Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet

Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet

By (author) Barry B. Powell

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Who invented the Greek alphabet and why? The purpose of this challenging book is to inquire systematically into the historical causes that underlay the radical shift from earlier and less efficient writing systems to the use of alphabetic writing. The author reaches the conclusion that a single man, perhaps from the island of Euboea, invented the Greek alphabet specifically in order to record the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer.

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  • Paperback | 308 pages
  • 162.56 x 223.52 x 22.86mm | 385.55g
  • 19 Jan 1997
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 4 maps 6 tables
  • 052158907X
  • 9780521589079
  • 879,442

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Review quote

' ... this is a book which is as remarkable for the ingenuity of its answers to difficult questions as it is for its useful review and compelling display of so much of the relevant evidence.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review '[This] is an important book, and will be widely read by students of writing in other cultures as well as by Homerists, linguists, historians and archaeologists of early Greece.' Classical Philology

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Back cover copy

The purpose of this challenging book is to inquire systematically into the historical causes that underlay the radical shift from earlier and less efficient writing-systems to the use of alphabetic writing. The author declares his conclusion to be a possibly surprising one - that a single man, perhaps from the island of Euboea, invented the Greek alphabet specifically in order to record the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer.

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