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Image and MythA History of Pictorial Narration in Greek Art$
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Luca Giuliani

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226297651

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226025902.001.0001

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Playing with Writing in the Eighth, Seventh, and Sixth Centuries

Playing with Writing in the Eighth, Seventh, and Sixth Centuries

Chapter:
(p.89) Chapter 4 Playing with Writing in the Eighth, Seventh, and Sixth Centuries
Source:
Image and Myth
Author(s):

Luca Giuliani

, Joseph O’Donnell
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226025902.003.0004

This chapter discusses the shift from representation using images to the use of writing. By adding a few supplementary characters to Semitic written characters, the Greeks produced a modified alphabet that was able to represent not only consonants but also vowels and could thus, more or less, mirror the sound shape of oral expressions. From the second half of the eighth century onward, written characters have been found on Greek ceramics. These writings were used for three different functions that appear in chronological stages. The first stage comprises vessels with an inscription carved into them after, as opposed to during, production. The second stage comprises inscriptions that are not engraved after the completion of the vessel but painted on prior to firing. Finally, the third stage comprises written text that is related to the images themselves.

Keywords:   writing, written characters, Greeks, modified alphabet, Greek ceramics

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