Calligraphy or beautiful writing to give its ancient greek meaning is an age old craft & could be said to have a lot in common with other handicrafts like glass staining & tapestry.
Depending where you look & what you read there are varying answers to the questions of the origins of calligraphy.
Something I didn't realise was just how many different types or styles there are as well as various alphabets. Legend has it that Chinese Calligraphy has its roots planted over 4,500 years ago, this can be backed up with archaeological discoveries. There are other accounts of beginnings in the Stone Age, a prehistoric era over 2,000 years ago, Egyptian hieroglyphics dated 3600 BC & the first alphabet being created by the Phoenicians around 1000 BC.
Whatever its origins there is no doubt that calligraphy has played its part throughout history. However hard it is to imagine handwriting a book these days as we are all so dependent on technology, ancient handwritten scribes & manuscripts still throw light on life in the dark ages. While it hit a low during the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700's, pushed out of vogue by manufacturing, as we know fashion goes round in circles & the Arts & Crafts movement brought about a revival.
As I've mentioned there are a number of basic styles & different alphabets to boot that have appeared & developed over the years & these days there's no need to use a quill with so many Calligraphy Pens to choose from. To indulge my curiosity I thought I'd dedicate a post or two to the subject over the next few of weeks & hope you find it of interest.