Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

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Nyarlathotep
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Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

Post by Nyarlathotep » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:49 am

Fascinating stuff.

Britain's oldest handwritten documents discovered in City of London

Apparently, back when London was the Roman colony of Londinium, instead of paper, they would often put a layer of wax atop slats of wood and write in the wax with a stylus. Well, they found some of the wooden slats, the wax is long one, but scratches of the writing remain on the wood. Mostly just things like recepts and notes, but still cool
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Witness
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Re: Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

Post by Witness » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:56 am

Interesting find!

The beeswax tablets (and the write-through to the wood) are well known. Here from Pompei:

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Re: Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

Post by Nyarlathotep » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:39 am

I assumed so. Just kind of interesting being able to read documents that old, even if they are just stupid stuff like receipts and lists.
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Re: Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

Post by Witness » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:43 am

Nyarlathotep wrote:just stupid stuff like receipts and lists.
It's a different window on Antiquity. Down to earth, sure, but in a way necessarily honest – which isen't often the case for literary/political/religious/whatever texts. I read that interesting graffiti were found in Pompei, ads for bordellos, insults to officials, love declarations (or mocking, akin to the "Giorgio fa godere la Susanna" I once saw), &c.

And this is how Romans wrote:

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Need a paleography refresher?

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Nyarlathotep
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Re: Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

Post by Nyarlathotep » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:31 am

I know another part of it for me is that how the common people of the past lived is what really interests me. It's far easier to get an idea of how the kings and nobles and the wealthy lived in ancient days. Though just like today, those accounts are surrounded by puffery on their own part, slander on the part of their enemies and other bullshit, sure, but you still there is lots of material to piece their lives together.

But what is harder to gain insight into, and that I find more interesting are what life was like for your average schmuck, the peasants and plebes and laborers and slaves and other such nobodies. That requires finds like this or the graffiti you mentioned. And it always strikes me how very much like today they were in some ways and so very much different in others. It is all very fascinating to me
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Re: Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

Post by Doctor X » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:36 am

Nyarlathotep wrote:But what is harder to gain insight into, and that I find more interesting are what life was like for your average schmuck, the peasants and plebes and laborers and slaves and other such nobodies. That requires finds like this or the graffiti you mentioned. And it always strikes me how very much like today they were in some ways and so very much different in others. It is all very fascinating to me
Oddly enough you have such evidences--thanks--but it does not seem to percolate well down from the Ivory Towers. I have an exhaustive catalogue of iconography from the Levant of gods and goddesses including discussions of the interesting blessings in the name of "YHWH of Samaria/Temen and his Asherah." For some reason, this has not made it into popular press for reasons you well know. The evidences--thanks--of the religions of "da peoples" is very different from what you describe which is, as you suggest, a very specific and limited belief system for a very small group of people. Since it became the basis or at least claimed basis for modern religions, modern adherents gibber and meep about what to do with all of that.

But.

[Dramatic pause.--Ed.]

Writing was invented to remember things. Things that were important to remember were things like invoices. Lists. Stuff like that. Much of ancient writing involves that sort of thing. It was so labor-intensive, so specialized, and literacy being what it was, that the only reason to go through the effort was to preserve important things like "Nyarl owes me one goat and one ampule of lubricant."

This is sort of why I bristle when dealing with the "Super Atheists" who want to deny any historical value to the biblical texts. First, that is a vast Well Poisoning. IF anyone found an autobiography of the Historical Junior, it would become canonical so to simply dismiss it as "it's in the Bible!!11!!" is as fatuous and dishonest as those who simply declare all in the Bible "true." Second, they preserve a view of history, and no view of history is perfect. I have a love/hate relationship with the pompous prick Paul, but you get a sense of some of the things that bothered people at the time--like the fact that people went to temples to eat sacrificial meat like it was a restaurant. Tell a bunch of "god fearers"--good ol' Romans and Greeks and other Hellenized people who found the Jewish religions "interesting"--that they cannot go to Chipolte and they just may not only tell you to fuck off but will not give you any more money. So Paul starts creating myth to keep the people "in" while not pissing others who have no sense of proportion from losing their shit.

Or a bunch who asked him, "hey! You keep telling us the Eschaton [Available on Blue Ray.--Ed.] is coming now, but it has NOT come and some of us have died. What now?" So Paul has to make up more myth.

THAT is all important historical evidences--thanks--just as other letters which just do not get the publicity they should.

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Nyarlathotep
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Re: Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

Post by Nyarlathotep » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:40 pm

Unfortunately, since I am not an inhabitant of those ivory towers , it doesn't filter down to me either. Its kind of a struggle for me to find out the sorts of things that interest me about history. Even when it comes to dealing with 'The Old West' wihich only a century and a half back and right in my back yard geographically and which I have been researching a lot about because I am trying to write a damned novel, its hard finding good sources on how your average Comstock Lode miner or prostitute lived or that sort of thing without filtering through a ton of bullshit, nonsense and stuff about the big name celebrities of the era. FInding this nformation about, say Ancient Rome, it even harder for an amateur like me.
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Re: Oldest handwritten documents in Britain

Post by sparks » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:14 pm

Just watch 'Spartacus'...

"And do you eat snails Antoninus?" :shock:

Not that there is ... anything ... wrong ...
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