The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs, and Pictograms

The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs, and Pictograms

Andrew Robinson / Aug 25, 2019

The Story of Writing Alphabets Hieroglyphs and Pictograms People can be interested in language writing and scripts They may wonder how when and where did writing evolve Do alphabets function better than hieroglyphs And are we today in the computer age mo

  • Title: The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs, and Pictograms
  • Author: Andrew Robinson
  • ISBN: 9780500281567
  • Page: 380
  • Format: Paperback
  • People can be interested in language, writing and scripts They may wonder how, when and where did writing evolve Do alphabets function better than hieroglyphs And are we today, in the computer age, moving towards a universal language of signs and symbols

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      Posted by:Andrew Robinson
      Published :2018-012-16T07:38:32+00:00

    About "Andrew Robinson"

      • Andrew Robinson

        Librarian Note There is than one author by this name in the data base.W Andrew Robinson is a British author and former newspaper editor.Andrew Robinson was educated at the Dragon School, Eton College where he was a King s Scholar, University College, Oxford where he read Chemistry and finally the School of Oriental and African Studies in London He is the son of Neville Robinson, an Oxford physicist.Robinson first visited India in 1975 and has been a devotee of the country s culture ever since, in particular the Bengali poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore and the Bengali film director Satyajit Ray He has authored many books and articles Until 2006, he was the Literary Editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement He has also been a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge.He is based in London and is now a full time writer.


    1. Το «The Story of Writing» του Andrew Robinson το αγόρασα πέρσι στη Βιέννη από το Kunsthistorisches Museum (Μουσείο Ιστορίας της Τέχνης). Μόλις αυτό το καλοκαίρι όμως βρήκα την ευκαιρία να το διαβάσω. Η έκδοση είναι πολύ προσεγμένη, σε γυαλιστερό βαρύ χαρτί, με πολλές εικόνες και σχήματα. Η δομή των κεφαλ [...]

    2. This is a very nice overview of ancient and modern writing methods, and the methods used to decipher them. Some aspects of it were surprising; for example, I had no idea how recently hieroglyphics had been used, or how recently Rongorongo still had people who understood it; nor how early our own alphabet became recognizable. There’s a photo of an Etruscan pot from the 6th century BC with, clearly, ABCDEF written on it.Many of the alphabets are reproduced, at least in part, making this a nice r [...]

    3. As the title implies, these are the stories of writing, mostly about the story of lost languages deciphered. In the process of telling these riveting stories, we exposed to the history of the people writing languages and how the language came to be lost.A very quick and fun read for anybody interested in the history of ancient writing.

    4. The Story of Writing should likely be read as a college student pores through a book assigned for a class and not as something to end the night on a light note. Although I was fascinated with the original explanation of Egyptian hieroglyphics as a written language of both conceptual symbols (logograms) and phonetic images, the ongoing analysis of different written forms--Babylonian cuneiform, Mayan glyphs--as well as the historical relationships between the various languages, quickly became some [...]

    5. A superior descriptive and pictorial history of writing from the earliest times to the issue of Japanese difficulties near the end of the 20th century, and the presence of computers in handling the most difficult writing. I wish I might have had this book available at the time ca. 1968 when I gave a freshman seminar to a small class on the transmission of recorded information at Stanford University.It must be made clear that this is a rapid survey of this huge topic. Each of these "languages" an [...]

    6. O incursiune incredibila in lumea scrisului. Aceasta poveste este povestea noastra a omenirii din momentul in care am incetat sa mai fim animale care lupta pentru supravietuire si am aspirat pentru ceva mai mare decat noi insine. Momentul in care cineva a visat ce vom putea deveni astazi.Despre istoria scrisului, pot spune dupa ce am citit aceasta carte ca lucrurile sunt mai complicate decat atunci cand am inceput sa citesc cartea. Este un paradox pentru ca cu cat citesti mai mult cu atat iti da [...]

    7. Interesting, full of pictures, but it got ponderous. Weirdly long, because it's basically a picture book, but with a lot of text, so you spend a lot of time starting and ending sections, and looking at captions. You don't really get in a narrative flow. Almost a coffee table book, really.

