For other types of writing, for instance private letters, documents and other types of everyday writing, a cursive script had developed that used slanted, interconnected glyphs and many ligatures. From the mid-9th century ad onwards, the uncial script was replaced in book writing by a new writing style, the minuscule, which used more compact, rounded letter shapes and was partly based on the earlier cursive. This innovation may have centered on the scribal work of the Stoudion monastery in Constantinople. 16 The earliest type of books written in minuscule, dated from the mid-9th to mid-10th century, are called codices vetustissimi oldest codices. During the following centuries, this style of writing was further developed and took on more cursive elements again. This became the dominant type of handwriting until the post-byzantine period.
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14 Apparently, some thirty years later, the same alphabet was introduced to boeotia, having been adopted perhaps a little earlier in Macedonia, and went on in the course of the 4th century to displace the local alphabets throughout the whole business Greek-speaking world. 15 The ionic alphabet included a new letter, omega, at the end of the alphabet, and standardised the representation of various sounds that had varied from one dialect to another, as follows: sound Old Attic Ionic h Η (no symbol) ɛ Ε Η (eta). A symbol based on the left-hand half ( ) of the letter Η was therefore sometimes used to indicate the presence of h where necessary, and its absence was indicated by a symbol based on the right half. During the classical period, ΕΙ came to be pronounced i and ου came to be pronounced u, υ having meanwhile moved. By about 200 bc, a system of diacritical marks was invented, representing the tone accents in use in Ancient Greek. This also helped to indicate the length of the vowels Α, Ι, and υ in certain cases (for instance a circumflex can only occur on a long vowel but Greek orthography has never had a comprehensive way of indicating vowel length, and this distinction has. This innovation of accents, as well as that of punctuation marks, has been credited to Aristophanes of byzantium (257. Later developments edit cursive script, from a 6th-century private contract written on papyrus Uncial script, from a 4th-century bible manuscript by the time of late antiquity and the early byzantine period, two different styles of handwriting had developed, both suitable to the act of writing. The uncial script consisted of large upright letter glyphs, similar to those used in inscriptions on stone and to the modern uppercase glyphs. It was used mainly for carefully produced book manuscripts.
There was some variation between dialects as to the symbols used: k word could be Κ, ΚΗ, ψ, or Χ p could be π, πΗ, or φ ks could be Κσ, χσ, χ, or Ξ ps could be πσ, φσ, or ψ because ks and. Greek, like phoenician, made a distinction for vowel length ; indeed, Greek had five short vowels and seven long vowels, but only five vowel letters. As in Phoenician, the difference in length was not originally made in writing. However, by the 6th century bc the letter eta (not needed for a consonant in eastern dialects of Greek, which lacked h) came to stand for the long vowel ɛ, and a new letter, omega, was developed for long. The provenance of omega is not known, but it is generally assumed to derive from omicron with a line drawn under. Long e and o were written with the digraphs ει and ου, respectively, whereas long and short a, i, u were never distinguished in writing. Standardization the ionic alphabet edit variations of ancient Greek alphabets In 403/2 bc, following the devastating defeat in the peloponnesian War and the restoration of democracy, the Athenians voted to abandon the old Attic alphabet ( Pre-euclidean alphabet ) and to introduce a standardized variant. This Euclidean alphabet included eta and omega, which concluded the process of adapting the Phoenician script so that all vowels could be written systematically, thus becoming the first 'true' alphabet.
A further Greek letter long of uncertain origin, sampi, is found occasionally, and may represent an affricate, such. For the special case of zeta, see zeta (letter). Epichoric alphabets edit main article: Archaic Greek alphabets Distribution of epichoric alphabets after Kirchhoff (1887) Western, cumae or Euboean alphabet Ionic, Attic and Corinthian Cretan In the 8th to 6th centuries, local or epichoric variants of the alphabet developed. They are classified into three main groups, following Adolf Kirchhoff (1887 green (Cretan red ( Euboean or Western ) and blue (Ionic, Attic and Corinthian). The main distinction is in the supplemental signs added to the Phoenician core inventory. With the exception of the early fayum alphabet, which does not fit into the tripartite scheme, all father's abecedaries add Υ to the Phoenician inventory. The green alphabets have only this; the red add Φ for p, χ for ks, and Ψ for k; and the blue add Φ for p, and Χ for k, with a dark blue subgroup (Corinth and Rhodes) also having Ψ for. Additional letters edit In some, but not all, Greek dialects, additional letters were created to represent aspirated versions of Κ and Π (an aspirated version of τ already existed as described above) and combinations of Κ and Π with.
