By Stephen Colvin
A short background of historic Greek accessibly depicts the social background of this historical language from its Indo-European roots to the current day.
Explains key relationships among the language and literature of the Classical interval (500 - three hundred BC)
offers a social background of the language which transliterates and interprets all Greek as acceptable, and is for that reason obtainable to readers who be aware of very little Greek
Written within the framework of contemporary sociolinguistic thought, concerning the advance of old Greek to its social and political context
displays the most recent pondering on topics comparable to Koiné Greek and the connection among literary and vernacular Greek
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Additional resources for A Brief History of Ancient Greek
The likelihood is that the sounds were still labiovelars. (2) Later Greek seems not to have liked two h-sounds (aspirates) in the same word: when this happens there is a strong tendency to de-aspirate one of them, usually the first (this is known as “Grassman’s Law” after its discoverer). Thus the verb *ἕχω [hekhō] “I have” in the present tense became ἔχω [ekhō]: but the future tense remains ἕξω [heksō] because there is only one aspirate in the word. This process is already in place before the time of our earliest Greek texts, and has often been assumed to be pre-Mycenean.
Owing to the clear relationship with Linear A this early Cypriot script is known as Cypro-Minoan. One text found on Crete, in a context which dates it to around 1700 bc, stands outside all known scripts of the Aegean. This is the Phaistos disk, discovered in the palace at Phaistos. It is made of baked clay and stamped on both sides with 242 signs arranged in a spiral, apparently to be read from the outside to the center in a clockwise direction. There are 45 different signs, and these are unique in the ancient world as they have been imprinted using stamps.
3 The Athenians were obliged to send him every year a number of youths and maidens to feed the Minotaur, which he kept in an enclosure called the labyrinth. It was Theseus, the culture hero of Athens, who (with the help of Minos’ daughter Ariadne) killed the Minotaur and freed the Athenians from this imposition. 568, and in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (393) Apollo chooses “Cretans from Minoan Knossos” (who are sailing to Pylos to trade) to be his temple servants at Delphi. This is one of the very few instances of the word “Minoan” in Greek, an adjective built from the name Minos.
A Brief History of Ancient Greek by Stephen Colvin