By Jean Bottero, Clarisse Herrenschmidt, Jean Pierre Vernant, Francois Zabbal, Teresa Lavender Fagan
"Full of subject for someone attracted to language, faith, and politics within the historic world."--R. T. Ridley, Journal of spiritual History
"In this obtainable advent to the traditional global, 3 best French students discover the emergence of rationality and writing within the West, tracing its improvement and its survival in our personal traditions. . . . Jean Bottero makes a speciality of writing and faith in old Mesopotamia, Clarisse Herrenschmidt considers a broader background of historical writing, and Jean-Pierre Vernant examines classical Greek civilization within the context of close to japanese history."--Translation Review
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Additional resources for Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece
How could those people not have observed many other earthly phenomena with as much curiosity, some occurring with perfect regularity (such as the spring swelling of the two rivers), others occurring completely arbitrarily (such as floods, rains, the changes in the direction of the wind, the swift arrival of a storm)? How could one explain all the mysteries, the obscurities, the ambi guities of such a gigantic panorama, the least detail of which visibly surpassed any human forces by far? And how could one account for the secrets of the germination of grain and other plants within the soil and the growth of animals and humans in the darkness of the maternal womb?
1 "Because I have listened to my master's explanations for a long time. Thus I am able to answer all of your questions . " "I have already recited (by heart), then written down all the words in [here he cites a certain number of schoolbooks] . I can analyze and construe writing of all the signs . . The total number of days I have had to work at school is as follows: I had three days of vacation each month: and since each month has three holidays when one doesn't work, I therefore spent twenty-four days in school each month.
This is why the most ancient documents, their complete truth and exactitude, are indecipherable and incompre hensible to us, since we were not witnesses to the dealings that were so laconically recorded in them. The Mesopotamian writing system made decisive progress toward complete intelligibility (over approximately one or two centuries, we believe, following those early testimonies to its beginnings) when it went from being a writing system of things to becoming a writing system of words. When?