Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek is an Indo-European language primarily spoken in Greece and the Aegean region from the 9th century BCE to the 4th century CE. It is one of the most studied languages in the world and has had profound influence on literature, art, philosophy, science and culture of Western civilization. 

The earliest known form of Ancient Greek is called Mycenaean Greek, which dates back to the 14th century BCE and was predominantly used in the Mycenaean civilization. The first written records of the language appear in the Linear B tablets, which were used for administrative purposes.

The Ancient Greek language is commonly divided into three main dialects: 

1) Aeolic, which was mainly spoken in the northern and central Aegean islands
2) Doric, which was primarily spoken in mainland Greece and the Peloponnesus 
3) Ionic, which was spoken on the western coast of Asia Minor, the Cyclades, and some parts of the Peloponnesus.

Over time, these dialects evolved into several more dialects as Ancient Greek spread across the Mediterranean and into other regions.

Ancient Greek is commonly divided into three main periods: 

1) Archaic Greek (8th-6th centuries BCE) - The period when Greek literature and poetry began to gain a foothold. The Homeric epics (The Iliad and The Odyssey) were written during this period.

Sample Text:

Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεὰ, Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος 
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί' Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε' ἔθηκε 
πολλὰς δ' ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν 
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν 
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ' ἐτελείετο βουλή 
(Homeric Hymn to Demeter)

2) Classical Greek (5th-4th centuries BCE) - The period when democracy and philosophy became prevalent in the Greek world. Famous authors like Plato, Aristotle, and Sophocles wrote during this period.

Sample Text:

Ὦ, προστάτις καὶ σύντροφε τῶν Ἑλλήνων,
σὺ μὲν ἀρχαὶ πάσης φύσεως βαθυκόλποις,
ὄλβον ἤλασον ἀνδράσιν, ἁπασέως ἄεθλα.
(Aeschylus, Agamemnon)

3) Hellenistic Greek (3rd-1st centuries BCE) - The period when Greek civilization was widely diffused throughout the Mediterranean and the Bible was written in Greek.

Sample Text:

Εἰδώλοισιν ἀμήχανον οἶκτον προσφέρειν βροτοῖσιν,
οὐχ ὅσον γλυκὺ φίλων ἐπεί ἑ τοῦτον ἑκάεργον ἔρως·
ἀλλ' ὅσον στεγανῷ χιτῶνι μαραίνετο φῦλον Ἀμαζόνων
ἢν ἄνδρες περιβάλωντ' ἀμβράτῳ παρὰ κλείων.
(Callimachus, Hymn to Demeter)

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