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Di Renzo Agenda Item...

"He also would have familiarized himself with the tools of his future trade: the iron stylus and wax diptych for rough drafts and ephemera, the goose quill and the different grades of papyri for permanent documents," - Di Renzo, pg 4.

It is amazing to read about all the different types of tools that a scribe had to use in Roman times. Today it seems like a pen/pencil and notebook paper are such archaic forms of writing notes etc. I only make notations on hard copies of work and then end up typing up most of my assignments. Before the age of computers there was the pen and ink method of writing and long before that the Roman scribe method. It has literally been years since I have written a rough draft of anything on paper. I always type one up and then edit it from there. I also probably have a lot less patience then Tiro. He was raised to master a trade that we take for granted every day. Writing by hand is something that people are less prone do now that we are becoming more and more lazy.

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Comments (7)

Jeremy Barrick:

Writing longhand would have been so painful in ancient times. I would have no patience either. To sit there and listen, while copying, that requires so much talent.

Jeremy Barrick :

I do not know if you are getting any of my comments. I sent one pertaining to the reading. I do not think it took it.

Jeremy thank you for your comments. They are greatly appreciated. My blog generally approves most of them on the first try, although I have noticed a delay at times. No worries though because it is nothing against you my friend.

I agree that writing longhand is such a pain when we have phones to txt, PDAs to note and computers to...well compute our info. I hate the tedious nature of taking notes as well.

I agree with your statement, and I too underestimate the patience and work ethnic of ancient scribes ( or anyone who had to psychically write multiple copies of anything). Essays like these put perspective on the different methods of writing that have been used throughout history.

Rachel Prichard:

I remember when I first got to college and I wrote some of my first rough drafts for papers for Newswriting by hand. I even did the same for my first Setonian article. LAME. I think that with the introduction of the computer into mainstream education, todays children automatically grow up with typing skills for a computer.

Stormy Knight:

I suppose the trade of writing for Tiro could be likened to writing computer code for our generation. You're right, it was a labor intensive skill at the time. Extraordinarily time consuming.

I rarely write things out aside from lecture notes from class, and writing in my day-planner. All of my other memos are electronic-- AOL mail has a sidebar on the in box to write out a To Do list, and Windows Vista has a sticky note gadget similar to those on Mac dashboards.

And reading Rachel's comment, it prompts me to say more. Children these days, even more so than we did, are growing up with typing just as they are with shorthand. When I watch adults type who have no need to use a computer everyday it baffles me how unnatural they look. It's almost like a struggle.

I think maybe the scribes of Rome would consider the people of today lazy because of the use of the keyboard. I mean, I can hammer out a paper in a half and hour, while a Roman scribe might have spent hours on one. Maybe the reason for scribes' employment was so that busy statesmen did not have the time to spend on writing their own notes.

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