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Encyclopedia > History of the Greek language

The History of the The Greek language (Greek Ελληνικά, IPA – Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of some 3,000 years. Ancient Greek in its various forms was the language both of classical Greek civilisation and of the origins of Christianity, and... Greek language

Contents

Origins

There are many theories about the origins of the Greek language. One theory suggests that it originated with a migration of proto-Greek speakers into Greece, formally called the Hellenic Republic ( Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία), is a country in the southeast of Europe on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. It has land boundaries with Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav... Greece, which is dated to any period between (33rd century BC - 32nd century BC - 31st century BC - other centuries) (5th millennium BC - 4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC) Events Ancient Egypt: Earliest known Egyptian hieroglyphs Crete: Rise of Minoan civilization Neolithic settlement built at Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands, Scotland New Stone Age people in Ireland build... 3200 BC to (Redirected from 1900 BC) (20th century BC - 19th century BC - 18th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events Hittite empire in Anatolia 1829 - 1818 BC -- Egyptian-Nubian war 1818 BC -- Egyptian Campaign in Palestine 1813 BC -- Amorite Conquest of Northern Mesopotamia 1806 BC... 1900 BC. Another theory maintains that Greek evolved in Greece itself out of an early Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. By extension, it became a collective name for cultures and religions associated with these languages. Hypothetically, these cultures arose from the expansion of an ancient people, the Proto-Indo-Europeans... Indo-European language.


Linear B

The first known script for writing Greek was the Linear B script sample Linear B is the script that was used for writing Mycenaean, an early form of the Greek language. It occurs primarily on tablets dated from the 14th and 13th centuries BC. The script was derived from an earlier script (Linear A) used for writing the Minoan... Linear B A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. A symbol in a syllabary typically represents an optional consonant sound followed by a vowel sound. In a true syllabary there is no systematic graphic similarity between phonetically related characters (though some do... syllabary, used for the archaic Map of Bronze Age Greece as described in Homers Iliad Mycenaean is the most ancient known form of the Greek language, spoken in Mycenae and on Crete in the 16th to 11th centuries BC, before the Dorian invasion. It is preserved in inscriptions in Linear B, a script invented... Mycenaean dialect. Linear B was not deciphered until 1953 is a common year starting on Thursday. Events January January 7 - President Harry S. Truman announces the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb. January 13 - Marshal Josip Broz Tito chosen President of Yugoslavia January 20 - Change of US presidency from Harry S. Truman (1945-1953) to Dwight D... 1953. After the fall of the Mycenaean The Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Building projects of this size require the social organization found in civilizations. A civilization or civilisation has a variety of meanings related to human society. The term comes from the Latin civis, meaning citizen or townsman. 1. In a technical sense, a... civilization, there was a period of about five hundred years when writing was either not used, or nothing has survived to the present day. Since early classical times, Greek has been written in the Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. Bear this in mind if you encounter symbols such as �?�﷐􏿾. You might also consider viewing the page in a different browser or using a different font —preferably... Greek alphabet, said to be derived from Phoenician can mean: The Phoenician ancient civilization The Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician languages This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. If an article link referred you here, you might want to go back and fix it to... Phoenician. This happened about the time of For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). Homer (Greek Ὅμηρος Hómēros) was a legendary (or perhaps mythical) early Greek poet and rhapsode traditionally credited with authorship of the major Greek epics Iliad and Odyssey, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia (The Frog-Mouse War... Homer, and there is one obscure, fleeting reference in Homer's poetry suggesting that he might have been aware of writing in Linear B.


