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Zeitschrift für vor- und frühgriechische Epigraphik

Ed. by Blümel, Wolfgang

Together with Brixhe, Claude / Davaras, Costis / Duhoux, Yves / Egetmeyer, Markus / Karageorghis, Vassos

2 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.12

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.127
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.615

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Volume 46, Issue 1-2


Aspects of Literacy in the Athenian Ceramicus

Henry R. Immerwahr
Published Online: 2008-05-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/KADMOS.2007.009


The paper attempts to furnish guide lines for the assessment of the writing ability of individual vase painters by distinguishing certain practices from errors caused merely by carelessness. While basic errors in letter forms and spelling show that a minority of painters were truly illiterate, a much larger number had difficulty writing accurately what they heard in the spoken language. Evidence for it comes first of all from writing in groups of letters without regard to word separation, as shown by the repetition, omission or otherwise distortion of such groups. This includes the omission of vowels that are part of the names of consonants (so-called Abbreviated Writing), but is not confined to it. Another aspect is the reliance, common among vase painters, on sources that could serve as models, usually other vases. While this is often merely a matter of practicality, errors in copying can sometimes suggest that the copier needed to copy because he was not fully competent. The best evidence in this respect are instances where individual letters are miswritten and words are also misspelled.

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Published Online: 2008-05-13

Published in Print: 2008-03-01

Citation Information: Kadmos, Volume 46, Issue 1-2, Pages 153–198, ISSN (Online) 1613-0723, ISSN (Print) 0022-7498, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/KADMOS.2007.009.

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