History of the Alphabet Aryan Alphabets, Part 2

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Kessinger Publishing, Jun 1, 2003 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 412 pages
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Volume 2 of 2. Aryan Alphabets. An account of the origin and development of letters. The writing of these volume was undertaken with the intention of compiling a brief account of recent discoveries as to the origin of the alphabet, and its subsequent developments. Contents: Greek alphabet; alphabets of Hellenistic origin; Iranian alphabets; Indian alphabets; epilogue.

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Even for a book over a century old, Taylor's book is a reliable and authoritative source for the history of the Greek alphabet, and its various archaic forms. The sections on the separate development of Latin and Greek alphabets are highly informative and supported by numerous illustrations and even printed versions of the archaic greek letters. Each chapter features useful and clear tables to illustrate the comparisons between different letter forms. However, while Taylor was clearly an expert on the Phonecian and Archaic greek alphabets, this book betrays gaps in his knowledge which are somewhat obvious with the benefit of hindsight. His theories regarding the Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets are clearly onlyeducated guesses based on a limited 19th century view of the Slavonic writing tradition, and are of little value to the modern reader - except as an example of how great minds have tried and failed to crack the mystery of the origin of slavonic letters. 

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