    8. The Story of Writing was not what I expected and more than I expected. I bought the book because of my interest in ancient scripts, languages and archaeology thinking it would be a good general overview. When I first glanced through it I thought I had bought a book more oriented toward middle school audienceat would be a wrong assumption. It is not an in depth scholarly work written for an audience with a graduate degree but it is still an engaging book for a later high school, freshman college [...]

    9. "Writing is among the greatest inventions in human history, perhaps the greatest invention, since it made history possible." Thus Robinson, literary editor of the (London) Times Higher Education Supplement, introduces his scholarly and fascinating study of alphabets, hieroglyphics and pictograms. He says he is not presenting the full history of writing, focusing instead on "an account of the scripts used in the major civilizations of the ancient world, of the major scripts we use today, and of t [...]

    10. The book presents an overview of the history of writing for non-specialists. Part I: the activity of writing in various ages in history and the proto-writing (pictograms for exampel) Part II: the extinct writing systems (cuneiform, hieroglyphs, Linear B, Mayan glyphs, and undeciphered scripts)Part III: the main existing alphabets and their history (our alphabet,Greek and Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Indian Chinese, Japanese).It is beautifully illustrated (several images on each page with detailled leg [...]

    11. Almost too broad in its scope, Robinson chooses to spend only a few pages on each topic. But, for what I was looking for - a brief and easy to read introduction to the subject (with lots of pretty pictures) - this book was fine. The stories of Egyptian and Mayan hieroglyphs were fascinating, and I won't be able to travel to Japan again without obsessing about the complexity of their writing. Overall an interesting read, and it will allow me to focus in on the specific topics I found more interes [...]

    12. I bought this book to learn about the history of the written language to prepare a unit for my junior high class. Unfortunately, this book reads like a heavy handed college text that is to be rammed down throats of unsuspecting, eager college students, rather than enjoyed with a cup of tea. I plan to use it for referencing, but never as an enlightening read. For that, I found: "Writing: The Story of Alphabets and Scripts," by Georges Jean. It's easier to handle, but still contains enough informa [...]

    13. In spite of its title, this is not a scholarly treatise on the entire history of writing from the moment someone scratched a mark on a stone: rather, it's a delightful and well-illustrated tour of the major writing systems of the past and present. There are references to lesser-known scripts such as Rongorongo and Qiupu and in-depth discussion of the evolution of writing systems from cuneiform to the Greek and Latin forms we use today. History and typography buffs will thoroughy enjoy this title [...]

    14. Decent solid introduction. There's a heavy emphasis on Egypt, but the section on Mayan scripts was fascinating, and I had never realized before how the process of deciphering unknown scripts is like cryptanalysis (suddenly I want an alt-history novel about Michael Ventris at Bletchley Park). I didn't find the 'exercises' particularly engaging, but I'm ornery and don't like playing along at home.

    15. To all those interested in the history of writing; a beautiful book full of pictures starting with 3000 B.C. Untill modern history. A thought that stunned me after skimming through this book: are we going back to hieroglyphs as a universal writing language (through signs such as restroom, no smoking etc.)?

    16. Reading the introduction I pegged this as a simplistic high school level romp through history but it turned out to be more interesting than I expected, particularly the parts on extinct languages. Lots of pictures and page-long sections, so good for flipping through.

    17. Good introductory book for the layman to many different systems of writing, because Andrew Robinson tackles a great deal of them, not in depth, since all articles are 1 or 2 pages long for each script, but the explanations there are clear and very well illustrated. Really good read.

    18. A really interesting read. Certainly not comprehensive, but a great introduction to a wide variety of writing styles and their histories.

    19. A bit like reading a bunch of articles, but with more pictures. About half is devoted to extinct scripts, their discovery and decipherment. There is also a fair bit about Asian scripts.

    20. incrível! comecei a ler e tive que abrir mão da vida até terminar. as duas últimas partes são ok, mas a primeira é simplesmente genial.

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