year: 2012
isbn: 9789062583324
pages: VIII-152 p.
price: 34 euro
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Theory and Practice of Knowledge Transfer
Studies in School Education in the Ancient Near East and Beyond. Papers Read at a Symposium in Leiden, 17-19 December 2008

The articles collected in this book were read as papers during a symposium held in Leiden in December 2008. This symposium focused on Theory and Practice of Knowledge Transfer and the papers discuss many aspects of this subject. Most articles deal with ancient Mesopotamia, but two of them look at Europe (classical antiquity and the Middle Ages) and one discusses a case from Mali. Most papers center around past and present relationships between orality and literacy in the societies discussed.
An important aspect is the way knowledge was conveyed from master to student and the supposed transition from an oral tradition to a tradition that was predominantly based on writing. For this, much attention is paid to the many school texts that have been discovered in Mesopotamia and the peripheral areas to the west. Also, not every society made use of writing and at times special conditions seem to have fostered its adoption. Classical antiquity and medieval Europe provide valuable parallels for the data collected for Mesopotamia, as does a modern case from Africa.
Finally, other aspects, such as scribal conventions and what we can learn from mistakes made by scribes, give us a better insight in how the scribes accomplished their task and how students acquired their knowledge.