it would take an awful lot of shouting to reach your husband in Sparta

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           "The resources of documentation were by contrast wide open, at least in theory, disclosing two related possibilities. The warehouse of storage, no longer acoustic but visibly material, was extendible, and also the documented contents need no longer relate only what was already familiar and so easy of recollection." 109 Havelock

So true. No longer did the Greeks have to rely on passing the story down orally. As I've said in previous blogs, passing down a story by speaking alters it, stepping farther and farther away from the truth. People may mishear the story and repeat what they thought they heard, not what was actually said. The original knowledge would now be available, unaltered, to future generations (at least those who spoke Greek: as I also said in an earlier blog, things get lost in translation). If a person has knowledge of something, and they die, what becomes of their thoughts? The written word was a way to leave a permanent legacy behind, to extend knowledge. Books can be reprinted, but people are not reborn with the knowledge of previous lives (unless you believe in the Hindu faith).

Knowledge that is not common and spoken of often enough was recorded down in books. These were not stories and facts that everyone knew. They had to be taught. For instance, we do not go around discussing Soviet history, but it is nonetheless important. It is known, but not well-known. So it is documented for us in books to learn in school. Soviet history may not be essential to our everyday lives but it is for the future (we can prevent history from repeating itself by using precedents from the past ). It would be useless for us to record a story that was easily recollected, because everyone would know it. New discoveries could be documented so that the commoners could learn what was going on. Let's face it: even though the areas of Greece were small, they were also densely populated. If the government wanted the people to know something (wanted to reach everyone at the same time), it would take a lot of time to go around and talk to every person. And that would take time away from policing and governing the city.

If you wanted to have a normal or casual conversation with someone, you could literally yell to them from the back of your porch and they would answer you. But, what if your family and friends moved away? Then what? Voices do not carry far. Writing allowed people to keep in touch with relatives who moved far away not to mention husbands who were off fighting in a war.

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