Ancient Literacies: The Culture Of Reading In Greece And Rome

Paperback | May 1, 2011

EditorWilliam A. Johnson, Holt N. Parker

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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 In turn, historians of literacy continue to rely on outdated work by classicists (mostlyfrom the 1960's and 1970's) and have little access to the current reexamination of the ancient evidence.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-culturalcontexts. 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 resultwill 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; newtakes 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 culturesmatter. 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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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 In turn, historians of literacy continue to rely on outdated work by classicists (mostlyfrom the 1960's and 1970's) and have little...

William A Johnson is a Professor of Classical Studies, Duke University. He is the author of Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire.. Holt N. Parker is a Professor of Classics, University of Cincinnati.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 1.1 inPublished:May 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199793980

ISBN - 13:9780199793983

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAbbreviationsList of Contributors1. IntroductionPART I Situating LiteraciesWriting, Reading, Public and Private "Literacies": Functional Literacy and Democratic Literacy in GreeceLiteracy or Literacies in Ancient Rome?Reading, Hearing, and Looking at EphesosThe Anecdote: Exploring the Boundaries between Oral and Literate Performance in the Second SophisticSituating Literacy at RomePART II Books and TextsThe Corrupted Boy and the Crowned Poet or the Material Reality and the Symbolic Status of the Literary Book at RomeThe Impermanent Text in Catullus and Other Roman PoetsBooks and Reading Latin PoetryPART III Institutions and CommunitiesPapyrological Evidence for Book Collections and Libraries in the Roman EmpireBookshops in the Literary Culture of RomeLiterary Literacy in Roman Pompeii: the Case of Virgil's AeneidConstructing Elite Reading Communities in the High EmpirePART IV Bibliographical EssayLiteracy Studies in Classics: The Last Twenty YearsPART V EpilogueWhy Literacy Matters, Then and Now (May 30, 2006)Index locorumGeneral Index