A Brief History of Ancient Greek

A Brief History of Ancient Greek

Stephen Colvin

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 1405149256

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A Brief History of Ancient Greek accessibly depicts the social history of this ancient language from its Indo-European roots to the present day.

  • Explains key relationships between the language and literature of the Classical period (500 - 300 BC)
  • Provides a social history of the language which transliterates and translates all Greek as appropriate, and is therefore accessible to readers who know little or no Greek 
  • Written in the framework of modern sociolinguistic theory, relating the development of Ancient Greek to its social and political context
  • Reflects the latest thinking on subjects such as Koiné Greek and the relationship between literary and vernacular Greek

Die Milesier, Band 2: Anaximander und Anaximenes (Traditio Praesocratica, Band 2)

A Commentary on Lysias, Speeches 1-11

Eros and Greek Athletics

The Basic Works of Aristotle

Being Greek under Rome: Cultural Identity, the Second Sophistic and the Development of Empire



















Germanic words exists which can be derived by regular sound laws from Indo-European. It would not be helpful, either, to use Pelasgian as a term of convenience for the language spoken in Greece before Greek, in the way that “Minoan” is used for the pre-Greek language of Crete: this would imply that there was only one such language, and we do not have the evidence to support this assumption. There may have been more than one language spoken in Crete, too, but the term Minoan is tied specifically

Linear B tablets is more or less uniform from all Mycenean sites (there are some minor variations). It is also incomplete: the writing system gives only a partial insight into the phonetic reality of the language it represents, and the bureaucratic nature of the documents gives rise to the suspicion that their language is in any case likely to be a rather specific and perhaps standardized variety. It seems �certain that some degree of linguistic diversity is “hidden” by the standardized language

suggests lines of poetic communication in the western part of the Greek world. We noted above that there is an important Aeolic component in epic language. Elements of Aeolic phonology and morphology are preserved in formulaic phrases: both because they could not be transposed into their Ionic equivalent without disrupting the meter, but also because it was useful for the poets to have a range of �metrical doublets at their disposal. So, for example, beside the normal Ionic form einai of the

possibility of tying thematic echoes to common linguistic forms. In 1853 the German scholar Adalbert Kuhn noticed that the Homeric phrase (Iliad 9.413) “undying fame”, κλέος ἄφθιτον [kleos aphthiton], was exactly cognate with the Sanskrit phrase śrávas … ákṣitam (Rig Veda 1.9.7). This concept is an important part of the ideology of the epic poetry (typically, it is the reward earned by the brave �warrior), and the phrase may have roots in an ancient tradition of heroic praise poetry. Since then

modern education and communications. Elements in the dialect are clearly derived from an ancient dialect similar to Laconian: for example, it has a phoneme [v] which goes back to ancient [w] (digamma). This sound is absent from the koine, since it disappeared early in the Attic-Ionic dialects on which the koine is based. Features of Tsakonian which bypass the koine and go back to a West Greek dialect include: 1.Retained features of Common Greek 2. Innovative features reminiscent of ancient

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