Astarte Reporting Service Court Reporting Agency

The History of Court Reporting

Shorthand can be traced back to a man named Marcus Tullius Tiro around the year 63 BC. Tiro was a slave belonging to Roman philosopher, lawyer and orator Cicero.

Tiro’s duties showed that he was highly intelligent and capable: he was in charge of taking dictation and managing Cicero’s financial affairs.

To keep up with transcribing speeches, Tiro developed a system of symbols and abbreviations. He omitted short or common words that he could add later by memory or context. Tiro expanded his shorthand system to include over 4,000 signs, which were adopted by other scribes in Rome and eventually other countries.

Tironian notes weren’t just used for court reporting, dictation and other legal affairs — during Medieval times, Tironian notes were taught in monasteries and were common in everyday writing. Monks and scholars continued to expand Tironian notes to about 13,000 signs, but the system declined in use after the year 1100 AD. 

In 1180, a monk named John of Tilbury created the first shorthand system for English speakers. Shorthand wasn’t widely used by English speakers until Dr. Timothie Bright published a system of 500 symbols to be used as English shorthand in his 1588 book “Characterie: An Arte of Shorte, Swifte, and Secrete Writing by Character.”

Shorthand was abolished in 500 A.D. during the Dark Ages, and interest was not renewed until 1200 A.D.

In 1602, John Willis published a shorthand system based on the English alphabet, rather than symbols. Over the next few decades, several people developed English alphabet shorthand systems, including a man named Thomas Gurney, who was appointed the first official shorthand writer of the English government in 1772. 

Novelist Charles Dickens adopted Thomas Gurney’s shorthand methods when he began working as a junior law clerk, and again as a freelance reporter covering legal proceedings. His shorthand notes inspired scenes in novels like “Bleak House” and “Nicholas Nickleby.”

Gurney’s son, Joseph, used his father’s system when he acted as a court reporter for the 1788 trial of Warren Hastings, the first English governor-general of Bengal, who was accused of corruption and other high crimes and misdemeanors.

In 1837, Isaac Pitman created a shorthand system based on phonetics. The Pitman method is still widely used in the United Kingdom today. 

Sir Isaac Pitman and Dr. John Robert Gregg invented the first practical shorthand systems, and Pitman’s Phonography was brought to America in 1852. Gregg’s Light-Line Phonography came here in 1893, and Gregg Shorthand became the predominant shorthand system in the United States. Machine shorthand appeared in 1879, and the first “word-at-a-stroke” machine in 1885. Machine writers beat out pen writers at the 1914 speed contest in all but the final speed test, but they weren’t really accepted into the court reporting community until the 1940s. During the Lindbergh kidnapping trial, the court reporter sat over a slit in the floor into which his/her paper was fed to a waiting transcriber below.

There was also a court reporter at Lincoln’s deathbed.

Court reporters, secretaries and other professionals in the United States began using a shorthand system by John Robert Gregg, who left England to open shorthand schools in Chicago and Boston.

Gregg’s method, published in the US in 1893, only began to decline in use when the first stenotype machine began to rise in popularity, patented by an American court reporter named Miles Bartholomew.

In the early part of the 20th century, court reporters experimented with adding recording devices to the stenotype machines to produce even more accurate transcripts.


Phoenicia (UK /fᵻˈnɪʃə/ or US /fəˈniːʃə/;from the Greek: Φοινίκη, Phoiníkē; Arabic: فينيقية‎‎, Fīnīqīyah) was an ancient Semitic thalassocratic civilization situated on the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent and centred on the coastline of what is now Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and Syria, though some colonies reached the Western Mediterranean and even the Atlantic Ocean. It was an enterprising sea-based civilization and spread across the Mediterranean from 1500 BC to 300 BC.

The Phoenicians were the first state-level society to make extensive use of alphabets. The Phoenician alphabet is generally held to be one of the major ancestors of all modern alphabets.  By their maritime trade, the Phoenicians spread the use of the alphabet to Anatolia, North Africa, and Europe, where it was adopted by the Greeks, who in turn transmitted it to the Romans.

Astarte appears as a daughter of Epigeius (Greek: Uranus) and Ge (Earth), and sister of the god Elus. After Elus overthrows and banishes his father Epigeius, as some kind of trick Epigeius sends Elus his "virgin daughter" Astarte along with her sisters Asherah and the goddess who will later be called Ba`alat Gebal, "the Lady of Byblos".  It seems that this trick does not work, as all three become wives of their brother Elus. Astarte bears Elus children who appear under Greek names as seven daughters called the Titanides or Artemides and two sons named Pothos "Longing" and Eros "Desire". Later with Elus' consent, Astarte and Hadad reign over the land together. Astarte puts the head of a bull on her own head to symbolize Her sovereignty. Wandering through the world, Astarte takes up a star that has fallen from the sky (a meteorite) and consecrates it at Tyre.