Chinese Calligraphy Demo

T11his capacity to pass on concepts to us throughout generations, provide guidelines to share, communicate concepts throughout the abyss of room as well as time has actually made it feasible to make terrific strides in our understanding of deep space, shared understanding and self-understanding.

To understand how writing began, we must go to ancient Sumer, where writing first began to be used extensively. Yes, you see potters and merchants.

You see the gardens and streets. These temples play a big role in why writing began.

Not hundreds of people or countless individuals, but together tens of thousands. And also these cities produced city-states, united by the praise of a particular group of gods. People controlled watering and also cities grew. And also as cities expanded, so did the temples for the gods.

These massive, vast temple complexes they did not serve only as tabernacles.

No, take a better look. Do you see those guys bringing containers loaded with grain below? These holy places additionally functioned as massive stockrooms. Database for the tremendous riches of the city. In excellent times, gifts moved in.

And in challenging times, they were divided back. This system produced a significant riches for the priest, however he also made sure that cities of this size can work. We don’t care now. Look following to the men that lug the grain. Do you see a man watching them?

Keep in mind that whenever they bring a jug of grain, he will make a small mark on his clay table.

With such an economic climate, with great deals of materials, relocating to as well as from the temple daily, they required to keep records in some way. And also that’s exactly what he does. That table will be saved later, so that the priests might recognize exactly what they have at hand in their huge holy place warehouse. But although brand names have their area in the initial writing, there is something much a lot more fascinating for us on this wet item of clay that he holds.

He attracted a small picture of a grain stalk following to his records, so it is clear that his information describe grain. For generations, this nice little drawing of grain has actually been simplified. Much more abstract. Scribes were trying to find faster as well as less complicated ways to tape-record assets, they did not busily draw every sub-item brought to the holy place, yet instead they concerned an equally agreed collection of even more symbolic depictions for items moving right into sanctuaries. As well as you can see just how a person might happen, that these icons require not just stand for the principle of something, yet likewise words itself.

Which’s specifically what occurred.

The sign for the cow was recognized not just as an agent of the animal, but also as a word cow because of this. Still, with a thousand nouns, you can’t do much. And below comes a pleased etymological coincidence. Do you see the people at the temple speaking with each various other?

It would sound like everyone was saying the same thing over and over again if you could hear them. This is since Sumerian is a language where most words are simply syllables and also where the terms are made up of word make-up. Both of these factors are essential due to the fact that when numerous of your words are monosyllabic, it is easy not to think about a symbol as a word, however as an audio for that word. Quit thinking about an icon showing a word as well as start to think of the general meaning of its noise, which can suggest more details things. You will not draw pictures for each word in the language once you do this.

Now you begin to think about images as noises and combining audios with each other enables you to produce various words.

And when you combine that with that in Sumerian a number of terms were based on simple words, for example, a sickle plus grain could mean a harvest, so there is a quantum of what you can do with concepts and sounds, which represent thousands of images. Because how the scribes wrote has changed the way we write in Western countries today.

See how he writes from top to bottom, just as you would write a list. And if you accidentally rest your hand while writing from top to bottom, you can easily delete the entire column you just typed.

This risk is reduced if you start writing from left to. It was easier for scribes, but other literate people, who had to read it learned from top to bottom, so they didn’t like this sideways writing.

Soon individuals check out characters composed laterally from left to right. But since they were inverted, they were extra abstract currently. A lot more different from the things and pictures they utilized to stand for. This creating system was after that embraced by the neighboring Akkad and also Elamites, that generalised it much more. Aspects or little personalities have likewise been included to figure out which component of the speech was which, to stay clear of uncertainty.

As well as now you have an actual creating system.

Which means instead of a handful of nouns to be written to stock lists here we have a writing system that can give us lyrical and abstract things like the Epic of Gilgamesh or Enum elish. Funny thing about clay: When a place burns down and all your records are on clay, instead of being destroyed, they remain and harden.

It won’t happen here for a while. So let’s praise scribes like this and the wonderful city of Sumer for what they gave us. A gift that lasted us more than five and a half thousand years. Writing. Since we don’t get to the False Episodes for these one-offs, I want to emphasize that this is only the first place in history where writing has flourished.

It will later develop independently in Mesoamerica and was almost certainly developed independently in China. There is a great deal of controversy over whether it has developed independently in the Indus Valley and Egypt. From what we have read, which is far from enough for a layman’s opinion, I believe that both groups have inherited the basic concept from Sumer. Let us know in the comments if you liked this attempt and you are interested in the history of ideas as well as the history of people and companies. We’ll try to do it sometimes if so.


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Enjoy this Chinese calligraphy demo with award-winning calligrapher, Deng Dongliang, and relaxing Chinese instrumental music. This demo was organized by the Confucius Institute at Colorado State University during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finding Movement by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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