Phrasikleia

Phrasikleia

An Anthropology of Reading in Ancient Greece
Jesper Svenbro
Translated by Janet E. Lloyd
First published in French in 1988, this extraordinary book traces the meaning and function of reading from its very beginnings in Greek oral culture through the development of silent reading.

One of the most haunting early examples of Greek alphabetical writing appears on the life-sized Archaic funerary statue of a young girl. The inscription speaks for Phrasikleia, who "shall always be called maiden," for she has received this name from the gods instead of marriage.

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