Around 500 BC, the Persian Queen Atossa wrote the first known handwritten letter (epistle). The modern stamp letter was invented during Queen Victoria's reign in 1840. She commissioned John Pangborn to design a unique handwriting model for her own use.
In Europe, Latin became the official language after the fall of the Roman Empire. It remained so even after French and German languages emerged as rivals to it. The choice of Latin as the language of communication at the European courts helped French and German writers improve their skills and attract audiences. By the 11th century, Latin had become so refined that poets started using it instead of vernacular speech. One such poet was Dante who published La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) in 1320. This epic poem about salvation through faith and love has been considered one of the greatest works of literature of all time.
Dante used Latin words for his metaphors which made his work accessible to a wider audience. However, it took another four centuries before English writers began using Latin words in their work.
During the Renaissance era, humanists started rediscovering the works of ancient Greek and Roman authors. They were used by poets and playwrights for inspiration and content. But none of these writers ever actually saw any of their ideas put into practice with their own eyes.
Around the year 500 BC. For thousands of years, letters have played an important role in history. According to the ancient historian Hellanicus, the first handwritten letter was delivered by the Persian Queen Atossa approximately 500 BC. As more individuals became literate, their appeal as a means of communication expanded. Around this time, riders began carrying letters from person to person instead of traveling themselves. It is believed that the first postal services were established by the Phoenicians around 600 BC.
As trade increased, so too did the need for reliable methods of transportation. Merchants needed a way to send messages quickly over large distances. They found it in letters which could be sent through the post.
Writing in Cuneiform: Cuneiform Writing Cuneiform writing developed approximately 5,000 years ago in the Uruk IV era of southern Mesopotamia's growing urban society. Initially, basic images were etched on stone or clay tablets carried in one's hand. Later, these writings were also etched on wood or bone.
The term "cradle of civilization" was coined by British archaeologist Austen Henry Layard in 1847. At that time, he was trying to explain how ancient Assyria had been so innovative and advanced when compared with other parts of the world at that time. His argument was that since modern Iraq had been inhabited for more than 10,000 years, it was clear that some type of culture had existed there before the Arab invasion around 600 AD. He called this previous culture the "cradle of civilization."
The history of the Middle East is important because it helps us understand our own culture and ourselves. Archaeologists use the knowledge about past civilizations to learn more about their societies, while historians look at history to discern patterns of change over time and explore why things happened the way they did.
It was 5,500 years ago. Scholars generally think that the first form of writing developed in Mesopotamia over 5,500 years ago (present-day Iraq). Early visual signs were progressively replaced by a complicated system of letters representing Sumerian (the language of Sumer in Southern Mesopotamia) and other languages' sounds. These early writings are called "cuneiform" after the impression made by the soft clay used to make them.
How did we learn to write? Before the development of printing, people wrote using stone or wood tablets which they rubbed with a smooth surface like rock salt or sandpaper. This left an indentation in the tablet where you could see how it was used later. Writing materials changed from stone to papyrus in the Mediterranean region around 300 B.C., but neither of these materials were used in Asia so there was no way for ideas from one part of the world to spread to others.
The Chinese invented paper around A.D. 1000. It was not until more than 500 years later that Europeans began to use paper regularly. The Japanese also used bamboo instead of papyrus.
Who was the first writer? The first known writer was an Egyptian named Wen Ji. He lived around 3100 B.C. and is considered the father of history since he was the first person to date events and be able to tell the story of kings and their reigns. His stories were written on papyrus and have been found preserved in museums today.