Ancient Greek was spoken in Greece, on Crete and Cyprus, in parts of the eastern Mediterranean and western and northern Anatolia, on Sicily and in southern Italy, on the northern Black Sea coast, and sporadically along the African coast and the French Riviera.
ByzantineGreek is notable mainly for its heterogeneity.
The principal changes that distinguish modern Greek are superseding of pitch-accent by stress; further iotacism of vowels; transforming the voiced plosives b and d to the voiced fricatives v and dh; loss of modal particles; and less variable word order because of replacement of pitch-accent by stress.
The decline of the Byzantine Empire is strikingly exhibited in the depreciation of currency during the reigns of the Comneni.
Byzantine civilization produced a succession of typical women of middle class who are a proof, first, of the high esteem in which women were held in social life and, secondly, of the sacredness of family life, which even now distinguishes the Greek people.
Irene is honoured as a saint in the Greek Church because at the Seventh General Synod of Nicaea (787), she obtained important concessions in the matter of the veneration of images.
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