User:Vuara/Bronze Age Literacy

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Bronze Age Literacy

In The Beginning Prior to the alphabet in Greece, in the Bronze Age, the majority of ideas, stories, concepts, and lessons were passed orally. The men would pass their wisdom to the boys, and the women would pass theirs to the girls. Most of what was discussed among the people was related to the work and what was required to keep the society functioning. Society was divided into four major areas: the slaves, the women, the ordinary men, and the aristocrats. The slaves, women, and most men did not have a lot of use for reading and writing. The women were tending to things at home, and watching the children, and were not allowed to participate in the function of government. The majority of men who were not aristocrats or slaves, were farmers, and did not have time or need to read and write because they needed to bring in the crops and tend to the animals. During this time, life flowed without much need for writing.

Before the alphabet came to be known to the Greeks, a similar form of symbols was used in about the 13th century BC. This form, called Linear B, is not related to later forms of Greek. Linear B was used by palace administration prior to anyone else needing to write or read. When the palace administration disappeared, so did the need for Linear B. Linear B was found in the form of clay tablets on the Mycenaean mainland in Greece. They have been found often burned, dating from around the 13th century. None of the symbols found relate to the alphabet finds of 500 years later.


Try writing a letter to a friend; notice how many letters are used together.