Scribes have been around as a profession for as long as there has been written language. In ancient times, scribes were learned men (and specifically elite men) tasked with the important job of chronicling their civilizations’ history, stories, and work. In Ancient Egypt, scribes, or “sesh,” were educated in the arts of writing and arithmetic, for use in teaching and commerce. In Mesopotamia, scribes, or “dubsars,” were trained in a “tablet house” and worked on practical matters, such as administrative and accountancy functions, as well as artistic matters, including writing such literary works as the Epic of Gilgamesh.
As societies evolved with written history, the work of scribes evolved with them. In more modern times, the work of scribes could involve copying books, or secretarial duties, such as taking dictation and the keeping of business or judicial records for nobility, cities, or temples. With the advent of the printing press, traditional scribes were forced to evolve into more specialized professionals, such as as journalists, accountants, typists, and even lawyers and public servants (Wikipedia, 2012).