RE: Boustrophedon

From: Hohberger, Clive (
Date: Fri Nov 07 2008 - 16:22:19 CST

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    Phil Chastney wrote on Wednesday, November 05, 2008 4:14 PM

    so, are there any examples of boustrophedon writing where the letters
    are NOT mirrored?



    I'm only aware of hieroglyphic languages that were written
    boustrophredonically without mirror imaged characters. Unlike Egyptian
    hierogrlyphs which were written in the same direction in in parallel
    rows or column the lines of Luwian hieroglyphs are written alternately
    left-to-right and right-to-left. This practice was called by the Greeks
    <> boustrophedon
    <> , meaning "as the ox turns"
    (as when plowing a field).

    I am told that occaisionally ancient Chinese was written
    boustrophredonically, if I understood what I saw at the National Museum
    in Taipei, but I'm sure others know better than I.
    Maya script (
    <> ) was written
    boustrophredonically, usually written in blocks arranged in columns two
    blocks wide, read as follows:
    Clive P. Hohberger, PhD
    VP, Technology Development
    Zebra Technologies Corporation
    333 Corporate Woods Parkway
    Vernon Hills, IL 60061-3109 USA

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    From: [] On
    Behalf Of philip chastney
    Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 4:14 PM
    To: Unicode Mailing List; Doug Ewell
    Subject: Re: Boustrophedon (was: Re: Question about the directionality
    of "Old Hungarian" (document N3531))

    --- On Tue, 4/11/08, Doug Ewell <> wrote:

            From: Doug Ewell <>
            Subject: Boustrophedon (was: Re: Question about the
    directionality of "Old Hungarian" (document N3531))
            To: "Unicode Mailing List" <>
            Date: Tuesday, 4 November, 2008, 2:07 PM
            Q: Why is this thread like boustrophedon itself?
            A: Because it goes in two different directions.
            It would be really neato if we could split the "principles of
            boustrophedon" discussion off into a separate thread, called,
    oh, I
            don't know, maybe "Re: Boustrophedon", and leave the present
            Subject line for discussions that really do have to do with

    fair enough --- may I start with a query?

    p218 of 'Reading the Past' (British Museum Press, 1990) says, "Some
    early Greek and South Arabian texts were written boustrophedon [...]. In
    such inscriptions the letters are often reversed to face the direction
    of writing."

    that's "often", not "always"

    unfortunately, the illustrations provided all show mirrored lettering
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