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During the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., the ci

In the fourth century B.C., the humanistic literature of the ancient Greeks culminated with the philosophic writings of Plato and Aristotle.

It is interesting to note that it was during the centuries immediately preceding this flowering of Greek culture that Phoenician letters were first used in the creation of a Greek alphabet. The Greek alphabet was the first effective alphabetic script in the history of humankind. Many historians feel that the development of this alphabet represented an event of profound importance in the "Greek Miracle" which followed it. In this regard, Humez and Humez have claimed that "the alphabet was an invention staggering in its implications." Eric A. Havelock has likewise indicated that the Greek alphabet was "a piece of explosive technology, revolutionary in its effects on human culture, in a way not precisely shared by any other invention." The alphabet provided a simple, flexible system for storing and transmitting information, and as such it contributed to the rise of widespread literacy which occurred during the Greek Golden Age. On the basis of this argument, this paper will discuss the role that alphabetic literacy had in influencing Greek culture during the time.

Prior to the rise of the Greek alphabet in the eighth century B.C., the region had experienced a "Dark Age" which was characterized by an oral rather than a literate culture. This occurred despite the fact that a rudimen


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