There is no disputing the fact that the Romans read everything aloud, in fact they were apparently not able to read silently. We know this from testimony about Roman villas having private “reading rooms” where the master could read without disturbing the family, and it was only in the time of St. Augustine that silent reading developed, perhaps out of the requirements of monastic life. In other words, all Romans continually “phonated” the way a third grade child often does, and were happy with this as a satisfactory way to read. Of course there is one major benefit: Reading is kept to a slow and sensitive pace, one savors the sounds and enjoys minute changes of meaning and inflections of mood.
The Sin of Silent Reading
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