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Classical Greek

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Ancient Greek or more appropriately Classical Greek, is a language from the Indo-European language family;a group of related languages that stretches from India to Norway. Classical Greek was used across several periods of Greek history; Archaic (spanning the 9th-6th centuries BC), Classical (5th-4th centuries BC) and Hellenistic (3rd century BC-6th century AD).
660px-AncientGreekDialects (Woodard).svg

Dialects of ancient Greek around the Aegean

300px-Indo-European branches map

The Indo-European language family in the Old World

The Classical Greek language was used thoroughly throughout the Hellenistic period, when Greek culture was spread as far as India. The language later evolved to Koine (Common or Hellenistic), Medieval (Byzantine) and Modern Greek. Medieval Greek was the official language of (particularly the late) Byzantine Empire. The New Testament of the Bible was mostly written in Greek, more specifically in Koine.

According to tradition, Cadmus, son of King Agenor of Phoenicia brought the Phoenician alphabet to Greece where, with the help of Palamedes, it evolved into the classical writing system.

AlphabetEdit

The Greek alphabet was based on the Phoenician alphabet and, in turn, influenced the Latin alphabet, used in English today. The word alphabet is derived from the first two Greek letters.

Greek alphabet (all dialects)
Upper Lower Name Phoenician Phoenician name
ΑαAlpha
85px-Phoenician aleph.svg
aleph
BβBeta
85px-Phoenician beth.svg
beth
ΓγGamma
85px-Phoenician gimel.svg
gimel
ΔδDelta
85px-Phoenician daleth.svg
dalet
EεEpsilon
85px-Phoenician he.svg
he
ϜϝDigamma1
85px-Phoenician waw.svg
wau
ϚϛStigma1
85px-Phoenician waw.svg
wau
ZζZeta
85px-Phoenician zayin.svg
zayin
ͰͱHeta1
85px-Phoenician heth.svg
heth
HηEta
85px-Phoenician heth.svg
heth
ΘθTheta
85px-Phoenician teth.svg
teth
Ιι/℩3Iota
85px-Phoenician yodh.svg
yodh
ͿϳYot1
85px-Phoenician yodh.svg
yodh
KκKappa
85px-Phoenician kaph.svg
kaph
ΛλLamda
85px-Phoenician lamedh.svg
lemda
MμMu
85px-Phoenician mem.svg
mem
NvNu
85px-Phoenician nun.svg
nun
ΞξXi
85px-Phoenician samekh.svg
samech
OoOmicron2
85px-Phoenician ayin.svg
eyn
ΠπPi
85px-Phoenician pe.svg
pe
ϺϻSan1
85px-Phoenician sade.svg
tsade
ϘϙKoppa1
85px-Phoenician qoph.svg
qof
PρRho
85px-Phoenician res.svg
rosh
Σσ/ς4Sigma
85px-Phoenician sin.svg
shin
TτTau
85px-Phoenician taw.svg
taw
YυUpsilon
85px-Phoenician waw.svg
wau
ΦφPhi
85px-Phoenician qoph.svg
qof
XχChi
85px-Phoenician samekh.svg
samech
ΨψPsi
85px-Phoenician qoph.svg
qof
ΩωOmega2
85px-Phoenician ayin.svg
eyn
ͲͳSampi1
85px-Phoenician samekh.svg
tsade
ϷϸSho1
85px-Phoenician samekh.svg
tsade

NotesEdit

1 Defunct Greek letters
2 The names omicron and omega signify the length of the sound - (o micron = short o, o mega = long o)
3 The first iota is used as vowel. The second is only used as consonant
4 The first sigma is used in the middle of a word. The second is only used at the end of a word

InfluencesEdit

The Greek alphabet has influenced various writing systems, such as:

Additionally, Classical Greek letters are frequently used in scientific and mathematical notation. Greek roots, sometimes alongside Latin, are also often used to coin words in other languages (especially English). A prominent example is the word "alphabet" itself, derived from the letters "alpha" and "beta", the first two letters of the Greek alphabet.

ReferencesEdit

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