Only the letter ayin for o necessitated a change of name ( o, later o micron ). 13 Phoenician also had an "emphatic" consonant, ṭēth, which did not exist in Greek. However, Greek had an aspiration distinction that Phoenician lacked, and used ṭēth for the aspirated. The Phoenician consonants kaph and qōph represented sounds that were not distinctive in Greek—at most, they may have been identified with allophones determined by the following vowel. The letter qoppa was used in certain Greek dialects (notably the western dialects, which ultimately gave rise to Etruscan and eventually the latin alphabet but elsewhere dropped out of general use. It is possible that qoppa had been assigned to the Ancient Greek /k and when that sound shifted to /p the letter qoppa continued as the letter phi. 13 Phoenician had three letters, sāmekh, ṣādē and šin, representing three or probably four voiceless sibilant sounds, whereas Greek only required one. The history here is complicated, but basically sāmekh dropped out in certain dialects, and was reused to represent ks in others, while usage for the s sound varied between ṣādē and šin. The letter now known as sigma took its name from sāmekh but its form from šin, while the letter San, which occurred in a few dialects only, took its name from šin but its place in the alphabet from ṣādē.
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And therefore, as the tax story goes, the Egyptian priest, having studied the script and translated it, concluded that the writing enjoined the Greeks to institute games in honor of the muses. Restructuring of the Phoenician abjad edit Phonetic transcriptions below (in square brackets) use the International Phonetic Alphabet. The majority of the letters of the Phoenician alphabet were adopted into Greek with much the same sounds as they had had in Phoenician. However, Phoenician, like other Semitic scripts, has a range of consonants, commonly called gutturals, that did not exist in Greek: āleph ʔ, hē h, e, a, ēth ħ, and ayin. Of these, only ēth was retained in Greek as a consonant, eta, representing the h sound in those dialects that had an h, while the consonants āleph, hē and ayin became the vowels alpha a, e e and o o, respectively. A phoenician had foreshadowed the development of vowel letters with a limited use of matres lectionis, that is, consonants that pulled double duty as vowels, which for historical reasons occurred mostly at the ends of words.
For example, the two while letters wāw and yōdh stood for both the approximant consonants w and j, and the long vowels u and i in Phoenician. By this point in time, greek had lost its j sound, so Phoenician yōdh was used only for its vocalic value, becoming the Greek vowel letter iota. However, several Greek dialects still had a w sound, and here wāw was used for both of its Phoenician values, but with different forms: as the Greek letter digamma for the consonant w, and as the letter upsilon for the vowel. Upsilon was added at the end of the alphabet, perhaps to avoid upsetting the alphabetic order that was used in Greek numerals. Phoenician hē had been used as a mater lectionis for both a and e in addition to h, but in Greek it was restricted to e, following the acrophonic principle; its value a was instead written with the letter āleph, while Greek h was written. All Phoenician letters had been acrophonic, and they remained so in Greek. Since the names of the letters āleph and hē were pronounced alep and e by the Greeks, with initial vowels due to the silent gutturals (the disambiguation e psilon "narrow e" came later the acrophonic principle was retained for vowels as well as consonants.
9 diodorus' account edit some ancient Greek scholars argued that the Greek alphabet should not be attributed to the Phoenician alphabet. Diodorus Siculus in his Historical Library, book 5, suggests that the Phoenicians merely changed the form and shape of earlier letters: But there are some who attribute the invention of letters to the syrians, from whom the Phoenicians learned them and communicated them to the. To these that hold this opinion, it is answered that the Phoenicians were not the first that found out letters, but only changed the form and shape of them into other characters, which many afterwards using the name of Phoenicians grew to be common. Plutarch's account edit In his book on the malice of Herodotus, plutarch criticizes Herodotus for prejudice and misrepresentation. Furthermore, he argues that Gephyraei were euboeans or Eretrians and he doubts the reliability of Herodotus' sources.
As for Aristogeiton, herodotus puts him not forth at the back door, but thrusts him directly out of the gate into Phoenicia, saying that he had his origins from the gephyraei, and that the gephyraei were not, as some think, euboeans or Eretrians, but Phoenicians. Plutarch and other ancient Greek writers credited the legendary palamedes of nauplion on Euboea with the invention of the supplementary letters not found in the original Phoenician alphabet. 10 The distinction between Eta and Epsilon and between Omega and Omicron, adopted in the ionian standard, was traditionally attributed to simonides of ceos (556-469). Plutarch goes further back to describe an older Greek writing system, similar as he attested to the Egyptian writing. In his Discourse concerning Socratess daemon, 11 he describes how Agesilaus king of Sparta, uncovers Alcmene s tomb at Haliartus and discovers a brazen plate on which a very ancient script was written, much older than the Ancient Greek alphabet. Agesilaus sent a transcript to Egypt in order to be translated back into Ancient Greek. Agetoridas the Spartan travelled to memphis of Egypt and gave the transcript to Chonouphis the Egyptian priest. Some scholars speculate that this plate was written in Linear. 12 Agesilaus decision to have text sent to Egypt is not unreasonable; it is widely accepted that Ancient Egyptians during the 4th century bc were able to translate to and from various other languages; they used three different writing systems within Egypt: hieroglyphic script, hieratic.
