September 29, 2009

Classical Journal on Ancient Literacies

Taking a break from the break to post this for those interested. CJ Online posted a review of this new book, today, which looks like a must read:

JOHNSON AND PARKER, eds. Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome+Review by Scott Farrington: CJ Online 2009.09.08

An excerpt from the review:
Spurred by a belief that work in the field of ancient literacy has stagnated, William A. Johnson writes in the introduction that the “deterministic accounts” of ancient literacy presented by Goody, Havelock and Ong have been generally discredited, while Harris’ Ancient Literacy is narrowly focused on defining what percentage of people in antiquity could read and write. He thus offers this collection “to formulate more interesting, productive ways of talking about … text-oriented events embedded in particular sociocultural contexts” (p. 3). The essays analyze examples of literacy within social and cultural contexts.
Sounds energizing. Next, of course, I'll wait eagerly to hear if anyone's doing a similar project focused on first century Palestine...

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