In Gehennum literacy is a sufficiently rare accomplishment that one can make a reasonable living out of the ability to read and write. The basic professional scribe is the public letter-writer, who reads and writes letters and other documents for the illiterate in return for small fees. Such people can be found in most Gehennese cities in all periods.

In libraries and publishing houses scribes copy out books, from dictation if the editions are to be large. This is the only means the Gehennese have of reproducing books. The members of certain abbeys, notably House Azure, serve a term as copyists at the beginning of their membership.

In business houses and government scribes are indispensable, the only means of making and reading records. In trading firms a job as scribe is the first step on the executive ladder. In the bureaucracy, especially in the Classical Period and the Decadent Period, the basic job is work as a scribe, making fair copies of drafts, recording discussions and decisions, copying reports and inventories, and filing everything.

Literate slaves are particularly uncommon and expensive. Most scribe-work is done by free men.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.