The Eyes Have It: Early Greek Writing on Pots by Alexandra Pappas (SFSU)

The Eyes Have It:

Event Date

912 Sproul Hall

Before the introduction of Greek alphabetic writing in the 8thcentury, incised and painted ceramic objects had long served the social needs of drinking and dining, and religious and funerary ritual. With this preexisting material context in mind, I show that when the early writers of the Greek alphabet etched and painted their new technology on like ceramic objects in the 8thand early 7thcenturies, they grafted it functionally and visually onto established practices within the material tradition. Conditioned by the context in which they were writing for the first time, I argue that the earliest Greek inscribers employed writing to a related range of ends that ceramic objects and their painted decoration already served.