (history of writing) books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Copybooks and the Palmer method, handwriting analysis and autograph collecting-these words conjure up a lost world, in which people looked to handwriting as both a lesson in conformity and a talisman of individuality. In this engaging history, ranging from colonial times to the present, Tamara Plakins Thornton explores the shifting functions and meanings of handwriting in America. Script emerged in the eighteenth century as a medium intimately associated with the self, says Thornton, in contrast to the impersonality of print. But thereafter, just what kind of self would be defined or revealed in script was debated in the context of changing economic and social realities, definitions of manhood and womanhood, and concepts of mind and body. Thornton details the parties to these disputes: writing masters who used penmanship training to form and discipline character; scientific experts who chalked up variations in script to mere physiological idiosyncrasy; and autograph collectors and handwriting analysts who celebrated signatures that broke copybook rules as marks of personality, revealing the uniqueness of the self. In our time, concludes Thornton, when handwriting skills seem altogether obsolete, calligraphy revivals and calls for old-fashioned penmanship training reflect nostalgia and the rejection of modernity.
A practical teach-yourself course on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for the general reader. In this text, the grammar of ancient Egypt is introduced using the inscriptions found on monuments, with an emphasis on learning to read and translate accurately. A series of 43 exercises accompanies an easy to follow ten-step guide and is supported by a reference section of sign-lists and a short dictionary at the end of the text. Background notes on general topics including gods, royal dynasties and principal sites aim to help the reader to understand the historical concept.
Written by one of the world's leading paleographers, this book poses two fundamental questions: When did human beings begin-and why have they continued-to decide that a certain number of their dead had a right to a written death ? What differences have existed in the practice of writing death from age to age and culture to culture? Drawing principally on testimonials intended for public display, such as monuments, tombstones, and grave markings, as well as on scrolls, books, manuscripts, newspapers, and posters, the author reconstructs the ways Western cultures have used writing to commemorate the dead, from the tombs of ancient Egypt to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.The author argues that the relation between funereal remains and inscription is a profoundly political one. The recurring question-Who merits a written death?-demands a multifaceted reply, one that intersects such modes of human cultural history as the relation between the living and the dead, the control of territory, the formation and maintenance of power, the preservation of wealth, the right to individuality, and the symbolic and signifying value of written culture.Apart from examining funerary writing in the light of this analytical model, the author also studies the quality of commemorative writing, the length and physical arrangement of the text, and its link to any representational elements, such as a likeness of the deceased, the techniques involved in executing the testimonial, the number of people who participate in creating it, and its outward appearance. Under the author's careful and informed scrutiny, such developments as unidirectional script, the separation of writing into horizontal lines, and the even spacing of individual letters are revealed as indices of social and technological change.
How, where and why runes were used is still often mysterious; they continue to set puzzles for those who study them, among whom few are better known than the author of this book. Here he investigates evidence from Anglo-Saxon runic coins to Manx inscribed stones, including many of the known Anglo-Saxon runic inscriptions (notably the Ruthwell cross and the Franks casket) and manuscripts, and looks in passing at some Scandinavian material, both in Great Britain and elsewhere. In addition to these detailed descriptions of inscriptions, and of the runic futhorc, or alphabet, on which they are based, Page also considers wider issues on which runes throw light: magic, paganism and literacy. Archaeologists, historians and others will find this a uniquely useful and authoritative volume on Anglo-Saxon runes. The late R.I. PAGE was a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and Emeritus Professor of Anglo-Saxon, Cambridge University.
Rongorongo, Easter Island's enigmatic script and Oceania's only known pre-twentieth-century writing system, is here comprehensively documented for the first time. The author tells the full history of rongorongo's exciting discovery and the many attempts at a decipherment. Pre-missionary traditions surrounding rongorongo are described from previously unpublished material. Full transcriptions of all the 25 surviving rongorongo inscriptions are provided, along with detailed photographs of nearly every incised artefact. In over six years of full-time research that took the author from St Petersburg to Easter Island, a wholly new picture of the rongorongo phenomenon has emerged. This book is the definitive study of one of the world's most fascinating and eloquent graphic achievements.
This second edition includes revised and updated versions of three earlier publications: Understanding Maya Inscriptions: A Hieroglyph Handbook; New and Recent Maya Hieroglyph Readings; and A Resource Bibliography for the Decipherment of Maya Hieroglyphs and New Maya Hieroglyph Readings. This volume is designed to function as a self-teaching tool to help the neophyte, and yet be of value to scholars. It introduces the latest methods of analysis, illustrates techniques for computing Maya calendrics, uses the currently accepted orthography, provides syllabary and syntax, suggests new glyph readings, and presents various interpretations.
Winner, Top 100 Books on Science, American Scientist, 2001 In 1992, the University of Texas Press published Before Writing, Volume I: From Counting to Cuneiform and Before Writing, Volume II: A Catalog of Near Eastern Tokens. In these two volumes, Denise Schmandt-Besserat set forth her groundbreaking theory that the cuneiform script invented in the Near East in the late fourth millennium B.C.-the world's oldest known system of writing-derived from an archaic counting device. How Writing Came About draws material from both volumes to present Schmandt-Besserat's theory for a wide public and classroom audience. Based on the analysis and interpretation of a selection of 8,000 tokens or counters from 116 sites in Iran, Iraq, the Levant, and Turkey, it documents the immediate precursor of the cuneiform script.