Written by Women.???

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Wed Feb 21 08:35:04 EST 2001

> Dave, 
> to be exactly, I did not say they could not. I said that the data at hand
> SUGGEST they DID not. The data I refer to, is the fact that especially the
> writing of cuneiform demanded a very intensive education to become a writer
> which was a kind of office in that time. Women were not educated for that
> profession because women did not hold public offices. Moreover, what we know
> about writing and writers (Mesopotamia, but also Egypt) is that they were
> men; cf. for example the pictures of scribes in ANEP, 71ff; ABD, vol. 5,
> 1012ff).

Aside from the pictures, though, I'm still wondering what the 
evidence for all this is.  We have pictures of male scribes, yes, but 
we have female members of royal families, queens in Egypt and 
such, so I'm not sure a handful of pictures preserved by the whims 
of chance really tell us anything as definitive as you suggest.  You 
still talk about "data" but I'm still waiting to hear what this "data" is.

> The difference between the cuneiform and alphabetic script is that the
> learning of the writing was less difficult. This made it possible that
> knowledge of writing was not restricted to the scribes alone.

Once again, it's easy to say this sort of thing, but I'm still 
wondering about the "data" you mentioned.

Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated."  C. S. Lewis

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