Broadcaster and arts presenter Melvyn Bragg fronts The Written World, a five-part BBC Radio 4 series following the origins of writing from its first appearance 6,000 years ago and exploring how it has shaped the world's intellectual history. In the first programme, he looks at the technology of writing, and how making signs on clay, wood, or parchment enabled the development of human culture.
The second programme sees Bragg considering the impact of the invention of the book and examining one of the earliest surviving examples. The third programme examines the role of writing in the spread of religions, and the fourth programme looks at how the invention of writing made it possible to record history and how oral poetry traditions were transformed into the new medium of literature.
Bragg concludes his survey of the written word by considering how the invention of writing made the scientific revolution of the Englightenment possible. Download and start listening now!