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Literacy and Paideia in Ancient Greece Kevin Robb

Literacy and Paideia in Ancient Greece

Kevin Robb

Published August 11th 1994
ISBN : 9780195059052
Hardcover
320 pages
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 About the Book 

Kevin Robb chronicles ancient Greeces 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 itsMoreKevin Robb chronicles ancient Greeces 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 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 of written law, the emergence of philosophy, and the final dominance of the Athenian philosophical schools in higher education.