boustrophedon

boustrophedon

[boo-struh-feed-n, -fee-don, bou-]
noun
an ancient method of writing in which the lines run alternately from right to left and from left to right.

Origin:
1775–85; < Greek boustrophēdón literally, like ox-turning (in plowing), equivalent to bou- (stem of boûs) ox + -strophē- (see strophe) + -don adv. suffix

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World English Dictionary
boustrophedon (ˌbuːstrəˈfiːdən, ˌbaʊ-)
 
adj
having alternate lines written from right to left and from left to right
 
[C17: from Greek, literally: turning as in ploughing with oxen, from bous ox + -strophēdon from strephein to turn; see strophe]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

boustrophedon
1783, ancient form of writing with lines alternately written left-to-right and right-to-left, from Gk., lit. "turning as an ox in plowing," from bous "ox" + strephein "to turn" (see strophe).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

boustrophedon

the writing of alternate lines in opposite directions, one line from left to right and the next from right to left. Some Etruscan texts are written in boustrophedon style, as are some Greek ones of about the 6th century BC. The word is from the Greek boustrophedon, meaning literally "to turn like oxen" (in plowing).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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