Roger S. Bagnall

in Everyday Writing in the Graeco-Roman East

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267022
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948525 | DOI:

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This section concludes that although it is evident that there was widespread use of writing in everyday life in much of the Near Eastern world from a considerably earlier time, there are real risks of extrapolating what can be seen in the Hellenistic period back too uncritically into these earlier periods. It notes that during the prehistory of Hellenistic and Roman writing, everyday writing was available over the whole of the eastern Mediterranean world where Greek was in everyday use, as well as across North Africa. The chapter notes further that for a number of reasons it is harder to assess the situation in the Latin-speaking parts of Europe as definitively, and certainly, the full range of writing materials was available, with some substitutions for local conditions. It adds that this phenomenon was not limited to Greek and Latin, and finds that there was a similar body of writing in Aramaic, in a variety of regional forms, next to the range of everyday writing found in Greek and Latin.

Keywords: Near Eastern world; Hellenistic period; Roman writing; eastern Mediterranean; North Africa; Europe; Greek; Latin; Aramaic

Chapter.  2557 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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