the historical influence of writing
WRITING AS THE FOUNDATION OF HIGHER CIVILIZATION
IN THE ANCIENT TRADITION OF THE CHINESE, THE Egyptians, and the Babylonians, the invention of writing was made by divine beings. It is natural that such a remarkable possession of man should have been regarded as something beyond his unaided powers of creation, and especially so at a time when the gradual development of writing from its early pictorial form was not understood. But there is another reason for putting a high value upon the art of writing, though it is one that could hardly have been properly appreciated by the makers of the fables. It is that writing is pre-eminently the art of civilization. Indeed, it has made our civilization possible--not only by permitting the existence of a highly developed literature and science, but by playing a vital part in the reorganization of society which produced the complex states of ancient and modern times. Both public and private life are profoundly changed by its acquisition. Without it we could not have risen far from a condition of barbarism.