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Nacient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Literature


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Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Literature * Literature comes from the Latin word meaning letter there for Oral literature is contractual. * People used oral literature long before written literature in the ways of storytelling, poems and song. * We think good story telling is neatly organized and original. Clichés are a make of bad writing. * But per literature societies tend to love stock phrase, tradition sayings and proverbs. Helped them to remember the story. * Per literature societies didn’t have an author instead they have poets, singers and storytellers to echo old tales. * Of course most oral stories were lost due to not having been written down or recoded in some fashion there for can’t be collected in any anthology records. * As one can expert written literature didn’t take hold all at ones, it was used for inventory, commercial, admin., political and legal form mostly at first. * Plato s Phaedrus gives us some induction of Athenians enormous cultural change with the invention of writing. * By the time of early Roman Empire poets started to emulate oral literature. * Mesopotamia was where writing was first developed around 3300 to 2990 b.c.e. * Writings at this time where done with clay tablets left in the sun to dry. Pictographic used list livestock, food etc * By 2800 b.c.e began to use wedged -shape end sticks to make marks rather than shape ended sticks to draw pictographic. * Known as cuneiform from the Latin word cuneus meaning wedge. * By 2500 b.c.e cuneiform was started being used the record historical events. And then storytelling. * The writing system invented by the Egyptians called hieroglyphic from the Greek word sacred and carving was found mostly on walls of temples * It was like pictographic but more artistic. * Unlike Sumerian they weren’t completely replace with more efficient system the pictographic where still used in temples and tombs. * Egyptians soon developed a system to included signs standing for sounds and objects this was one of the many modification’s that make it hard for anyone not trained to commutate. * There is one cuneiform and hieroglyphic that has survived to present day, it was developed by Phoenician a Semitic trading people and consists of 22 simple signs for consonantal sounds. * Phoenician scripts spread all over the Mediterranean. Was adopted by the ancient Hebrew.
Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean Cultures
(Norton 6-8)

* People at this time relayed heavily on nature resource they can get with human labour. * Hebrew, Greeks and Romans relayed on slaves a lot * Because these ancients societies depended on the proximity of natural resource they split into 2 regions .. the valley of the Nile and the Fertile Crescent. * Later in the second millennium b.c.e more cultures developed Hebrew, Greeks and Romans. * These groups separated themselves, but there was exchange between these various people, as a result of trade, colonization. * 7 th century architecture show heavy debt of the Greek to Egypt. * Most ancient cultures where polytheistic. * Ancient text that emphasize with one deity are rare. * The most important polytheistic rule are the Egyptian great hymm to the aten. Composed at the time when the Egyptian monarchy was setting up a new sun god cult. * Hebrew bible is now worship by many which features a single and jealous god.

Oral Poetry ( A Glossary of literary terms 264-265)
Oral poetry is poetry that is composed and transmitted without the aid of writing. The complex relationships between written and spoken literature in some societies can make this definition hard to maintain. Oral poetry is sometimes considered to include any poetry which is performed live. In many cultures, oral poetry overlaps with, or is identical with, song. Meanwhile, although the term oral etymologically means 'to do with the mouth', in some cultures oral poetry is also performed by other means, such as talking drums in some African cultures. Oral poetry exists most clearly within oral cultures, but it can survive, and indeed flourish, in highly literate cultures.
Oral poetry differs from oral literature in general because oral literature encompasses linguistic registers which are not considered poetry. In most oral literature, poetry is defined by the fact that it conforms to metrical rules; examples of non-poetic oral literature in Western culture include some jokes, speeches and storytelling.
An influential movement in the study of oral poetry, both because it helped to bring oral poetry within the realms of academic literary study and because it illuminated the ways in which poetic form and orality interrelate, has been the oral-formulaic theory developed by Milman Parry and Albert Lord. This theory showed how stock phrases could enable poets to improvise verse. One consequence of Parry and Lord's work is that orally improvised poetry (as opposed to poetry which is composed without the use of writing but then memorised and performed later) is sometimes seen as the example par excellence of oral poetry. Examples of orally improvised poetry are the epics of the Serbo-Croatian guslars studied by Parry and Lord, Basque bertsolaritza, and freestyle rap.
Much oral poetry, however, is memorised verbatim - though the precise wording, particularly of words which are not essential to sense or metre, do tend to change from one performance to another, and one performer to another.[1] Although the original composition of a memorised oral poem may have been undertaken without the use of writing, memorial traditions sometimes originate in a written text. Likewise, memorised oral poems can come to be written down, leading to a situation in which written versions in turn influence memorised versions. Prominent examples of memorised oral poetry are some nursery rhymes, ballads and medieval Scandinavian skaldic verse.

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