Literacy Seminars



Accordia/Institute of Classical Studies Literacy Seminar

A series of seminars on the theme of 'The Establishment of Literacy in state societies: the Ancient Mediterranean' took place during 2003/4. This aimed to explore the role of literacy in society, primarily in the ancient Mediterranean, but will include consideration of some other areas of the Graeco-Roman world.  It will explore issues such as the impact of literacy on emergent state societies, the role of the reader and writing as communication, the symbolic role of literacy, the technologies of writing and the relationship between orality and literacy.  In addition, it will consider the epigraphic culture of ancient Mediterranean societies and the interaction of competing languages and literacies in the context of growing social complexity and cultural change.

Plans for Publication

The papers of the series 'The Establishment of Literacy in state societies: the Ancient Mediterranean'  will be published by Accordia in the series Specialist Studies in the Ancient Mediterranean.  We hope the book will be published in 2005. 

A copy of the Guidelines for Contributors (pdf file) can be downloaded from this page.


October 21st
Prof David Langslow (University of Manchester):  Alphabets, spelling and punctuation in early pre-Roman Italy

October 28th
Dr Alan Johnston (UCL):  Go West, young san! Aspects of early alphabetic diaspora and uses

November 18th
Dr Kathryn Lomas (UCL):  Writing and Reitia: the anatomy of literacy in North-East Italy

November 25th 
Dr Philip Milnes-Smith:  ‘Lapidarias litteras scio’. Literacy and inscribing communities in Roman Venetia.

December 2nd
Dr John Pearce (KCL):  The archaeology of documents and writing materials: the distribution and role of literacy in the north-west provinces

February 3rd
Charlotte Roueché (KCL):  Signs and letters at Aphrodisias and Ephesus

February 10th 
Dr Luca Zaghetto (Padua):  Iconography and language: the missing link

February 24th 
Dr John Bennet (Sheffield):  Who wrote in Linear B . . . and why? Reflections on literacy in the Mycenaean world

March 2nd
Dr Ralph Häussler:  Empire and Literacy in the Roman World
March 23rd
Dr Tamar Hodos (Bristol):  Writing more than words in Iron Age Sicily

April 27th
Prof Jonathan Powell (RHUL):  Oral versus written in Republican Roman legal procedure

May 11th
Dr Lene Rubinstein (RHUL):  Writing and orality in Greek diplomacy

May 18th
Dr Peter Haarer (Centre for Study of Ancient Documents, Oxford):  The implications for literacy of the use of Greek alphabetic writing on different media

May 25th 
Dr Alison Cooley (Warwick):  The publication of Roman official documents in the Greek East