By Deborah Levine Gera
The resource and nature of earliest speech and civilization are puzzles that experience intrigued humans for lots of centuries. This publication surveys historical Greek perspectives on those questions. It discusses the harmonious language of the golden age, the capacity through which language used to be first invented, and a few historic "linguists" defined through Homer and Herodotus.
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Additional resources for Ancient Greek ideas on speech, language, and civilization
0, (Pol. 1253'27-<1) . •• iJ-'PO� 17'OAf WS 1 355'1-2; D. ,. ,. 1456" 4; Hi". An. S3S'27 tf. and see Clark 1975, 33-5 3 7-8, 1 0 1 -2,. lhcclo 1995. '5-6. 62. "im; Dierauer 1977, 1 ', 3 '-4. 1 25-8. 2)4-6 . 2 6 8-70. Now too �he senes of ancient etymologies (collected by Dickerman 1909. as n. tueh derIVe the very word UV(JpCdffor from the faculty o f articulate �ptech. e ,R'. Ety",. MGI" . •. W"'�Y. g. Rhet. 2. 37 for� ho�seh l s nd civic communities. en ables men to . v yap . . , which does nothmg 1 253'9) � peech, wi h Ari �totle argues, so as to allow t en dow ed men .
T. '967. 1 5� 1 not.. that thinkers ouch a. Theo ,"" utlJ,l and POlidoniul pOIir • middle way between the alternatives of descent or i I. 11) of lan guage. ndltlOns which were provided at that time by the goda, . kers w �o bel leve that humans gradually progreseed . ammalpnmltlve, hke a existence tell of their acquisition of m fro language as one stage, among many, in mankind's overall cultural develo pme nt. In golden age society speech is present from the very start, while In p rogress accounts language is acquired, either all at once, as a gift or invention of an outstanding figure, or else slowly as speech gradually evolves by a joint effort of ordinary human beings.
Then, in the Cratylus of an original. perfect language of divine origin which has changed for the worse over time. But there is no link in the Cratylus between this first Adamic 11 See Simone 1998, 1 7 1 (on the aim of those who c r eated universal languages): 'The signin�d could be "read" in the signifier and in the opposite way, the signifier woul ? ' Kretzmann 1 97 1 . t 37: every name would beAr Its c redenttal! on its face. ,. Divine Ianguajife: e,at. 3 9 I d2-e3; compare 4ood6-9; see Baxter 1 992, 1 1 2 and ...