semicolon in Europe
In Europe, the semicolon for the first time at the end of the XIV century introduced the Italian publisher and printer Aldus Manutius, who lived and worked in Venice.
The man is engaged in publishing of ancient writings (mainly Greek) scientists and philosophers.Before Manutsija Europe wrote texts without any division into semantic parts (not using not only familiar to us a period or comma, but often do not even putting spaces between words).Therefore, in order to ease the perception of them published books, Aldus Manutius needed to develop a system of punctuation (which is still used in most languages of the world).
in particular, has been developed an
d a semicolon.The new symbol was designed to separate the words of opposite meaning.
few centuries semicolon was used all over Europe, but with the usual we value - sharing proposals with a complex composition.The exception here was the Greek (respectively, and the Church) the language in which the semicolon and still is used as a question mark.
semicolon in Russia
In ancient times, in the Russian language any punctuation, as in Europe, have not been used.The letters were written together, but rusichi above or below letters to separate the words are sometimes used different semantic symbols.Overwhelming demand for punctuation, performing certain functions arose with the development of printing.
Punctuation in Ancient Rus in the initial stage of its development, focused on Greek.
first punctuation mark was the point.She appeared in the 1480s.In fact, from her years later, there were all the other signs that specifically reflected in their titles.
In 1515 on behalf of the Grand Prince Vasily III for the translation of Greek books in Moscow was sent to Maxim the Greek (in the world his name was Mikhail Trivolis).This man really was a Greek, he did not understand in Russian, but with the help of Russian interpreters and clerks at first failed to translate into Russian Psalter.It was then and there was a semicolon (Maxim Greeks called it "ipodiastoli").But then the sign of GRECO recommended to use to refer to the question (question mark familiar to us in writing did not exist yet).
Later, after a question mark was invented, the semicolon was used in the usual sense as separators in large sentences with complex composition, or as a separator in the proposals to transfer a portion of which contain commas.In XX century, the semicolon was used also as a separator between the phrases numbered lists.