Boustrophedon is an ancient way of writing manuscripts and other inscriptions in which, rather than going from left to right as in modern English, or right to left as in Arabic, alternate lines must be read in opposite directions. The name is borrowed from the Greek language. Its etymology is from βους, "ox" + στρεφειν, "to turn" (cf. the etymology of strophe), because the hand of the writer goes back and forth, so that the resulting inscription resembles the path of an ox that draws a plow across a field and turns at the end of each row to return in the opposite direction.
The Forum inscription (one of the oldest known Latin inscriptions) is written boustrophedon, albeit irregularly: reading from top to bottom, lines 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16 run from right to left; lines 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13, and 15, from left to right; 8, 9, and 16 are upside down. (From a rubbing by Domenico Comparetti.)
Archaic Greek boustrophedon inscription from Apollonia Pontica, 6th c. B.C.