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The third tripod bears the inscription again in hexameter verse: λαοδάμας τρίποδ ατς υσκόπ πόλωνι μουναρχέων νέθηκε τεν περικαλς γαλμα. ( "Laodamas, while he reigned, dedicated this cauldron to Apollo, the sure of aim, as a lovely offering" ). Hyginus' account edit hyginus recounts the following legend about the introduction of Phoenician letters to Greece: The three fates created the first five vowels of the alphabet and the letters b and. It is said that Palamedes, son of nauplius invented the remaining eleven consonants. Then Hermes reduced these sounds to characters, showing wedge shapes because cranes fly in wedge formation and then carried the system from Greece to Egypt. This was the pelasgian alphabet, which Cadmus had later brought to boeotia, then evander of Arcadia, a pelasgian, introduced into Italy, where his mother, carmenta, formed the familiar fifteen characters of the latin alphabet. Other consonants have since been added to the Greek alphabet. Alpha was the first of eighteen letters, because alphe means night honor, and alphainein is to invent.
6 Herodotus estimates that Cadmus lived sixteen hundred years earlier, or around 2000. 7 he had seen and described the cadmean writing engraved on certain tripods in the temple of Apollo at Thebes. He estimated that those tripods dated back to the time of laius, the great-grandson of Cadmus. 8 On one of the tripods there was this inscription in Cadmean writing, which as he attested, resembled Ionian letters : μφιτρύων μ νέθηκ νάρων π τηλεβοάων ( " Amphitryon dedicated me from the spoils of the battle of Teleboae." ). A second tripod bears the inscription in hexameter verse: σκαῖος πυγμαχέων με κηβόλ πόλωνι νικήσας νέθηκε τεν περικαλς γαλμα. ( "Scaeus the boxer, victorious in the contest, dedicated me to Apollo, the archer god, a lovely offering" ). Herodotus estimated that if Scaeus, the son write of Hippocoon was the dedicator and not another of the same name, he would have lived at the time of Oedipus.
that a daughter of a certain Agamemnon, king of aeolian Cyme, married a phrygian king called Midas. 4 This link may have facilitated the Greeks "borrowing" their alphabet from the Phrygians because the Phrygian letter shapes are closest to the inscriptions from aeolis. 5 Some scholars argue for earlier dates: naveh (1973) for the 11th century bc, stieglitz (1981) for the 14th century, bernal (1990) for the 18th13th century, some for the 9th, but none of these are widely accepted. Herodotus' account edit According to legends recounted by herodotus, the alphabet was first introduced to Greece by a phoenician named Cadmus : The Phoenicians who came with Cadmus —amongst whom were the gephyraei—introduced into Greece, after their settlement in the country, a number of accomplishments. At first they the Phoenicians used the same characters as all the other Phoenicians, but as time went on, and they changed their language, they also changed the shape of their letters. At that period most of the Greeks in the neighbourhood were ionians; they were taught these letters by the Phoenicians and adopted them, with a few alterations, for their own use, continuing to refer to them as the Phoenician characters—as was only right, as the. The ionians also call paper 'skins'—a survival from antiquity when paper was hard to get, and they did actually use goat and sheep skins to write. Indeed, even today many foreign peoples use this material. In the temple of Ismenian Apollo at Theba in boeotia i have myself seen cauldrons with inscriptions cut on them in Cadmean characters—most of them not very different from the ionian.
The Greek alphabet was developed by a greek with first-hand experience of contemporary Phoenician script. Almost as quickly as it was established in the Greek mainland, it was rapidly re-exported, eastwards. Phrygia, where a similar script was devised. It was also exported westwards with. Euboean or West Greek traders, where the. Etruscans adapted the Greek alphabet to their own language, which eventually led to the. Contents, chronology of adoption edit, most specialists believe that the, phoenician alphabet was adopted for Greek during the early 8th barbing century bc, perhaps. 2, the earliest known fragmentary Greek inscriptions date from this time, 770750 bc, and they match Phoenician letter forms.
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Black figure vessel with double alphabet inscription, showing new letters υχφψ, and υχφψω. Dedication in boeotian alphabet. Black-glaze boeotian kantharos, 450425 bc, the history of the Greek alphabet starts with the adoption of, phoenician letter forms and continues to the present day. The Greek alphabet postdates. Linear b, the syllabic script that was used for writing, mycenaean Greek, type by several centuries. This article concentrates on the early period, before the codification of the now-standard. The Phoenician alphabet was strictly speaking one that was consistently explicit only about consonants, though even by the 9th century bc it had developed matres lectionis to indicate some, mostly final, vowels. 1, this arrangement is much less suitable for. Greek than for, semitic languages, and these matres lectionis, as well as several Phoenician letters which represented consonants not present in Greek, were adapted according to the acrophonic principle to represent Greek vowels consistently, if not unambiguously.