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The Invention of Cuneiform: Writing in Sumer
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Johns Hopkins Univ Pr
Publication date November 17, 2003
Pages 266
Binding Hardcover
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780801873898
ISBN-10 0801873894
Dimensions 1.25 by 6.25 by 9 in.
Weight 1.20 lbs.
Availability§ Out of Print
Original list price $44.00
Other format details university press
§As reported by publisher
Summaries and Reviews
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As the first known system of writing, the cuneiform symbols traced in Sumerian clay more than six millennia ago were once regarded as a simplistic and clumsy attempt to record in linear form the sounds of a spoken language. More recently, scholars have acknowledged that early Sumerian writing―far from being a primitive and flawed mechanism that would be "improved" by the Phoenicians and Greeks―in fact represented a complete written language system, not only meeting the daily needs of economic and government administration, but also providing a new means of understanding the world.

In The Invention of Cuneiform Jean-Jacques Glassner offers a compelling introduction to this seminal era in human history. Returning to early Mesopotamian texts that have been little studied or poorly understood, he traces the development of writing from the earliest attempts to the sophisticated system of roughly 640 signs that comprised the Sumerian repertory by about 3200 B.C. Glassner further argues―with an occasional nod to Derrida―that the invention of writing had a deeper metaphysical significance. By bringing the divinely ordained spoken language under human control, Sumerians were able to "make invisibility visible," separating themselves from the divine order and creating a new model of power.



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from Johns Hopkins Univ Pr (November 17, 2003)
9780801873898 | details & prices | 266 pages | 6.25 × 9.00 × 1.25 in. | 1.20 lbs | List price $44.00
About: As the first known system of writing, the cuneiform symbols traced in Sumerian clay more than six millennia ago were once regarded as a simplistic and clumsy attempt to record in linear form the sounds of a spoken language.

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