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A scribe is a person who serves a professional copyist. The work of scribes can involve copying manuscripts and other texts as well as secretarial and administrative duties such as the taking of dictation and keeping of business, judicial and historical records for kings, nobles, temples and cities. The profession has developed into public servants, journalists, accountants, bookkeepers, typists, and lawyers. One of the most important professionals in ancient Egypt was a person educated in the arts of writing and arithmetic. Scribes were considered part of the royal court, were not conscripted into the army, did not have to pay taxes and were exempt from the heavy manual labor required of the lower classes. Sons of scribes were brought up in the same scribal tradition, sent to school and inherited their fathers' positions upon entering the civil service. Much of what is known about ancient Egypt is due to the activities of its scribes and the officials. Monumental buildings were erected under their supervision, administrative and economic activities were documented by them, and stories from Egypt's lower classes and foreign lands survive due to scribes putting them in writing. In addition to accountancy and governmental politicking, the scribal professions branched out into literature. The first storeis were probably religious text. Other genres evolved, such as wisdom literature, which were collections of the philosophical sayings from wise men. These contain the earliest recordings of societal thought and exploration of ideas in some length and detail. In the Middle Ages, every book was made by hand. Specially trained scribes had to carefully cut sheets of parchment, make the ink, write the script, bind the pages and create a cover to protect the script. This was all accomplished in a writing room called a scriptorium which was kept very quiet so scribes could maintain concentration. A large scriptorium may have up to 40 scribes working. Scribes woke to morning bells before dawn and worked until the evening bells, with a lunch break in between. They worked every day except for the Sabbath. Scribes were only able to work in daylight, due to the expense of candles. The scribe was a common job in medieval European towns during the 10th and 11th centuries. Many were employed at scriptoria owned by local schoolmasters or lords. These scribes worked under deadlines to complete commissioned works such as historic chronicles or poetry. These scribes would meticulously record the information presented in the texts, but not mindlessly. In the case of herbals, for instance, there is evidence that the monks improved upon some texts, retracted textual errors, and made the text particularly relevant to the area in which they lived. Some scribes even went so far as to grow some of the plants included in the texts. They had little room or patience to disseminate the imaginary plants. The writers truly restricted themselves to only include practical information. Meanwhile, in the case of bestiaries, the scribes generally copied and cited previous texts to pass them on. Unlike the herbals, the scribes could not grow an animal in their garden, so largely the information taken from the bestiaries was taken at face value. In the 13th century, Paris was the first city to have a large commercial trade of manuscripts, with book producers being commissioned to make specific books for specific people. Paris had a large enough population of wealthy literate persons to support the livelihood of people producing manuscripts. Wait, why the paragraph break doesnt work at all?

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