Detailed history of the Ancient Greek and Latin languages.Compiled from class notes and lectures.

Essay by wetclassiqueUniversity, Bachelor's March 2005

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

Downloaded 46 times

Language Name: Ancient Greek, Classical Greek, Greek (without reference to time period, the ancient form of the language is usually taken as the unmarked value, and within Ancient Greek, the Attic dialect (see below on Dialects) is the usual point of reference); autonym: hellenike (actually an adjective derived from Hellen, the word for a 'Greek' in general (as opposed to a member of one of the Greek dialect groups; as an adjective, it is modifying an understood noun 'language').

Location: Temporally, Ancient Greek can be located from its earliest attestation in the 14th century BC up through the end of the Hellenistic period in (roughly) the 4th century AD. Spatially, Ancient Greek in its earliest attested forms was spoken in the southern Balkan peninsula, in territory that is now the modern nation of Greece, both on the Greek mainland and on some of the Aegean islands, most notably Crete. By relatively early in the first millennium BC, Greek was spoken over all of the Aegean islands and Cyprus, and there were Greek-speaking colonies in Asia Minor, along the west coast of what is now Turkey, in Southern Italy, in parts of the Western Mediterranean, and in the Black Sea area.

Colonization continued during the Archaic and Pre-Classical periods up to the 7th century BC and into the Classical period, but it was during the Hellenistic period, as part of the the expansion of the empire of Philip of Macedon and especially his son Alexander the Great, who both adopted Greek as the official language of their court, that Greek achieved its greatest geographic distribution, spreading all over the eastern Mediterranean, with a major cultural center in Alexandria, and the Levant, and extending as far east as India.

Family: Ancient Greek is generally taken to be the only representative (though note...