Ancient Writing and Its Influence

Ancient Writing and Its Influence

Ancient Writing and Its Influence

Ancient Writing and Its Influence

Excerpt

AS WE look back over the history of civilization, we see the prime importance of certain inventions for man's progress. The invention, or rather, the evolution of speech was one of these epoch-making events since it made possible the coöperation of great numbers of people in social groups. It was thus not only a product of man's social instinct, but also an important factor in developing that instinct. But speech itself did not satisfy primitive man, for it was not easy to surmount the barriers of time and space by speech alone. A messenger carrying a verbal message might or might not repeat it with absolute fidelity. Tradition was a meager source of information about the past. The "invention" of writing, while not so epochal an event as that of speech, was far more important than one would at first suspect.

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