This is the third edition of the late Sir Godfrey Driver's Schweich Lectures, first delivered in 1944. The present edition is based on extensive revisions and additions made by the author himself. The third edition takes account of research and discoveries in the fields of Semitic epigraphy and the theory of writing. It deals with cuneiform scripts, the origins of alphabetic writing, its development from the earliest records until its transmission to the Greeks, and covers all the more important North-Semitic inscriptions. Theories regarding forms of letters, their names, place in the alphabetical sequence etc. are discussed at length.