Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students by Carroll Moulton

By Carroll Moulton

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The Greeks settled on the system of writing from left to right. For hundreds of years, though, they used only capital letters and no punctuation. Signs for punctuation, lowercase letters, and cursive writing appeared much later. Two versions of the Greek alphabet developed over the years. , Athens adopted the Ionic alphabet. It became standard throughout Greece and was the ancestor of the modern Greek alphabet. The other version, the Chalcidian alphabet, spread to Italy. itfbtm$t)0n on many topics.

Athens adopted the Ionic alphabet. It became standard throughout Greece and was the ancestor of the modern Greek alphabet. The other version, the Chalcidian alphabet, spread to Italy. itfbtm$t)0n on many topics. THE ROMAN ALPHABET. , the ETRUSCANS, who lived in central Italy, had adopted the Chalcidian alphabet. They may have learned it from a Greek colony in Italy. The Etruscan alphabet had 26 letters—22 from the original Phoenician system and four that had been added by the Greeks. , the Romans adopted the alphabet of their Etruscan neighbors, using only 20 letters.

They were owned by absentee landlords and worked mostly by large groups of slaves. During the period of the late republic, this type of estate farming dominated agriculture. In southern Italy, these estates became huge grazing ranches. Overgrazing, especially by sheep, caused such severe soil erosion in the region that the land has not fully recovered to this day. Although Italy contained some of the largest estates, large estates also existed in all provinces of the empire. The latifundia became essential in meeting the food needs of towns and cities.

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