How did people learn to read?

Evgeny Fogov
Evgeny Fogov
February 2, 2015
How did people learn to read?

Scientists spent a lot of time searching for answers to the question of how the ancient people learned to read and where did written writing come from. But it was the written language that influenced the development of people, without it there would be no reading, books, and in general the world that we know. In this regard, we will talk about how people have learned to read.

Reading and writing first

It is known that the first written language appeared in ancient Mesopotamia. It is believed that the ancient Sumerians who inhabited it were the first to learn to count and invented the first script. It was Sumerians who were credited with the invention of cuneiform, which consisted of signs and some similarity of pictures (pictograms). It should be noted that let the cuneiform writing seem primitive to modern man, it has been formed for centuries. It was the cuneiform that was the beginning of the development of writing as such.

The cuneiform itself arose as a result of the need to transmit information from person to person at a distance.Indeed, before (before the appearance of cuneiform writing), people were forced to transmit information using objects. Of course, the subject "letter" was distinguished by its shortcomings. Information could be perceived in a completely different sense.

The appearance of the alphabet

Gradually, a hieroglyphic letter began to form. It is believed that one of the first inventors of this type of letter were the Egyptians. However, the hieroglyphs had a significant drawback - they actually were not associated with speech.

The exit was the alphabet. The first alphabet was created by the ancient Phoenicians in the second millennium BC. And if earlier a whole word could have been implied by one of the symbols, then with the development of writing one character began to mean one syllable, which made writing more convenient for study.

The Phoenician alphabet consisted of 22 syllables. Later he reached Ancient Greece, where he was greatly improved. It was the Greek alphabet that served as the basis for many European languages ​​and began to be used even in the Middle East.

The appearance of typography

Typography is usually attributed to ancient China. According to experts, the printing of books in ancient China began in the 600th year BC.It was necessary to promote Buddhism. And initially printing was piece. Only monks and children from the upper classes were taught to read.

In Europe, typography appeared much later. Around 1300 AD. His development was hampered by the inaccessibility of paper. Only in 1400 it became possible to print books en masse. Moreover, as in ancient China, books in Europe were primarily of a religious nature at the time.

It is worth noting that in the whole world until about the middle of the 19th century, the common people read very rarely. Most of the representatives of the nobility and people from the highest strata of society could read.


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