This is an essay on the history of written language, it starts with a look at the mysterious figure of Socrates and his discussion of the god Thoth, reputed in myth to have created language. This has been chosen as a starting point as this essay is already out of its depth in suggesting that such a subject can be tackled adequately. We find ourselves confronted with the study of history and the art of historiography – what stories are told and how truely they hold any facts. The most useful tool here will be a helping of doubt upon which a healthy scepticism to question things.
When I started this small, amateur study, I had no idea how much of a complicated subject it was. It seemed on the surface simple. As I went on trying to find the bottom of this endless story, the narrative(s) kept on revealing to me a million more roots and avenues to pursue. Neither did I understand that it was so much of a political question to pursue either, and that, in my pursuit for the antique origins of written language I discovered the sage guidance of Wendy and Warwick Ball – friends of history, who were kind enough to guide me towards understandings that I have chosen to try and fit an ocean in a cup… Read more