De inventoribus litterarum: the History of Writing as Seen by Carolingian Scholars

Cécile Treffort


In the Carolingian period, scholars who work actively in the religious and cultural reform of the regnum Francorum, pay attention to the history of writing and the invention of the alphabet. Chronicles and grammatical treatises use several previous traditions to draw the history of the translatio studii through the Flood or the historical chain of inventors for the hebrew, greek and latin alphabets. Some texts, including a short treatise attributed to Raban Maur, widen the perspective beyond the frontier of the Christendom. All show a lively consciousnesse of the conventional nature of the writing, its narrow relationship with the culture and the language, and by a daily impregnation, support the vast movement of the carolingian renovatio.


writing; regnum Francorum; translatio studii; carolingian reform

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