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Ancient Greek Ideas on Speech, Language, and Civilization - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Ancient Greek Ideas on Speech, Language, and Civilization

Deborah Levine Gera


The source and nature of earliest speech and civilization are puzzles which have intrigued people for many centuries. This study explores ancient Greek views on the source and nature of the world’s first society and first language. Two of the book’s chapters are based on close readings of passages in Homer and Herodotus, while the remaining chapters are broader surveys of a variety of Greek literary texts. Topics covered include the nature of the language used both by men and animals in the idyllic golden age, accounts of humans' ascent to civilised life and their acquisition of language, and ... More

Keywords: first society, first language, Homer, Herodotus, Greek literary texts, idyllic golden age, civilised life, language acquisition, Enlightenment thinkers, glottogenesis

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199256167
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256167.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Deborah Levine Gera, author
Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Classics Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem