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Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman EmpireA Study of Elite Communities$
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William A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195176407

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195176407.001.0001

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Pragmatics of Reading

Pragmatics of Reading

(p.17) Chapter 2 Pragmatics of Reading
Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire

William A. Johnson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines various practical and logistical aspects of reading in antiquity. The chapter presents in detail the ways in which “bookroll culture” in the first and second centuries AD differed from reading a modern book, and the ways in which the reading system worked symbiotically with the particularities of the ancient reading experience, including the use of scriptio continua, relative lack of punctuation, and the use of lectors. The text of Quintilian is examined for what it has to say about early imperial education in reading, both of schoolboys and of more experienced readers, and how literate education among the elite differed in habits and assumptions from reading today.

Keywords:   reading, bookroll, Scriptio continua, Lector, Quintilian, literate education

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