The advent of writing has freed man from his faulty memory, from the isolation imposed by time and geography. It has assembled his thoughts and given them to the ages. Writes B. L. Ullman in Ancient Writing and Its Influence: “The system of writing which we have inherited from the Romans has had an influence in shaping our civilization which it is impossible to measure.”
Placing special stress on this important Roman achievement of a world script, Dr. Ullman here studies the debt which the modern world owes to the ancient, a debt originating in the evolution of a writing technique and now, as a result, penetrating nearly every phase of the contemporary consciousness. One of the most significant works in the twentieth-century surge of paleographic scholarship. Ancient Writing and Its Influence surveys the history of the origin of the alphabet and provides an excellent introduction to Latin paleography, illustrated with numerous reproductions of examples of ancient script. There is also a brief survey of Greek paleography. In discussing the ancient book, the development of printing, the custom of paragraphing, punctuation, abbreviation and the use of numerals. Dr. Ullman cites several fascinating vestiges of older practices which remain yet in modern usage.
Originally published in 1932, this is one of those rare books – a polished and scholarly work indispensable to paleographers, yet with an extensive appeal both for the general public and for students of such varied disciplines as linguistics, history, and ancient and modern language.