Ancient Greek dialects

In the archaic and classical periods, there were three main dialects of the Greek language, Linguists use the term Aeolic to describe a set of rather archaic Greek sub_dialects, spoken mainly in Boeotia (a region in Central Greece), in Lesbos (an island close to Asia Minor) and in other Greek colonies. It is probable that the Aeolic speakers represent the second (i.e. Achaean) migratory... Aeolic, Ionic Greek was a sub-dialect of the so called Attic-Ionic dialectal group of the ancient Greek language, which was itself a member of the Greek branch of Indoeuropean language family. The other dialectal groups of ancient Greek were Doric, Aeolic, Arcado-Cypriot and Northwestern. Ionic Greek was mainly... Ionic, and Doric Greek is an ancient dialect of the Greek language. It preserves long a where other dialects change it to é, as in ga matér earth mother (Attic and Koiné gé métér), and preserves original -ti endings that Attic changed to -si (3rd person plural -onti, Attic/Koin... Doric, corresponding to the three main tribes of the Greeks, the Aeolians (chiefly living in the islands of the Aegean and the west coast of Asia Minor north of For other meanings of Smyrna, see Smyrna (disambiguation). Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey) was settled at the beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE. Throughout Antiquity it was the early leading city-state of Greek Ionia, on the Aegean shores and islands of Asia Minor. Smyrna was among the cities that claimed... Smyrna), the Ionians (mostly settled in the west coast of Asia Minor, including Smyrna and the area to the south of it), and the Dorians (primarily the Greeks of the coast of the Pelopennesus e.g. of Sparta, the Crete and the southernmost parts of the west coast of Asia Minor). For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). Homer (Greek Ὅμηρος Hómēros) was a legendary (or perhaps mythical) early Greek poet and rhapsode traditionally credited with authorship of the major Greek epics Iliad and Odyssey, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia (The Frog-Mouse War... Homer's The Iliad is, with The Odyssey, one of the two major Greek epic poems traditionally attributed to Homer, a blind Ionian poet. The Iliad and the Odyssey were considered by Greeks of the classical age and after as the most important works in Ancient Greek literature, and were the basis... Iliad and Odyssey (disambiguation). The Odyssey (ΟΔΥΣΣΕΙΑ) is the second of the two great Greek epic poems ascribed to Homer, the first being the Iliad. The book follows the events of the voyage of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, returning from the Trojan War and the... Odyssey were written in a kind of literary Ionic with some loan words from the other dialects. Ionic, therefore, became the primary literary language of ancient Greece until the ascendancy of Athens in the late fifth century. Doric was standard for Greek lyric poetry, such as Pindar (or Pindarus) (522 BC – 443 BC), the greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece, was born at Cynoscephalae, a village in Thebes. He was the son of Daiphantus and Cleodice. The traditions of his family have left their impression on his poetry, and are not without importance for a... Pindar and the choral odes of the Greek tragedians.


Attic Greek

Attic Greek is the ancient dialect of the Greek language that was spoken in Attica, which includes Athens. Of the ancient dialects, it is the most similar to later Greek. It differs from Ionic in not changing the neuter plural ending to ê, from Doric (?) in changing some long a to... Attic Greek, a subdialect of Ionic, was for centuries the language of The Acropolis in central Athens, one of the most important landmarks in world history. The Parthenon, the main monument on the site, was built in favour of goddess Athena, the patron of the city Athens ( Greek: Αθήνα Athína) is the capital of Greece, and... Athens. Most surviving This article describes the ancient classical period: for the classical period in music (second half of the 18th century): see Classical music era. Classical antiquity is a broad and perhaps misleading term for a long period of European history, that begins roughly with the earliest recorded Greek poetry of Homer... classical At the moment this page contains a list of links. This list itself does not provide the information that this article should include. Please help wikipedia by expanding this article, once a sufficent amount of information has been added please remove this message. Thank you! Poetry Alcman Alcaeus Anacreon Bacchylides... Greek literature appears in Attic Greek, including the extant texts of For the computing technology, see PLATO System. Plato (Greek: Πλάτων Plátōn) (c. 427 BC – c. 347 BC) was an immensely influential classical Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, writer, and founder of the Academy in Athens. Plato, a philodorian... Plato and Aristotle (sculpture) Aristotle ( Greek: Αριστοτέλης Aristotelēs) ( 384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher. Along with Plato, he is often considered to be one of the two most influential philosophers in Western thought. He... Aristotle, which were passed down in written form from classical times.


