Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer: A Linguistic Interpretation of the Origin of the Greek…

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byRoger D. Woodard

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Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer examines the origin of the Greek alphabet. Departing from previous accounts, Roger Woodard places the advent of the alphabet within an unbroken continuum of Greek literacy beginning in the Mycenean era. He argues that the creators of the Greek alphabet, whoadapted the Phoenician consonantal script, were scribes accustomed to writing Greek with the syllabic script of Cyprus. Certain characteristic features of the Cypriot script--for example, its strategy for representing consonant sequences and elements of Cypriot Greek phonology--were transferred tothe new alphabetic script. Proposing a Cypriot origin of the alphabet at the hands of previously literate adapters brings clarity to various problems of the alphabet, such as the Greek use of the Phoenician sibilant letters. The alphabet, rejected by the post- Bronze Age "Mycenaean" culture ofCyprus, was exported west to the Aegean, where it gained a foothold among a then illiterate Greek people emerging from the Dark Age.

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Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer examines the origin of the Greek alphabet. Departing from previous accounts, Roger Woodard places the advent of the alphabet within an unbroken continuum of Greek literacy beginning in the Mycenean era. He argues that the creators of the Greek alphabet, whoadapted the Phoenician consonantal script, w...

Roger D. Woodard is at University of Southern California.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.49 × 6.38 × 1.02 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195105206

ISBN - 13:9780195105209

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"...will interest linguists and historians of writing."--Religious Studies Review