Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Orality and Literacy
(2,507 words)


From an anthropological point of view, orality and literacy, considered as successive stages in the evolution of mankind, appear to form a fundamental polarity for ancient societies, with the invention of writing as a borderline. Literacy is introduced into a culture by political elites who realize the advantages it offers for reinforcing their power. Once literacy becomes domin…

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Françoise Létoublon, “Orality and Literacy”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 04 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000263>
First published online: 2013

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