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 Koine Greek and the relationship between literary and vernacular Greek
Stephen Colvin is Reader in Classics and Historical Linguistics at University College London. Previously, he was Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at Yale. He is the author of Dialect in Aristophanes (1999), A Historical Greek Reader (2007), and editor of The Greco-Roman East: Politics, Culture, Society (2004).
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