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Questions tagged [writing]

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How to write responsibly about the oppressed [closed]

This question is about responsible historiography. History as written by winners tends to devalue and misrepresent the experiences of subordinate groups (see Textbooks: Zinn People’s History; Labour: ...
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2answers
132 views

Where can I find an explanation of the variations in style of Egyptian hieroglyphs?

I've seen that Egyptian hieroglyphs are not always written or drawn identically. Long time ago I made a trip in Egypt and saw, in the Valley of the Kings, a tomb with hieroglyphs on the walls that ...
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1answer
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The origin of symbols used for transferring information over large distances [closed]

The information about the origin of writing systems is a bit difficult to piece together, to find when the first accounts of "writing used to transfer information over large distances". For example, ...
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1answer
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Were the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphs ever discovered really found in Qustul in Ancient Nubia?

In a comment posted on an answer to the question, 'Does modern scholarship accept an Ethiopian origin for Egyptian hieroglyphs?', the user that posted the question wrote: "The oldest kingdom in ...
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Does modern scholarship accept an Ethiopian or Nubian origin for Egyptian hieroglyphs?

Diodorus Siculus made the claim that the Hieroglyphs were actually an Ethiopian script, which was held sacred by the Egyptians and was learned and transmitted only within the priestly families of ...
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French Revolutionary figure who thought apes could oversee black slaves?

I'm operating off of fuzzy memory for this question but I know I have encountered this bizarre (and offensive: fair warning) historical figure who I am inquiring about here before in my previous ...
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2answers
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What was the medium for Marcus Aurelius's Meditations?

I imagine Romans using papyrus and quills on a still table, allowing time for the ink to dry, which may not be possible in a battlefield. I once saw a documentary which depicts him walking off in ...
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5answers
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Did China ever consider a phonetic writing system?

I was surprised to learn the following about the Japanese and Korean languages: Japanese used a lot of Chinese characters in their language and had no phonetic system, until around the year 800 when ...
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1answer
230 views

Parchment and papyrus costs in Roman Empire

How much do we know of the costs of parchment and papyrus in Roman Empire? I'm especially interested in their cost ratio. So far I found some accounts for the other ends of the antiquity: in 301 a ...
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58 views

When did Edgar Allan Poe begin to show talent at poetry?

I'm wondering if he was, like Orwell, a poet from an early age, or if he just sort of came out of nowhere with his poetry. The reason I ask is that the synopses of his life state that he published a ...
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1answer
234 views

What does this Rx glyph mean in what looks like Latin?

What does this glyph (red) mean? Also, what usage was there for it and the other glyph that looks like a colon (blue)?
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1answer
137 views

What was the first scientific article to give a recognisably “modern” citation to another article?

It's easy to find online citation indices; however they typically only cover recent articles, e.g. Scopus has coverage since 2004. Indeed citation indices in paper form seem to have been introduced in ...
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Was there self-censorship in private correspondence in the early 19th Century?

I've been reading collections of letters and journals (generally relating to the Napoleonic Wars) published in the first half of the 19th century. Often these contain words that have been partially ...
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2answers
213 views

Are there no written records of Sanskrit before Rigveda?

Rigveda is considered the oldest written record of Sanskrit. It has Sanskrit in a very developed form. I wonder if there are any records of Sanskrit before Rigveda which show the language being used ...
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4answers
855 views

What was different about the “right” (recto) side of papyrus sheets compared to the other side?

Usually only one side of papyrus sheets was used to write on in classic antiquity. What is the difference between the two sides of a sheet, and why would you write on "recto" only?
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2answers
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How do historians and linguists know how to pronounce the names from non-phonetic scripts?

If we take hieroglyphic writings like the Egyptian one, an Egyptologist knows that this hieroglyph must be interpreted as Nefertiti. Or we can see in the following Sumerian cuneiform script that ...
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1answer
55 views

Why did Thomas Larkin write his biographical sketches?

Thomas Larkin, wealthy merchant of Monterey, California in the 1840s, was the consul of the United States. He was also a secret agent for President Buchanan who sent to Washington 78 microbiographies ...
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1answer
4k views

What is the silver object on the desk and what is 'Elizabeth I' doing with it?

Hollywood movies have never been known for their historical accuracy, which is often sacrificed in the pursuit of entertainment, and the plot & script of the 1939 film 'The Private Lives of ...
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1answer
101 views

Did Herman Melville help write his uncle's book?

Captain John D'Wolf II (1779-1872), member of a prominent slave-trading family of Bristol, Rhode Island, was the uncle of author Herman Melville (1819-1891). D'Wolf informed Melville's view of life at ...
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1answer
84 views

Does Historiography have a usual technical term for historical writing which makes factual claims without giving references for them?

Question. Does Historiography use a standard technical term for the following (commonly encountered) 'mode' of historical writing? The author, towards the beginning of the work, tells the reader a ...
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0answers
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Textual organization

I was interested to see just now that the Dead Sea Scroll fragments (e.g. this one) have clear spaces delineating the words. Whereas we have, with the Hebrew Bible at least, an idea of where the line ...
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0answers
242 views

When were signature rubrics called for?

A rubric is a flourish embellishing a signature; it's both decorative and a security feature. Today, signatures are still used, but rubrics seem to have gone out of style. Who used the rubrics?
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2answers
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How were foreign names written in runes?

Are there any example of runic writing of a foreign name? Maybe journals or histories from famous warriors, travelers or foes? If so, how they do it with the runes? Basically I'm trying to find ...
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1answer
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How does a runic alphabet work?

For instance, let's take the Younger Futhark alphabet. How do you build a word? By just getting the first letter or phoneme of the name of each rune? Or do they have a contextual meaning?
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2answers
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What numerals did the people of Ireland use before Roman Numerals? (aka, did Ogham include numbers?)

I would like to know if any writing system of Ireland had a system of writing numerals prior to the Romans introducing Roman numerals. There are lots of sites online that show the Ogham writing system ...
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2answers
304 views

Did 20% of the Soviet Population use a Latin script in 1935?

Did 20% of the Soviet Population use a Latin script in 1935? The literacy campaigns in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1940 taught many people to read. Many people who did not speak Russian had no ...
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1answer
363 views

What is the origin of currency signs being placed before the numerical value?

For most units, they symbol/abbreviation is placed after the number: 200 m, 75° F, 60 mph, 100 watts, etc. When stating values of money, such as $500, the dollar sign is placed before the number. ...
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1answer
276 views

Why and when were ancient Egyptian hieroglyph phonograms used?

There are writings on the walls of some Egyptian temples of Hellenistic period written in Egyptian hieroglyph phonograms. Howevrer it was strange for me to know that these are Greek texts actually. ...
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1answer
185 views

How many lines did an ancient Greek copyist write per day?

In Scribes, Script, and Books: The Book Arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance by Leila Avrin, on page 153, it is mentioned that copyists were paid average .25 denari per line (or 25 denari per 100 ...
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4answers
388 views

What adaptations allowed left-handers to write left-to-right with dip pens?

Most people touch the side of their hand to the page as they write with a pen or pencil. Latin is written from left to right, and culturally its heritage somewhat demonizes left-handers ("sinister"). ...
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1answer
129 views

How were the prophecies of Biblical prophets such as Isaiah first published or disseminated?

I read the Old Testament but I don't understand how a prophet such as Isaiah would have first put forth his prophesies. Did he speak to a crowd, and someone took down his words? Or did he write little ...
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3answers
524 views

Did medieval Icelanders write with runes?

The land-taking of Iceland took place while Norse culture wrote short texts such as inscriptions using runes (during the transition from the Elder to the Younger Futhark). Runes are closely identified ...
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1answer
389 views

Most advanced nonliterate society

I got to thinking some more recently about the interrelation of societal advancement and information availability. That got me wondering about the limits. In short, what is the most advanced society ...
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2answers
209 views

What did Ostian script look like?

What did Ostian script look like? I've seen some drawings in Origin of the Serif and I'd like to learn more. But when I tried googling I wasn't able to find anything: all I got were false positives. ...
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4answers
2k views

Why did the Turks adopt the Latin alphabet after WWI?

The Turks used to write their language using the Arabic alphabet. After WWI, when Mustafa Kemal revolutionized the country, he imposed the usage of Latin alphabet. Also the new writing system seems to ...
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2answers
280 views

Decyphering Versal in Book of Kells

Apologies if this is not the appropriate forum for my question. I have problems decyphering the first versal on folio 179v in the Book of Kells. I suspect it stand for Jesus? If yes, which letters ...
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1answer
395 views

How did Romans organise their files?

I know how they wrote the information down: Documents, like legal contracts, were usually written in pen and ink on papyrus. Books were also written in pen and ink on papyrus or sometimes on ...
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3answers
2k views

Did the Romans have writing desks?

I am just rekindling my interest in Ancient Rome, and reading Rome:Its people, life and customs by Ugo Enrico Paoli. He goes into considerable detail about tables, but only dining tables. There is a ...
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1answer
1k views

Did Ancient Rome use lead styli?

Is wikipedia correct to say: The original form of "lead pencil" was the leaden stylus used by the ancient Romans, who also used it to write on wood or papyrus by leaving dark streaks where the soft ...