Hellenistic Greek - Koiné

As Greeks colonized from Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to... Asia Minor to The Arab Republic of Egypt, commonly known as Egypt, (in Arabic: مصر, romanized Mişr or Maşr, in Egyptian dialect) is a republic mostly located in northeastern Africa. Covering an area of about 1,020,000 km², it includes the Sinai Peninsula (considered part of... Egypt to the A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. The Middle East is a... Middle East, the Greek language began to evolve into multiple dialects. Bust of Alexander III in the British Museum. Alexander III, in Greek ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ (Megas Alexandros) (late July, 356 BC– June 10, 323 BC), King of Macedon ( 336 BC- 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the... Alexander the Great ( Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC - 350s BC - 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 361 BC 360 BC 359 BC 358 BC 357 BC 356 BC 355 BC 354 BC 353... 356 BC- Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC - 320s BC - 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 328 BC 327 BC 326 BC 325 BC 324 BC - 323 BC - 322 BC 321 BC 320... 323 BC) was instrumental in combining these dialects to form the "Koiné" dialect (Κοινή; Greek for "common"). Koiné Greek is also called " The New Testament, sometimes called the Greek Scriptures, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written after the birth of Jesus. The term is a translation of the Latin Novum Testamentum, which translates the Greek Η Καινη Δια... New Testament Greek" after its most famous work of literature.
Imposing a common Greek dialect allowed Alexander's combined army to communicate with itself. The language was also taught to the inhabitants of the regions that Alexander conquered, turning Greek into a world language.


Medieval Greek

The Greek language continued to thrive after Alexander, during the The term Hellenistic (established by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen) in the history of the ancient world is used to refer to the shift from a culture dominated by ethnic Greeks, however scattered geographically, to a culture dominated by Greek-speakers of whatever ethnicity, and from the political dominance... Hellenistic period ( Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC - 320s BC - 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 328 BC 327 BC 326 BC 325 BC 324 BC - 323 BC - 322 BC 321 BC 320... 323 BC to Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC - 280s BC - 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 286 BC 285 BC 284 BC 283 BC 282 BC 281 BC 280 BC 279 BC 278... 281 BC). During this period the The Septuagint (LXX) is the name commonly given to the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) made in the first centuries BC. The Septuagint bible includes additional books beyond those used in todays Jewish Tanakh. The additional books were composed in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, but in... Septuagint, a Greek translation of the 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum Hebrew Bible refers to the common portions of the Jewish and Christian canons. Its use is favored by most academic Biblical scholars as a bias-free term that is preferred to both Tanakh and Old Testament when discussing the text in... Hebrew Bible, appeared.
For many centuries Greek was the Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. The term is now applied to any language used by speakers of different languages to... lingua franca of the The Roman Empire is not the Holy Roman Empire (843-1806). Roman Empire between AD 60 and 400 with major cities. During this time only Dacia and Mesopotamia were added to the Empire but were lost before 300. The Roman Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Roman... Roman Empire. It was during Roman times that the Greek The New Testament, sometimes called the Greek Scriptures, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written after the birth of Jesus. The term is a translation of the Latin Novum Testamentum, which translates the Greek Η Καινη Δια... New Testament appeared. After the empire's fall in Events August - The usurper Basiliscus is deposed and Zeno is restored as Eastern Roman Emperor. September 4 - Romulus Augustus, the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, is deposed when Italy. Peter the Fuller is restored as Patriarch of Antioch. Births Aryabhata, Indian astronomer Deaths August 28 - Flavius Orestes, master... 476, the Greek language continued to be widely spoken. Greek was the official language of the Byzantine Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered around its capital in Constantinople. There is no consensus on the starting date of the Byzantine period. Some place it during the reign of Diocletian (284-305) due to the administrative reforms he... Eastern Roman Empire (or The Byzantine Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered at its capital in Constantinople. In certain specific contexts, usually referring to the centuries that marked the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it is also often referred to as the Eastern... Byzantine Empire), until Map of Constantinople. Constantinople (Roman name: Constantinopolis; Modern Greek: Konstantinoupoli or Κωνσταντινούπολη) is the former name of the city of Istanbul in todays Turkey. Today, Constantinople is the area between the Golden Horn and... Constantinople fell to the Areas settled by Turkic peoples in the late 19th and early 20th century The Turkic people are any of various peoples whose members speak languages in the Turkic family of languages. These people, possibly numbering 150 million in population, are probably the diverse descendants of large groups of tribespeople who... Turks in Events May 29 - Fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire). July 17 - Battle of Castillon. The French under Jean Bureau utterly defeat the English under the Earl of Shrewsbury, who is killed October 19 - The French recapture... 1453.
The decline of reading and writing among Greek speakers during the The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power Imperial motto El Muzaffer Daima The Ever Victorious (as written in tugra) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital İstanbul ( Constantinople/Asitane/Konstantiniyye ) Sovereigns Sultans of the Osmanli Dynasty Population ca 40 million Area 12+ million km² Establishment 1299 Dissolution October... Ottoman Empire's domination of much of the The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2.5 million km². Name The term Mediterranean derives from the Latin mediterraneus, inland (medius, middle + terra, land, earth). The Mediterranean Sea... Mediterranean, caused the language to change considerably during their rule, as it absorbed a number of Turkish (Türkçe or Türk dili) is a Turkic language, spoken natively by over 100 million speakers in Turkey, Cyprus, and worldwide. Classification Turkish is a member of the Turkish family of languages, which includes Balkan Gagauz Turkish, Gagauz, and Khorasani Turkish in addition to... Turkish and The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) comprise the languages of the Slavic peoples. They form a distinct group of Indo-European languages, with speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia. Branches Scholars divide... Slavic influences.


