The history of writing the spoken word is a scientific discipline all to itself. It is widely agreed that the Egyptians and Chinese writing systems arose together through trade, and gave rise to two independent systems. The Phoenicians carried Egyptian writing around to Greece and Sumatra, where they evolved into the Cyrillic form that is still in use today.
What has been discovered recently is how the Greek Cyrillic form became the Roman lettering in use by most of the world arose from the Greek.
An ancient script has recently been discovered in a clay jar in Athens that tells the story of the introduction of writing to a tribe known as the Latins, who used this new technology to found Rome and the Roman Empire.
"According to the clay tablets we unearthed," said Alan Fabette of the Parisian Historical Society, "there was a pair of Latins who came to a school in Greece to learn this new fangled writing. They were so impressed by it, that they took it back to Italy, where it gave them an unbridled advantage over the other Italian tribes."
Unfortunately, it would appear that the pair, whose names look remarkably like Romulus and Reemus (or could certainly be pronounced that way), could not remember the Cyrillic lettering. Though they remembered the teaching methods and most of the letters, they could not remember them all, or the order of those they could remember. So they made up new ones. It appears that they originally took the concept of writing back with them so it would help them remember all the things they constantly forgot, such as their jokes (one joke survives in the table: "I say I say I say, my Barbarian has no nose!", "How does he smell?", "Like a dung heap.")
"This story seems to indicate that one of the greatest empires of history was founded on a pair of forgetful clowns," said Fabette. "It was a good job they took writing and not maths back with them. The maths was even more powerful."