Letter A in calligraphy| copperplate calligraphy

T11his ability to hand down suggestions to us throughout generations, provide guidelines to reveal, communicate concepts across the abyss of area and also time has actually made it feasible to make fantastic strides in our understanding of the world, common understanding and also 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. What do you see towering over it all? Forehead. These temples play a huge duty in why composing started. Because Sumer was the country of the first real cities in the globe.

Not hundreds of individuals or countless people, however with each other tens of thousands. And these cities produced city-states, joined by the praise of a specific team of gods. Individuals regulated irrigation as well as cities expanded. 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 more detailed look. Do you see those guys bringing jugs packed with grain right here? These holy places also acted as significant storehouses. Database for the enormous wide range of the city. In excellent times, gifts flowed in.

And also in challenging times, they were split back. This system produced a significant wide range for the clergyman, but he likewise guaranteed that cities of this dimension could work. But we do not care now. Look alongside the guys that bring the grain. Do you see a guy enjoying them?

Note that whenever they bring a container of grain, he will certainly make a little mark on his clay table.

With such an economy, with lots of supplies, moving to and from the temple every day, they needed to keep records somehow. That table will be saved later, so that the priests may know exactly what they have at hand in their giant temple storehouse.

Scribes were looking for faster and easier ways to record commodities, they did not laboriously draw every sub-item brought to the temple, but instead they came to a mutually agreed set of more symbolic representations for goods flowing into holy places. And you can see how someone could happen, that these symbols need not only represent the concept of something, but also the word itself.

Which’s exactly what happened.

The symbol for the cow was recognized not only as a representative of the pet, however also as a word cow therefore. But still, with a thousand nouns, you can’t do a lot. And also here comes a satisfied etymological coincidence. Do you see individuals at the temple speaking with each other?

Both of these points are important because when many of your words are monosyllabic, it is easy not to think of a symbol as a word, but as a sound for that word. Stop thinking of a symbol indicating a word and begin to think about the general meaning of its sound, which can indicate more specific things.

Currently you start to consider pictures as noises and also incorporating audios together enables you to create different words.

And also when you combine that with that in Sumerian a number of terms were based upon straightforward words, for instance, a sickle plus grain could indicate a harvest, so there is a quantum of what you can do with principles and noises, which stand for hundreds of images. We’re not done. Since exactly how the scribes wrote has transformed the way we write in Western nations today. Do you bear in mind just how our pal in the holy place includes grain?

Did the pens on the clay table? See him create. See exactly how he composes inside out, equally as you would certainly create a list. That will change soon, since the trouble with clay is that it takes forever to completely dry. And if you unintentionally rest your hand while composing inside out, you can quickly remove the whole column you simply entered.

Yet this threat is minimized if you start creating from entrusted to right. Yet sufficient people in the temple didn’t like the development. It was much easier for scribes, but other literate individuals, that needed to review it gained from top to bottom, so they really did not like this laterally creating. So what did the scribes do? They simply rotated all the characters 90 levels to ensure that one might transform the table as well as read it from top to bottom as common.

Soon people read characters written sideways from left to. Because they were upside down, they were more abstract now. Also a lot more various from the pictures and also points they used to represent. This creating system was then embraced by the surrounding Akkad as well as Elamites, who generalized it even a lot more. Variables or small characters have actually also been included in establish which component of the speech was which, to avoid uncertainty.

And also now you have a real 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 abstract and lyrical 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 harden and remain.

Let’s praise scribes like this and the wonderful city of Sumer for what they gave us. Writing.

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.


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Beautifully written letter A in copperplate calligraphy with oblique pen holder
Ink: black sumi ink
Nib: gillot 404
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