Wax Tablets of the Mind: Cognitive Studies of Memory and Literacy in Classical Antiquity, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Wax Tablets of the Mind

Cognitive Studies of Memory and Literacy in Classical Antiquity, 1st Edition

By Jocelyn Penny Small


396 pages

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Paperback: 9781138986985
pub: 2015-12-21
Hardback: 9780415149839
pub: 1997-09-04
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203441602
pub: 2003-09-02
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In this volume, the author argues that literacy is a complex combination of various skills, not just the ability to read and write: the technology of writing, the encoding and decoding of text symbols, the interpretation of meaning, the retrieval and display systems which organize how meaning is stored and memory. The book explores the relationship between literacy, orality and memory in classical antiquity, not only from the point of view of antiquity, but also from that of modern cognitive psychology. It examines the contemporary as well as the ancient debate about how the writing tools we possess interact and affect the product, why they should do so and how the tasks required of memory change and develop with literacy's increasing output and evoking technologies.


'The author of this informative and lively study deserves our gratitude for presenting to us clearly the way in which literacy, memory, and technology work together in a culture.'James W. Halporn, Indiana/Harvard University

`This book is loaded with sophisticated bibliography, charmingly written in an engaging style free of jargon, and punctuated by humour. Every Classicist should read it.'The Journal of Roman Studies

'This is a fascinating book.' - Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General