what I found interesting was how much good handwriting was valued before printing.

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Ah I remember enjoying The Swerve. Such a great story.

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Oct 18Liked by Kathleen McCook

Back to Herculaneum for a sec.

I didn't mention that in the Wikipedia article, there is also a discussion of artwork that has been found there. There are busts, sculptures, and frescoes, It must have been quite a place.

In my comment, I meant to say: "The losses of the human RECORD are so consistent..."

The human record also varies. It will take a 21st century (I do hope) to reconstruct the library but we have these busts. What a wonder.

Am I really looking at Scipio Africanus? Isn't that something to ponder. Dour looking guy, Great general but he sure had his enemies so, if it is him, are we getting a look at his soul? Artists do that kind of thing.

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Oct 18Liked by Kathleen McCook

Related news.

AI reads text from ancient Herculaneum scroll for the first time


This is such exciting news. The losses of the human are so consistent and dispiriting that such stories are rare and welcome. Just maybe...maybe...this library can now be reconstructed.

Some years ago, I collected links about this library. I had five and two are left. I can't document this statement right now but it is accurate and gives the gist of the importance of this news:

"It was believed possible that, as "classics professor David Armstrong of the University of Texas-Austin said 'If you were going to recover all the lost literary works of antiquity in one place, this is your best chance.'"

One of those references is still available and gives a view of what was known in 2002:

Robert Harris, "Ancient Roman villa may hold world's richest literary treasure"

The Age (theage.com.au), April 2, 2002


Wikipedia's entry has more detail and more recent information about what has been happening in the last 20 years. Note the links to the Herculaneum Society. There is also a book now.


It is what I called at one time "The Miracle of Herculaneum." Here's hoping.

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A very Nice blog on one of my favorite books!

thank you.

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Handwriting is still valued in some cultures, for example in China. while I was in Beijing for the IFLA Conference in 1996, a reception clerk came up to my hotel room to ask me to sign my name properly. My illegible scrawl was not acceptable.

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