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Synopsis: "A remarkable work. . . . For sheer weight of information there is no equal to it." — The Spectator.
It is probable that the earliest "books" were written on wood or leaves as early as the fourth millennium B.C. These fragile materials, unfortunately, have not come down to us. In their absence, the earliest surviving books are the clay tablets of Mesopotamia, the oldest attributed to c. 3500 B.C. On these ancient clay shards, dense rows of cuneiform script record the seminal writings of mankind: the Gilgamesh epic, Sumerian literary catalogues, Babylonian astrology, Assyrian accounts of the Creation and the Flood, and the Lipit-Ishtar Law-Code (c. 2000 B.C.), predating Hammurabi and the oldest law code in human history.
Probably as ancient as the Mesopotamian writings, or nearly so, are Egyptian hieroglyphics. In a sense, it is the papyrus scrolls of the Egyptians — preserved by that country's hot, dry climate — that represent the true ancestors of the modern book. As the centuries passed, papyrus slowly gave way to parchment (the prepared skins of animals) as writing material. Indeed, the handwritten parchment or vellum codex is "the book" par excellence of the Middle Ages. Western European book production is only part of the story, and the author is at pains to illuminate the bibliographic contributions of numerous peoples and cultures: Greek and Roman book production, books made in central and southern Asia, the books of Africa, pre-Columbian America, and the Far East — material that is often not mentioned in Western histories of the book.
Based on years of painstaking research and incorporating a wealth of new material and conclusions, the text is enhanced throughout by abundant illustrations — nearly 200 photographic facsimiles of priceless manuscripts in museums and libraries around the world.
Title: The Book Before Printing: Ancient, Medieval ...
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication Date: 2011
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Dover Publications, 1982. Book Condition: Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP11355080
Book Description Dover Publications, Incorporated. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0486242439I5N00
Book Description DOVER PUBLICATIONS INC, United States, 2011. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. TRADE PAPERBACK Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. Used. Book: USED, Fair. Bookseller Inventory # 02978048624243905. Bookseller Inventory # 02978048624243905
Book Description Dover Publications Inc., Usa, 1986. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Good to very good in paperback-clean copy -no markings; Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography; B&W Illustrations; 8.27 X 5.35 X 1.26 inches; 604 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 52514
Book Description Dover Pubns, Mineola, New York, U.S.A., 1982. Softcovers. Book Condition: Very Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: No dust Jacket. General Bibliography, Appendix (ink, pens, and other writing tools. Illustrated with 185 plates, figures, charts and textual illustrations. There are 603 pages. Grey pictorial softcovers. No marks of any kind Size: Tall 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 006241
Book Description Dover Publications, 1982. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0486242439
Book Description Book Condition: Good. The Book Before Printing: Ancient, Medieval and Oriental (Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography). Bookseller Inventory # SKU0372667
Book Description Dover Publications. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: Fine. 0486242439 Dover trade paperback, 1982, clean/tight, name on first page otherwise unmarked and defect free, Fine (like New); bubble-wrapped and mailed in a BOX with free delivery confirmation. Bookseller Inventory # 64155
Book Description U.S.A.: Dover Publications, 2011. Soft cover. Book Condition: Poor. 1st Edition. Spine loose from front and back cover. Spotting on textblock. Spine torn at top corner. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1483746905261
Book Description Dover Publications Inc., 1986. Book Condition: D'occasion - Bon Etat. Bookseller Inventory # 70804FA2348D