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Basic Ancient Greek

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Overview[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Ancient Greek is not a language in itself, but a set of dialects of Greek from what we consider to be ancient times, from the Archaic period up until Medieval times. Much of the information here pertains to all of these dialects, with exceptions noted.

Alphabet[edit | edit source]

The alphabet of the Greek language was adapted from the Phoenicians, a seafaring civilization in Africa. The Phoenicians wrote their language with an abjad, which is like an alphabet of only consonants. (Imagine reading "th qck brwn fx jmps vr th lzy dg" instead of "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"). Greeks adapted this for their language and added letters for vowels, a subject discussed with some degree of historical ambiguity.

Each letter in both of those languages had a name (e.g. alpha) that could be spelled with other letters, just as people say "double u" to specify the letter w when spelling. They also could all be used to specify numbers with a special mark ().

The standardized alphabet appears here: (insert table)

The alphabet including obsolete letters appears here: (insert table)

Be able to

  1. for all the letters
  • transliterate into the Roman alphabet (may be multiple ways)
  • pronounce
  • write
  • name
  • use as a number
  1. for the alphabet
  • say it in order

Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Transforming letters[edit | edit source]

Diphthongs[edit | edit source]

Breathing[edit | edit source]

Spirit Marks[edit | edit source]

Accents[edit | edit source]