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How Greeks Invented the Writing System from ‘left-to-right’

How Greeks invented writing ‘left-to-right’ has an interesting history. Let’s try to understand it. 

History of Writing System

Phoenicians were merchants from the Persian Gulf who introduced the right-to-left writing system to the Greeks in 1000 BCE.

Transition of System

This gave way to the writing of alternate lines in opposite directions also known as the Boustrophedon style of writing. In this writing style, one line is written from left to right and the next from right to left. The system of left-to-right writing started in 500 BCE.

Cause of transition

The system of writing from left to right could be accredited to the use of pen and ink for writing. Right-handed people faced difficulties writing in right-to-left and had adopted left-to-right writing to avoid smudging. Later on, this style of writing became a norm as writing from left to right on paper was easy and efficient.

Transition to Europe

Over a period of time, a version of the Greek writing system was adopted by the Italians. Writing in English was derived from writing in Latin. The Latin language followed the Greek style of writing. Greek was written from left to right. As a result, all European writing systems go from left to right.

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