Innis, Harold A., Empire and communications \ i~,~}. k \1.\i.. ‘i+h l”!r·,)~\_l.t rVl. I\ P;’3·\:: ,f~.rl PAPER AND THE PRINTING PRESS ;Ji! ‘Jt~j. Harold Innis: Prophet of Empire & Communications. 03Jan Photograph of Harold Innis standing among lilacs, no date Harold Innis, no date. Source. Empire and Communications examines the impact of media such as stone, clay, papyrus and the alphabet on the empires of Egypt and.

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But the real contribution is Innis insights on medium. But the spiritual depth and power of language was shown communicafions the fact that speech itself prepared the way for the last step by which it was transcended.

A flexible alphabet contributed to the spread of Aramaic, of Phoenician, and of Hebrew. He quotes the Roman poet Horace: Spengler, Toynbee, Kroeber, Sorokin, and others have produced works, designed to throw light on the causes of the rise and decline of civilizations, which have reflected an intense interest in the possible future of our own civilization. Then came the paper and print press, then business industry and in the other continent newspaper found its dominance in a brand new country.

The latter are suited to wide areas in administration and trade. Monarchy was regarded as inherently wicked. He replaced a low by a high chariot capable of carrying three instead of two men and used cavalry more extensively. We may concede with Mark Pattison that. A threefold division of heaven, earth, and water was developed and a deity given to each division. Extension of territory and delegation of authority necessitated an interest in the administration of justice.

In the words of Cassirer [11] language transformed the indeterminate into the determinate idea and held it within the sphere of finite determinations.

For Innis, papyrus is associated with the political and administrative control of space. Darius died anr B. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Cities were given a certain measure of freedom and in Ashur townsmen were given charters with clearly defined special privileges.


Innis writes that the Antigonids “gradually transformed the small city-states of Greece into municipalities.

In his introduction, Innis promises to examine the significance of communications in a small number of empires. Israel remained a group united hatold blood relationship but with an ethical code imposed by a covenant God and entered on a spiritual mission. Finally, political organization became conventionalized as empires were compelled to recognize the religions of diverse centres.

Empire and Communications

Following the invention of writing, the special form of heightened language, characteristic of the oral tradition and a collective society, gave way to private writing. The Rule of St. The power which set sliding the great avalanches of a political and religious nature emmpire from the beginning of time, the magic force of the spoken word. For them, words were the true source of wisdom.

Empire and Communications – Wikipedia

Sculpture of the Sumer-Akkadians representing nature was replaced under the Kassites by an art emphasizing the human form. Enlil, the chief god of Nippur empide head of the pantheon under the Sumerians, was storm-god who absorbed the attributes of the solar and agricultural deities. Conventionalization of script, religion, and political organization in Asia and Africa facilitated transmission across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Sumerian became a dead language preserved largely by priests in religious writing, but signs which had been used as single syllables free of relationship to pictographs were taken over by the conquerors, as were those which had been used to represent objects or ideas, and were read as ideographs with [37] Semitic translations.

Religious monopoly of the solar disk was designed to provide a common ideal above political and commercial interests, and above distinctions between Egyptians and foreigners. Lists with This Book. Individuals applied their minds to symbols rather than things and went beyond the world of concrete experience into the world of conceptual relations created within an enlarged time and space universe.


Of these signs communicationns represented vowels, but no system was devised for representing single consonantal sounds or creating an alphabet. The universal demands of the covenant put special emphasis on ceremonials of attainment.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The Western church, on the other hand, saw images as useful especially for reaching the illiterate. They were followed by the Kassites.

The Persians were defeated by the Greeks at Marathon in B. The army was brought to its greatest efficiency.

Philosophical Investigations for Applied Linguistics: Empire and Communications by Harold Innis

An illustrated third edition was published by Press Porcepic in Influenced by Sumerian script they never developed an alphabet and at the most expressed one vowel and one consonant by a sign. The viewpoint is suggested in a comment of Constable to Murray: A citizen of one of the British Commonwealth of Nations which has been profoundly influenced by the economic development of empires, who has been obsessed over a long period with an interest in the character of that influence, can hardly claim powers of objectivity adequate to the task in hand.

Innis interrupts his account of Roman military expansion to discuss earlier problems that had arisen from the Greek conquests undertaken by Philip of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great.

A successful empire required adequate appreciation of problems of space which were in part military and political, and of problems of time which were in part dynastic and biological and in part religious.