In this book, Hella Eckardt offers new insights into literacy in the Roman world by examining the tools that enabled writing, such as inkwells, styli and tablets. Literacy was an important skill in the ancient world and power could be and often was, exercised through texts. Eckardt explores how writing equipment shaped practices such as posture and handwriting and her careful analysis of burial data shows considerable numbers of women and children interred with writing equipment, notably inkwells, in an effort to display status as well as age and gender. The volume offers a comprehensive review of recent approaches to literacy during Roman antiquity and adds a distinctive material turn to our understanding of this crucial skill and the embodied practices of its use. At the heart of this study lies the nature of the relationship between the material culture of writing and socio-cultural identities in the Roman period.Read more
- Provides a material dimension to our understanding of ancient literacy that will appeal to both archaeologists and classicists; undergraduates will also find this a suitable introduction to the topic
- Offers a comprehensive review of recent approaches to literacy in Classics
- Gives readers a contextual discussion of writing equipment in Roman burials
- Includes a summary and discussion of all forms of writing equipment
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- Date Published: October 2017
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781108418058
- length: 282 pages
- dimensions: 260 x 188 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.8kg
- contains: 69 b/w illus. 13 colour illus. 10 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Understanding Literacies, Material Culture and Practice in the Roman World:
1. Introduction: literacies, power and identities
2. The practicalities of literacy: writing implements in the Roman world
3. Literacy as technology and practice
Part II. A Case Study:
4. Materials and production
5. Metal inkwells in the Roman Empire
6. A practice turn: thinking about inkwell use
7. The spatial and social distribution of inkwells
Part III. Writing Equipment in Funerary Contexts and the Expression of Identities:
8. Literacy as performance: self-presentation of the educated elite?
9. Literacy and the life course: gender
10. Literacy and the life course: age
11. Literacy, the body and elite identities: writing and status
12. Conclusion: writing Empire through material culture.
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