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

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writing systems, such as Akkadian or Hittite cuneiform: in these systems scribes can substitute a logogram for the phonetic writing of a word. In Linear B documents logograms are never used in the main body of the text, but only as part of the totaling formula in texts which are lists of items (as many texts are). A common structure of a document in Linear B is: 1. An introductory line or “paragraph” of syllabic text sketching the subject matter or function of the tablet. 2. A line of syllabic

Chios. They were called the “Homeridae”: the term means “sons (or descendants) of Homer,” and a handful of references to the group in classical sources from Pindar to Plato implies that they specialized in, and in some sense regarded themselves as authorities on, the recitation of Homeric epic, and probably claimed to be guardians of the Homeric tradition. In the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo (3.172) the author of the Hymn identifies himself as “a blind man who dwells in rocky Chios.” However,

language is that of the Ionic tradition, but if this tradition took root in Boeotia these features could be easily accounted for. A corpus of 33 poems addressed to gods, known as the Homeric Hymns, also survives. They are of varying date and authorship: probably most were composed in the late seventh, sixth, and fifth centuries BC. Writing may have been used in the composition of all but the oldest of the Hymns. The language is in the same Ionic tradition as Homer and Hesiod. At least some of

objects: jokes and love poems scratched on cups (in symposia), dedications on objects in temples, and grave epigrams. The meter of these inscriptions is overwhelmingly dactylic: epic-style dactylic hexameters in the earliest period, with increasing use of elegiac couplets from the mid-sixth century (the elegiac couplet later became the meter associated par excellence with the epigram, especially the literary epigram). There is no easy formula to capture the language of epigraphic verse: the two

the Indo-European languages, a date in the fourth millennium still seems more attractive, partly because archaeologists are clear that the products associated with farming and wheeled vehicles (wheels, axles, yokes, wool, etc.) are not found earlier than the fourth millennium: since we can reconstruct Indo-European words for these items, if we were to push the dispersal of the language back to an earlier period we would have to assume that these words – which are found widely across the

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