The Art of Graphology

By Marie Bernard; Jeanne M. Reed | Go to book overview

HISTORY OF GRAPHOLOGY

Looking at our small and simply constructed letter forms, it is difficult to imagine that a span of many thousands of years lies between these modern letters and their ancestors. Many may know that today's printed letters differ little from the Latin writing of more than two thousand years ago. But how many are aware of the developmental stages by which the history of the Latin writing can be traced? Or that the Latin alphabet is a progressive change from the Greek alphabet and that Greek is an adoption of a writing which was developed among the Semites of Syria in the middle of the second millennium?

The history of writing goes back even further. The principles of the Semitic writing are those of the Egyptian syllabary. Together with Sumerian, Hittite, Chinese and others, the ancient Egyptian system of writing belongs to the great family of ancient Oriental writing systems.

The history of the oldest of these writings, the Sumerian, which may have been the mother of all the other systems, can be traced back to about 3000 B.C. Its history and prehistory are as long as the recorded history of civilization itself.

Written communication developed around 5000 years ago, from about 3000 B.C. to 2000 A.D., when priests inscribed their religious rites into clay tablets. Around 1500 B.C., the Phoenicians created the first alphabet, which included speech sounds. The new alphabet developed into two different branches: the early Hebrew and the Phoenician alphabet. Early Hebrew is the parent of the classical Hebrew script dating around the 11th century, B.C. From Early Hebrew to Square Hebrew it became a Palestinian Jewish version from which modern Hebrew writing developed over a period of 2000 years. The majority of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls are written in Square Hebrew. These letters are so close to today's Hebrew alphabet that they can be read by Israeli schoolchildren.

Between the second and fourth centuries the Greeks began to add vowels to their writing. They wrote in the boustrophedon way (Greek: turning like oxen in plowing), the Greek way of writing in which the lines run alternately from right to left and left to right. Modern computers use this system to save space and time.

During the fifth century, A.D., cursive writing for daily commercial purposes was

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The Art of Graphology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents vi
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements x
  • History of Graphology 1
  • The Art of Graphological Seeing 7
  • Symbolism in Handwriting 9
  • Symbolism of Direction 12
  • Symbolism in Letters 15
  • Part One - Movement *
  • Part Two - Form Picture 155
  • Part Three - Picture of Arrangement 255
  • Appendix *
  • Bibliography 406
  • Index 411
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