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A Brief History of Ancient Greek

Stephen Colvin

ISBN: 978-1-118-61072-5 December 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 232 Pages

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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

List of Figures vi

Preface and Acknowledgments vii

1 The Indo-European Beginnings 1

2 An Aegean Co-Production 17

3 Mycenean Greek 32

4 The Dark Ages 51

5 The Alphabet 68

6 The Greek Dialects 89

7 Homer and the Epic Tradition 113

8 The Language of Greek Poetry 134

9 Bare Words: The Start of a Common Language 156

10 Greek to Romaic and Back 178

Appendix: The Greek Alphabet and Pronunciation 200

Abbreviations and Symbols 202

Glossary 204

References 207

Index 211