Man has been called the talking animal -- but he is also a writing one. From all over the world explorers, anthropologists and archaeologists have collected the evidence: an inscription perhaps, high up on a rock face in Persia, cylinder-seals unearthed at Mohenjo-Daro, or the mysterious rongo-rongo tablets found on Easter Island; not to mention the countless written remains, Semitic, Greek and Roman, of our own European heritage. In Sign, Symbol and Script this material has been shaped into a fluent account of all the known ways in which man has tried to write. After dealing with the borderline cases of prehistory -- were the hieroglyphs communications or merely pictures, perhaps of a magical kind? -- the author gives some fascinating examples of primitive 'writing', and analyses the stages on the way to an alphabet. Then, one after the other, he describes the great script-groups of the world, their origins as far as they are known, the phases and styles through which they passed, and the forces which led ultimately to their spread or decline. Besides chapters on the Egyptian hieroglyphs, for instance, and the Chinese script -- the oldest still in use -- an especially detailed account is given of the development of our own alphabet and the strange Germanic-Celtic runes. There are more than 600 tables, pictures and specimens of script drawn from all manner of inscriptions, including tombs, weapons or precious objects, documents, manuscripts and graffiti, and these touch life at every point, reflecting layer upon layer of civilization. The book incorporates the work of generations of scholars and is remarkable both as a contribution to knowledge and as a portrait of Homo scribens, of man trying to rescue his affairs from the flux of time and the frailty of memory. Sign, Symbol and Script now appears for the first time in English, but is in fact the third edition of the original German work, which Professor Jensen has once again revised and brought up to date.
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Text: English, German (translation)
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Book Description Allen & Unwin, 1970. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110044000219
Book Description Allen & Unwin, 1970. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 3rd revised and enlarged ed.;. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0044000219