Category: Ancient Greek

How different is the modern Greek alphabet from the ancient one? Other than the fact that ancient Greek had only capital letters, does the alphabet also contain letters that modern Greek speakers do not use?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-18 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Writing Systems

In antiquity, every city had its own variant of the Greek alphabet; they varied not only on shape of letter, but also on which letters they used. Athens undertook a spelling reform in 403 BC, under the archonship of Eucleides, which adopted the Milesian variant of the Ionian alphabet, including the letters eta and omega. […]

The Ancient Greek Language: Is it similar to Modern Greek? The first link states that modern Greek descended from ancient Greek, however the second link says otherwise. What is really the truth? (links are down in the “answers” area)

By: | Post date: 2017-08-16 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

I’m to take seriously a doctor’s tongue-in-cheek commentary in a medical journal, as evidence that Modern Greek is not descended from Ancient Greek? Quoting a phrase book as his authority? Over an answer with contributions from several good minds that know both languages, including some (like me) with academic training in linguistics? Really? A guy […]

How do you say ‘the thing about the eagle’ in ancient Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

I have been edified by the margent: I have found out that the Iliad means ‘The thing about the lion’ and I was just wondering how one would say, ‘The thing about the eagle’. No. No it doesn’t, and you need to slap whoever told you that in the face. Iliad means ‘The thing about […]

What does the ancient Greek word ‘βρουχος’ mean?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

Like Riccardo Radici’s answer says: It is a variant of βροῦκος = locust (see: Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, Βροῦκος) OP has expanded on his inquiry: Its a word in the Greek Septuagint. Ive seen it translated in 3 different ways: Caterpilar,grasshopper,or lightning. But I have no idea how they came with […]

How would you translate “Ithaca-bound” (as in “sailing towards Ithaca”) into Ancient Greek (Homeric or Attic work)?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Ἰθάκηνδε, which occurs five times in the Odyssey (1.88, 1.163, 11.361, 15.157, 16.322). Answered 2017-08-13 [Originally posted on http://quora.com/How-would-you-translate-Ithaca-bound-as-in-sailing-towards-Ithaca-into-Ancient-Greek-Homeric-or-Attic-work/answer/Nick-Nicholas-5]

Why didn’t Modern Greek unify all the ancient Greek dialects? See my comment.

By: | Post date: 2017-08-12 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

The answer is Niko Vasileas’ answer. I’ll add that koineisation, the merger of dialects into a new norm, happens a lot. Australian English is a dialect koine, for example, and so is the contemporary dialect of London, and so is Early Modern English. They do tend to have a dominant dialect as their basis, typically […]

Are the Trojans in the Homeric Epics portrayed to speak Greek differently than the Achaeans?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-11 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

There’s no dialectal difference, although I wouldn’t expect one from an epic poem: Homer is not Aristophanes. Of course, the Iliad is not a documentary, and while the poem concedes that the Trojans’ allies did not speak Greek, it’s doubtful that the actual Trojans of 1200 BC spoke Greek either. Trojan language – Wikipedia mentions […]

What did short monophthongal epsilon and omicron sound like in 5th Century BC Attic Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-11 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

One extrapolation is Modern Greek, which (as Rich Alderson’s answer says) has them as short mid-high tense: [e̞ o̞]. Sidney Allen’s Vox Graeca is the authoritative work in English on Ancient Greek pronunciation and the evidence we have for it, and it treats short mid-high tense as the default assumption. It rejects the notion that […]

What should I do and not do when visiting and praying at the Greek Acropolis?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-11 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Culture

Do bring a drink with you. Don’t expect to find cheap drinks in the vicinity. On my latest visit to the Sacred Rock, I said to a vendor at the foot of the hill: —As our ancient ancestors used to say: I’ll have a coke please. The vendor replied. —As our ancient ancestors used to […]

Why does it seem that the prefixes of compound words end in O?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, English, Linguistics

Ancient Greek used connecting vowels between two stems when forming compounds, unless the second stem started with a vowel (e.g. nost-os ‘homecoming’ + algos ‘pain’ > nost-algia). A vowel was also unnecessary if the first part of the compound was a numeral or preposition, which instead had their own optional vowels: tetr(a)– ‘four’, di(a)– ‘through’, […]

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