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Greeks invented writing left-to-right

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Phoenicians were merchants from the Persian Gulf. They introduced the writing system to the Greeks in 1000 BCE. The right-to-left system was given to the Greeks by Phoenicians.

Later, the Greek system then became the source of all modern European writing systems.


This gave way to the writing of alternate lines in opposite directions. One line 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

When pen and ink were first used, the left-to-right system of writing started thereafter. Right-handed people were abundant at that time.  They adopted left to right writing to avoid smudging. Later on, the Greeks used papyrus (paper made from the stems of the papyrus plant) to write. This left-to-right system was easier for them. The use of papers started thereafter. On paper also the left the right system was more useful.

Transition to Europe

Over a period of time, a version of the Greek writing system passed into the Italian peninsula. 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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