McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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Awards Allow Researcher to Read Between the Ancient Lines

As you read this, the spaces between the words and punctuation guide you in the process.

Date: 1/8/2003
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: 513-556-1826
As you read this, the spaces between the words and punctuation guide you in the process. Chances are you're reading it silently, too. That's not the way the ancient Greeks and Romans usually read. They preferred no spaces, except to mark the end of the sentence. A story in St. Augustine's Confessions seems to suggest that they were not accustomed to reading silently, either, judging from Augustine's shock at finding his teacher and bishop, Ambrose, reading while "his voice and his tongue were at rest."

University of Cincinnati Professor of Classics William Johnson wants to discover more about how the ancients read and the reasons why they read the way they did. A $40,000 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities will allow him to spend the 2003-2004 academic year working on this project. He has also been offered a fellowship at Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. Read the full story...

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