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Old 04-17-2011, 05:25 PM   #1
astra
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What is the oldest book in the world?

Interesting article
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:06 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting, this is a very interesting article. I will likely come back later and post some of my thoughts on it.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
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Love that quote, Astra
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:34 AM   #4
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Possibly Job from the Bible
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:24 AM   #5
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Possibly Job from the Bible
uhhhh no
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:18 AM   #6
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Completely disagree with the definition of a book... If I have a book, and the pages start falling out, so I do away with the binding totally and wrap an elastic band around it, has it stopped being a book?
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:58 PM   #7
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Completely disagree with the definition of a book... If I have a book, and the pages start falling out, so I do away with the binding totally and wrap an elastic band around it, has it stopped being a book?
Exactly. The origins of the story, when it was written and first expressed, constitute the beginning of a book. Period.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:30 PM   #8
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mentored1 like your avatar.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:35 PM   #9
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Don't confuse the book with the content. A book is a thingy with pages, and there is writing on the pages. It is just a vehicle to carry written words.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:24 AM   #10
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:36 PM   #11
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Well, I don't think the article goes far enough. It does note that there is a question of 'what is a book'.

- In modern day, are e-books still books?
- Are only printed books books (with movable type)
- What about hand-created books from the 'monks'
- Hand-written papyrus scrolls?

So, if you accept that books are more than just printed with movable type, then I want to stretch it to the extreme. In this case, the oldest printed 'word' would be the cave paintings. The oldest recorded is 30,000+ years ago.

There might be some who question whether cave paintings are art or writing. But they usually tell a story. To me it would like saying that English was writing, but French wasn't. The means of communication at the time was pictographic, and it represents a book.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:47 PM   #12
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interesting story, thanks. If you ask the question of what is the oldest text out there, it can get even more complex. There is some controversial evidence that parts of the rig-veda might be as old as 12'000 years (wrong->the iron age!<-wrong) and yet this text itself was put in a written form much later, somewhere in the 4th, 5th or even 6th century. Fascinating, no?
cheers!

Last edited by Farhad; 04-21-2011 at 03:29 PM. Reason: screwup in my ages :-(
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:52 PM   #13
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interesting story, thanks. If you ask the question of what is the oldest text out there, it can get even more complex. There is some controversial evidence that parts of the rig-veda might be as old as 12'000 years (the iron age!) and yet this text itself was put in a written form much later, somewhere in the 4th, 5th or even 6th century. Fascinating, no?
cheers!
Your dates are wildly inaccurate. 12000 years old was most certainly not "the iron age". The earliest evidence of iron smelting dates to about 1800BC (in India).
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:26 PM   #14
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oops. you are right. thanks for the correction :-)
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:39 PM   #15
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Sweet Pea makes an interesting argument. In my undergraduate days I took a class called the Retoric of Argument which is the science of argument. In that class we learned to argue based on definitions of words, and that is exactly what sweet pea is doing. We also learned the Mirriam and Webster is generally recongized as the arbiture of definitions, in other words what Mirriam and Webster says a word means is generally what it means, and a book according to Mirriam and Webster is:

a long written or printed literary composition

In other words Sweet Peas book has not stopped being a book even though the binding is gone. The definition also would imply that a cave drawing would also be defined as a book since its a wrttien composition and can be very long. Anyone care to debate?
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