Modern Greek

After the establishment of Greece as an independent state in Events January 8 - Hanging of body-selling murderer William Burke - his associate William Hare, who testified against him, is released January 19 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethes Faust premieres March 4 - Andrew Jackson succeeds John Quincy Adams as the President of the United States of America. March 22 - Greece receives... 1829, the Katharevousa (Greek Καθαρεύουσα, IPA //) is a form of the Greek language, created during the early 19th century by Adamantios Korais (1748-1833). A graduate of the university of Montpellier in 1788, Korais spent most of his life as an expatriate... Katharévusa (Καθαρεύουσα) dialect—Greek for "purified language"—was sanctioned as the official language of the state and the only acceptable form of Greek in Greece, formally called the Hellenic Republic ( Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία), is a country in the southeast of Europe on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula. It has land boundaries with Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav... Greece. Katharévusa was an artificial construct, an attempt at language purification, aimed at undoing centuries of natural linguistic changes, during which the language had absorbed Turkish (Türkçe or Türk dili) is a Turkic language, spoken natively by over 100 million speakers in Turkey, Cyprus, and worldwide. Classification Turkish is a member of the Turkish family of languages, which includes Balkan Gagauz Turkish, Gagauz, and Khorasani Turkish in addition to... Turkish and The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) comprise the languages of the Slavic peoples. They form a distinct group of Indo-European languages, with speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia. Branches Scholars divide... Slavic words. The attempt was politically motivated, as the government was trying to capitalise on the cultural heritage of Ancient Greece is the term used to describe the Greek-speaking world in ancient times. It refers not only to the territory of the present Greek state, but also to those areas settled in ancient times by Greeks: Cyprus, the Aegean coast of Turkey (then known as Ionia), Sicily and... ancient Greece and the sympathy many Western intellectuals of the time had for the Greek fight for independence (e.g. Lord Byron, English poet Lord Byron (1803), as painted by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, (January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824) was the most widely read English language poet of his day. His best-known works are the narrative poems Childe Harolds Pilgrimage and... Lord Byron). The whole attempt led to a linguistic war and the creation of literary factions: the Dhimotikistés (Δημοτικηστές), who supported the common (Demotic) dialect, and the Lóyii (Λόγιοι), or Katharevusyáni (Καθαρευουσιάνοι), who supported the "purified dialect". Up to that point, use of Dhimotikí in state affairs was generally frowned upon. The state doctrine stated that use of Katharévusa promoted the idea that there was a linear continuation in the speech and thought of the ancient Greeks, all the way from For the Shakespeare play, see Pericles, Prince of Tyre Pericles (c. 495 BC - 429 BC, Greek : Περικλής) was an influential and important leader of Athens during the Athenian Golden Age (specifically, between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars), from the Alcmaeonidae family. The... Pericles's A view of the Acropolis of Athens during the Ottoman period, showing the buildings which were removed at the time of independence The history of Athens is the longest of any city in Europe: Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 3,000 years. In the first millennium BC... ancient Athens to today's For other uses, see Athens (disambiguation). The Acropolis in central Athens is home to ancient monuments of Athens — a mainstay of its thriving tourism industry Athens (Greek: Αθήνα Athína) is the capital of Greece, and also the capital of the Attica region of Greece... modern Athens. Use of the Demotic dialect in state speech and paperwork was forbidden.
