The invention of writing and the earliest literatures

25 6 0
  • Loading ...
1/25 trang

Thông tin tài liệu

Ngày đăng: 01/12/2016, 23:05

The invention of writing and the earliest literatures How was oral traditional literature preserved? The invention of writing • Long before people learned to write, they made up stories • People had to develop an accurate memory • Stories could be preserved in their original form; they could be improved or expanded • Can such oral literature be preserved? • If it is not transferred to a written medium, it can be irrevocably lost • E.g a sudden catastrophic break in the life of the community-foreign conquests might easily, through massacre, enslavement, and mass deportation, wipe out the memory of what had been a shared inheritance Olsen’s“The Invention of Writing” • Why and how was writing invented? Invention of writing • The earliest written documents are records of the first advanced, centralized civilizations, those that emerged in the area we know as the Middle East • These documents contain commercial, administrative, political, and legal information • Where and how did ancient civilization develop? Origins of civilization • It was based on agriculture • It flourished in regions where the soil gave rich rewards: • Valley of the Nile –annual floods under the Egyptian sun • Valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, which flowed through the Fertile Crescent, a region centered on modern Iraq • How did cities come into being? Development of cities • Civilization begins with cities; the word itself is derived from a Latin word that means “citizen” • Thebes, Memphis in Egypt • Babylon, Nineveh in the Fertile Crescent • Cities were centers for the administration of the irrigated fields • Centers for government, religion, and culture • How did civilization begin? The beginning of civilization • Writing and cities • 3000 B.C – the pharaohs of Egypt began to build their pyramids as well as to record their political acts and religious beliefs in hieroglyphic script • The Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians began to build the temples of Babylon and record their laws in cuneiform script on clay tablets Where was writing first developed? • Region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers • 3300 B.C –earliest texts • Characters were inscribed on tablets of wet clay with a pointed stick • The characters were pictographic –ox • 2800 B.C scribes began to use the wedge-shape end of the stick to make marks – the resulting script is known as cuneiform, from the Latin word cuneus, a wedge Cuneiform • • Efficient It stayed in use through the vicissitudes of two millennia (Akkadians, Babylonians, etc) • It was on clay tablets and in cuneiform script that the great Sumerian epic poem Gilgamesh was written down – totally forgotten until modern excavators discovered the tablets and deciphered the script Phoenician alphabet • Unlike cuneiform and hieroglyphic, this ancient writing system was destined to survive until the present day (22 signs for consonantal sounds) • Who developed the script? • Phoenicians, the Semitic peoples of the Palestine coast • The Phoenicians have left us no literary texts, but the Hebrews, another Semitic people, used the system to record their history in what Christians call the Old Testament What is the Old Testament? Sorrows and triumphs of the Hebrews Concept of a single God, unique in the polytheistic ancient world • What is the legacy of the Hebrews? Legacy of the Hebrews • Unlike the rulers of the TigrisEuphrates and Nile valleys, the Hebrews, located in Palestine, did not control territory of economic or military importance • From their beginnings as a pastoral tribe to their high point as a kingdom with a capital in Jerusalem, they accomplished little in the political or military spheres • Later history- unsuccessful struggle for freedom against a series of foreign mastersBabylonian, Greek, and Roman Religious legacy of the Hebrews • After the period of expansion and prosperity under the great kings David and Solomon (1005-925 B.C.), the kingdom fell apart into warring factions, which called in outside powers • Internal and external struggle resulted in the destruction of the cities and the deportation of the population to Babylon (586 B.C.) • The period of exile (ended in 539 B.C when Cyrus,the Persion conqueror of Babylon, released the Hebrews from bondage) was a formative period for Hebrew religious thought • The return to Palestine was crowned by the rebuilding of the Temple and the creation of the Torah –the first five books of the Bible • How did the Hebrews become the people of the Diaspora? Diaspora • The independent state of Israel was not destined to last long • By 300 BC –the Macedonian successors of Alexander the Great had encroached on its borders • Israel became part of a Hellenistic Greek-speaking kingdom • Finally, Israel was absorbed by the Roman empire • Revolt against Rome was crushed by emperor Titus in A.D 70 • A second revolt against the emperor Hadrian resulted in the final extermination and removal from Palestine of the Hebrew people • Henceforward, they were the people of the Diaspora, the “scattering”: religious communities in the ancient world who maintained local cohesion and religious solidarity but who were stateless, as they were to be all through centuries until the creation of the state of Israel in the mid-twentieth century What is the true legacy of the Hebrews? • • • • • • • • • • Political history - a series of disasters No painting, sculpture or secular literature What they did leave us is a religious literature which is informed by an attitude different from that of any other nation of the ancient world It is founded on the idea of one God, all-powerful and just – a conception of the divine essence so simple