Re: Boustrophedon writing

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Aug 28 1998 - 16:18:40 EDT

At 2:32 PM -0500 8/28/98, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>I'm back home now...
>Say, this Boustrophedon reminds me of runes. Is there any historical
>connection? Are they really similar, or am I just blind?

I don't think so; maybe it's more like reading Hebrew, at least if you
imagined that Hebrew didn't read just from right to left but rather than
line 1 went from right to left, line 2 from left to right, line 3 from
right to left, and so on. The whole point of the name it self (something
like "the way the ox turns") is that we write down a text on successive
lines the same way that a plowman plows furrows: upfield one way, and back
downfield, then upfield again, etc., etc.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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