Literacy and Paideia in Ancient Greece

Hardcover | May 1, 1978

byKevin Robb

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This book examines the progress of literacy in ancient Greece from its origins in the eighth century to the fourth century B.C.E., when the major cultural institutions of Athens became totally dependent on alphabetic literacy. By introducing new evidence and re-evaluating the older evidence,Robb demonstrates that early Greek literacy can be understood only in terms of the rich oral culture that immediately preceded it, one that was dominated by the oral performance of epical verse, or "Homer." Only gradually did literate practices supersede oral habits and the oral way of life, forgingalliances which now seem both bizarre and fascinating, but which were eminently successful, contributing to the "miracle" of Greece. In this book new light is brought to early Greek ethics, the rise of written law, the emergence of philosophy, and the final dominance of the Athenian philosophicalschools in higher education.

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From Our Editors

Kevin Robb chronicles ancient Greece's "literate revolution", recounting how the Phoenecian alphabet silently entered Greece and, in the improved Greek version, conquered its major cultural institutions. He examines the progress of literacy from its origins in the eighth century to the fourth century B.C.E., when the major institutions...

From the Publisher

This book examines the progress of literacy in ancient Greece from its origins in the eighth century to the fourth century B.C.E., when the major cultural institutions of Athens became totally dependent on alphabetic literacy. By introducing new evidence and re-evaluating the older evidence,Robb demonstrates that early Greek literacy c...

From the Jacket

Literacy and Paideia in Ancient Greece provides a fascinating look at the first society to become culturally dependent on the alphabet. In it, Robb elucidates how, in the space of four hundred years, total orality gave way to an advancing literacy. In the process of his investigation, he brings new light to early Greek ethics, the rise...

Kevin Robb is at University of Southern California.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.49 × 6.38 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 1978Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195059050

ISBN - 13:9780195059052

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From Our Editors

Kevin Robb chronicles ancient Greece's "literate revolution", recounting how the Phoenecian alphabet silently entered Greece and, in the improved Greek version, conquered its major cultural institutions. He examines the progress of literacy from its origins in the eighth century to the fourth century B.C.E., when the major institutions of Athenian democracy - most notably law and higher education - became totally dependent on alphabetic literacy. By introducing new evidence as well as re-evaluating the older evidence, Robb shows that early Greek literacy can be understood only in terms of the rich oral culture that immediately preceded it - one that was dominated by the oral performance of epic verse, or "Homer". Only gradually did literate practices supersede oral habits and the oral way of life, forging alliances which now seem both bizarre and fascinating, but which were eminently successful, contributing to the "miracle" of Greece. Literacy and Paideia in Ancient Greece provides a fascinating look at the first society to become culturally dependent on the alph

Editorial Reviews

"The pioneering efforts of scholars such as Eric A Havelock and Walter J. Ong initially were on trial; orality and literacy studies has had its day in the court of academia and won in principle. Now, for such work to move beyond the initial stage of acceptance, serious scholarship mustcontinue into the next phase: the discovery of new knowledge and refinement of initial claims. No more better case for such progress has yet been made then by Kevin Robb's literacy and Paideia in Ancient Greece."--Rhetoric Review