that it seems obvious to us However, in its time it was so revolutionary that it made the Hebrews a nation apart, sometimes laughed at, sometimes feared, but always alien The consonantal script in which their literary legacy was handed down to us was a great step forward from the hieroglyphic and cuneiform systems But the absence of the notation for the vowels made for ambiguity and misreading What were the vowel sounds in the sacred name of God? YHWH Traditional English version: Jehovah Signs for the vowels were needed: contribution of the Greeks who adopted the Phoenician script for their own language What is Gilgamesh? • 2500-1500 B.C • First great heroic narrative of world literature • Tablets throughout the Middle East written in cuneiform characters • Assurbanipal’s synthetic version –Standard Version • Written on twelve hardened clay tablets in Akkadian, a Semitic language Gilgamesh • "Gilgamesh: Fame haunts the man who visits Hell, who lives to tell my entire tale identically So like a sage, a trickster or saint, GILGAMESH was a hero who knew secrets and saw forbidden places." The Bible is best understood by knowing the background to the myths of ancient Mesopotamia Gilgamesh may be one of the oldest epics Gilgamesh • Why does the story of Gilgamesh speak to modern readers with astonishing immediacy? ‘The Art of Fiction’ • “Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon exchange of views, and the comparison of standpoints.” –Henry James [...]... peoples of the Palestine coast • The Phoenicians have left us no literary texts, but the Hebrews, another Semitic people, used the system to record their history in what Christians call the Old Testament What is the Old Testament? Sorrows and triumphs of the Hebrews Concept of a single God, unique in the polytheistic ancient world • What is the legacy of the Hebrews? Legacy of the Hebrews • Unlike the. .. Cyrus ,the Persion conqueror of Babylon, released the Hebrews from bondage) was a formative period for Hebrew religious thought • The return to Palestine was crowned by the rebuilding of the Temple and the creation of the Torah the first five books of the Bible • How did the Hebrews become the people of the Diaspora? Diaspora • The independent state of Israel was not destined to last long • By 300 BC the. .. mastersBabylonian, Greek, and Roman Religious legacy of the Hebrews • After the period of expansion and prosperity under the great kings David and Solomon (1005-925 B.C.), the kingdom fell apart into warring factions, which called in outside powers • Internal and external struggle resulted in the destruction of the cities and the deportation of the population to Babylon (586 B.C.) • The period of exile (ended... begin? The beginning of civilization • Writing and cities • 3000 B.C – the pharaohs of Egypt began to build their pyramids as well as to record their political acts and religious beliefs in hieroglyphic script • The Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians began to build the temples of Babylon and record their laws in cuneiform script on clay tablets Where was writing first developed? • Region of the Tigris... alien The consonantal script in which their literary legacy was handed down to us was a great step forward from the hieroglyphic and cuneiform systems But the absence of the notation for the vowels made for ambiguity and misreading What were the vowel sounds in the sacred name of God? YHWH Traditional English version: Jehovah Signs for the vowels were needed: contribution of the Greeks who adopted the. .. secrets and saw forbidden places." The Bible is best understood by knowing the background to the myths of ancient Mesopotamia Gilgamesh may be one of the oldest epics Gilgamesh • Why does the story of Gilgamesh speak to modern readers with astonishing immediacy? The Art of Fiction’ • “Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon exchange of views, and the. .. successors of Alexander the Great had encroached on its borders • Israel became part of a Hellenistic Greek-speaking kingdom • Finally, Israel was absorbed by the Roman empire • Revolt against Rome was crushed by emperor Titus in A.D 70 • A second revolt against the emperor Hadrian resulted in the final extermination and removal from Palestine of the Hebrew people • Henceforward, they were the people of the. .. were the people of the Diaspora, the “scattering”: religious communities in the ancient world who maintained local cohesion and religious solidarity but who were stateless, as they were to be all through centuries until the creation of the state of Israel in the mid-twentieth century What is the true legacy of the Hebrews? • • • • • • • • • • Political history - a series of disasters No painting, sculpture... Tigris and Euphrates rivers • 3300 B.C earliest texts • Characters were inscribed on tablets of wet clay with a pointed stick • The characters were pictographic –ox • 2800 B.C scribes began to use the wedge-shape end of the stick to make marks – the resulting script is known as cuneiform, from the Latin word cuneus, a wedge Cuneiform • • Efficient It stayed in use through the vicissitudes of two millennia... sculpture or secular literature What they did leave us is a religious literature which is informed by an attitude different from that of any other nation of the ancient world It is founded on the idea of one God, all-powerful and just – a conception of the divine essence so simple that it seems obvious to us However, in its time it was so revolutionary that it made the Hebrews a nation apart, sometimes
- Xem thêm -

Xem thêm: The invention of writing and the earliest literatures , The invention of writing and the earliest literatures , The invention of writing and the earliest literatures

Gợi ý tài liệu liên quan cho bạn

Từ khóa liên quan

Nạp tiền Tải lên
Đăng ký
Đăng nhập