The fall of the Junta of 1974 is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). Events January-February January 5 - Dungeons & Dragons officially released. February 3 - Prisoners Riot in Bathurst jail Riots much of jail destoyed by fire February 4 - Patricia Hearst, the 19 year old granddaughter of publisher William Randolph... 1974 and the end of the era of Metapolítefsi 1974 is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). Events January-February January 5 - Dungeons & Dragons officially released. February 3 - Prisoners Riot in Bathurst jail Riots much of jail destoyed by fire February 4 - Patricia Hearst, the 19 year old granddaughter of publisher William Randolph... 1974- 1976 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). Events January-February January 12 - UN Security Council votes 11-1 to admit the Palestinian Liberation Organization January 15 - Would-be Gerald Ford presidential assassin Sara Jane Moore is sentenced to life in prison January 16... 1976, brought the acceptance of the Demotic dialect as both the de facto and de jure forms of the language for use by the Greek government.


References

Geoffrey Horrocks, Greek: A History of the Language and Its Speakers (Longman Linguistics Library). Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1997. ISBN 0582307090


External links

  • Biography of Yiannis Psyxaris and the impact his book "My Journey" (Το ταξίδι μου) had on the Common vs Clean Language dispute (http://www.greekliterature.gr/people/psixaris.html)
  • A short biography of Karkavitsas (http://www.geocities.com/bulgarmak/karkavitsas.htm)
  • A Brief History of the Greek Language (http://greek-language.com/historyofgreek/)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Wikipedia search result (2546 words)
Greek has been written in the Greek alphabet (the first to introduce vowels), since the 9th century BC in Greece (before that in Linear B), and the 4th century BC in Cyprus (before that in Cypriot syllabary).
Medieval Greek: The continuation of Hellenistic Greek during medieval Greek history as the official and vernacular language of the Byzantine Empire, and continued to be used until, and after the fall of that Empire in the 15th century.
Greek is the official language of Greece where it is spoken by about 99.5% of the population.
BIGpedia - Greek language - Encyclopedia and Dictionary Online (1742 words)
Ancient Greek in its various forms was the language both of classical Greek civilisation and of the origins of Christianity, and was a first or second language over a large part of the Roman Empire.
Two main forms of the language have been in use since the end of the medieval Greek period: Dhimotikí (Δημοτική), the Demotic (vernacular) language, and Katharévusa (Καθαρεύουσα;), an imitation of classical Greek, which was used for literary, juridic, and scientific purposes during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Greek is the official language of the Hellenic Republic (Greece) where it is spoken by about 98.5% of the population.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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