The Written Word

Written by Alana Jolley

October 22, 2014

The Written Word

The written word is something we take for granted everyday; but in war-ravaged parts of the world, the written word is in grave danger.  Especially in today’s world, with technology at our finger tips,  written words are “shared heritage for all humanity.”  Every library manuscript is a living legacy of the culture that created it; for each one opens its culture to the world and establishes “a true dialogue of civilizations.” (www.history-magazine.com/libraries.html)

The great libraries that housed ancient manuscripts brought together scholars, which helped to promote understanding, tolerance, diversity acceptance, and universality of knowledge. The Greeks were the first to realize the idea of a library, around the 4th century BC.   Their intellectual pursuits and great interest in literacy were inspired by the likes of Aristotle, the philosopher, and Strabo, the ancient geographer.  Over the ages there have been both public and private libraries.

Centuries of human conflicts across the globe have devastated libraries.  From the great library of Alexandria to the codices of the Aztecs, the written word, glyphs, or other kinds of characters representing a written word has been destroyed.

The following link is an indication that not only governments, cities, citizens, tribes, minorities and landscapes are under siege abroad; but ancient written words are again being threatened.  There are brave souls risking their lives to preserve ancient manuscripts, which indeed represent shared knowledge and cultural heritage of all humanity.

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https://observers.france24.com/content/20141017-priests-race-save-manuscripts-threatened-rampaging-jihadists-iraq

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