From the book "Sapiens", on the page 142:
For many generations they were transmitted orally and would have lived on even had writing never been invented.
In the sentence above, it seems something is omitted. I don't get what it is and why. Please explain the structure of the above grammatically. After "and" there are 2 verbs and the sentence seems reversed , which I don't understand Thanks for your comment . In this context they refer to "the Hebrew Bible , The Greek Iliad ... " I can see the subject of "would have lived " is "they " Then what about the sentence " even had writing never been invented " . I assume this sentence means "even before writing had never been invented . " can you omit before ans that ,s why the sentence is reversed?