A is for Ox: A Short History of the Alphabet by Lyn Davies [COLLECTORS EDITION HARDCOVER] 2006 • The Folio Society

  • $65.00

A is for Ox - A Short History of the Alphabet by Lyn Davies



Beautiful clothbound hardcover with slipcase; both like new! 

About 6,000 years ago in ancient Sumeria, farmers, traders and ordinary people living in cities along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, began potentially the greatest revolution in human history. They started to write. At first they simply made little counters – more like receipts or tokens than letters, but gradually, these developed into recognizable symbols that came to represent not objects, but ideas. From those ancient beginnings came our own alphabet, whose formation would take it on a journey that took in Egyptian hieroglyphs, Semitic slaves, the Greeks and on to the Etruscans and Romans. The shapes of letters would evolve, sounds be incorporated or changed, until finally our own alphabet of 26 letters emerged.

Lyn Davies’ excellent book gives a brief history of the alphabet’s development, tracing the path of change in simply, direct prose, illustrated with numerous examples of symbols, engravings and script. From the rebus effect to minuscules, he makes clear these first steps in the sometimes hazy world of philology, introducing us along the way to a cast that varies from free-booting Phoenicians, Renaissance bibliophiles and modern day texting teenagers. An entertaining guide to explaining why A stands for Ox and E for hey!