Medieval Greek

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Medieval Greek
Byzantine Greek
Ἑλληνική
Ellinikí
Region eastern Mediterranean
Era
developed into Modern Greek by 1453
Indo-European
Early forms
Greek alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3 grc  (i.e. with Ancient Greek)
Linguist list
qgk
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Medieval Greek, also known as Byzantine Greek,[1] is the stage of the Greek language between the beginning of the Middle Ages around 600 and the Ottoman conquest of the city of Constantinople in 1453. The latter date marked the end of the Middle Ages in Southeast Europe. From the 7th century onwards, Greek was the only language of administration and government in the Byzantine Empire. This former stage of language is thus described as Byzantine Greek. The study of the Medieval Greek language and literature is a branch of Byzantine Studies, or Byzantinology, the study of the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire.

The beginning of Medieval Greek is occasionally dated back to as early as the 4th century, either to 330 AD, when the political centre of the monarchy was moved to Constantinople, or to 395 AD, the division of the Empire. However, this approach is rather arbitrary as it is more an assumption of political as opposed to cultural and linguistic developments. It is only after the Eastern Roman-Byzantine culture was subjected to such massive change in the 7th century that a turning point in language development can be assumed. Medieval Greek is the link between the ancient and modern forms of the language because on the one hand, its literature is still strongly influenced by Ancient Greek, while on the other hand, many linguistic features of Modern Greek were already taking shape in the spoken language.

History and development[edit]

Distribution of Greek dialects during the late Byzantine Emptire, 12-15th centuries

With the transfer of the Roman imperial court to Byzantium (Constantinople) between 324 and 330, the political centre of the Roman Empire was moved into an area where Greek was the dominant language. At first, Latin remained the language of both the court and the army and it was used for official documents, but its influence soon waned. From the beginning of the 6th century, amendments to the law were mostly written in Greek.

Furthermore, parts of the Roman Corpus Iuris Civilis were gradually translated into Greek. Under the rule of Emperor Heraclius (610–641 AD), who also assumed the Greek title Basileus (βασιλεύς, "monarch") in 629, Greek became the official language of the Eastern Roman Empire.[2] This was in spite of the fact that the inhabitants of the empire still considered themselves Romaioi ("Romans") long after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the absence of reliable demographic figures, it has been estimated that less than one third of the inhabitants of the Eastern Roman Empire, around eight million people, were native speakers of Greek.[3] Their presence was centered on the ancient Greek settlements, primarily on the southern Balkan Peninsula and in the western part of Asia Minor. The number of those who were able to communicate in Greek may have been far higher. In any case, all cities of the Eastern Roman Empire were strongly influenced by the Greek language.[4]

In the period between 603 and 619, the southern and eastern parts of the empire were occupied by Persian Sassanids and, having been recaptured by Heraclius in the years 622 to 628, they were conquered by the Arabs in the course of the Muslim conquests a few years later. Alexandria, a center of Greek culture and language, fell to the Arabs in 642. During the seventh and eighth centuries, Greek was replaced by Arabic as an official language in conquered territories such as Egypt.[4]

Thus, the use of Greek declined early on within this area. From the late 11th century onwards, the sparsely populated interior of Anatolia was invaded by Seljuq Turks, who advanced westwards penetrating into the Greek-speaking areas. With the Ottoman conquests of Constantinople in 1453, the Peloponnese in 1459/1460, the Empire of Trebizond in 1461, Athens in 1465, and two centuries later the Duchy of Candia in 1669, the Greek language lost its status as a national language until the emergence of modern Greece in the year 1832. Language varieties after 1453 are referred to as Modern Greek.

Diglossia[edit]

As early as in the Hellenistic period, there was a tendency towards a state of diglossia between the Attic literary language and the constantly developing vernacular Koiné. By late antiquity, the gap had become impossible to ignore. In the Byzantine era, written Greek manifested itself in a whole spectrum of divergent registers, all of which were consciously archaic in comparison with the contemporary spoken vernacular, but in different degrees.[5]

They ranged from a moderately archaic style employed for most every-day writing and based mostly on the written Koiné of the Bible and early Christian literature, to a highly artificial learned style, employed by authors with higher literary ambitions and closely imitating the model of classical Attic, in continuation of the movement of Atticism in late antiquity. At the same time, the spoken vernacular language developed on the basis of earlier spoken Koiné, and reached a stage that in many ways resembles present-day Modern Greek in terms of grammar and phonology by the turn of the first millennium AD. Written literature reflecting this demotic Greek begins to appear around 1100.

Among the preserved literature in the Attic literary language, various forms of historiography take a prominent place. They comprise chronicles as well as classicist, contemporary works of historiography, theological documents, and saints' lives. Poetry can be found in the form of hymns and ecclesiastical poetry. Many of the Byzantine emperors were active writers themselves and wrote chronicles or works on the running of the Byzantine state and strategic or philological works.

Furthermore, letters, legal texts, and numerous registers and lists in Medieval Greek exist. Concessions to spoken Greek can be found in literature in the following examples: John Malalas's Chronography from the 6th century, the Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor (9th century) and the works of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (mid-10th century). These are influenced by the vernacular language of their time in choice of words and idiom, but largely follow the models of written Koine in their morphology and syntax.

The spoken form of Greek was called glossa dēmodēs (γλῶσσα δημώδης, "vernacular Greek"), haploellinikē (ἁπλοελληνική, "basic Greek"), kathomilimenē (καθωμιλημένη, ‘spoken’) or Romaiikē (Ῥωμαιϊκή, "Roman language"). Before the 13th century, examples of texts written in vernacular Greek, are very rare. They are restricted to isolated passages of popular acclamations, sayings, and particularly common or untranslatable formulations which occasionally made their way into Greek literature. Since the end of the 11th century, vernacular Greek poems from the literary realm of Constantinople are documented.

The Digenes Akritas, a collection of heroic sagas from the 12th century that was later collated in a verse epic, was the first literary work completely written in the vernacular. The Greek vernacular verse epic appeared in the 12th century, around the time of the French romance novel, almost as a backlash to the Attic renaissance during the dynasty of the Komnenoi in works like Psellos’s Chronography (in the middle of the 11th century) or the Alexiad, the biography of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos written by his daughter Anna Komnena about a century later. In fifteen-syllable blank verse (versus politicus), the Digenes Akritas deals with both ancient and medieval heroic sagas, but also with stories of animals and plants. The Chronicle of the Morea, a verse chronicle from the 14th century, is unique. It has also been preserved in French, Italian and Aragonese versions, and covers the history of French feudalism on the Peloponnese.

The earliest evidence of prose vernacular Greek exists in some documents from southern Italy written in the tenth century. Later prose literature consists of statute books, chronicles and fragments of religious, historical and medical works. The dualism of literary language and vernacular was to persist until well into the 20th century, when the Greek language question was decided in favor of the vernacular in 1976.

Dialects[edit]

Despite the fact that vernacular Greek was widespread in the Eastern Mediterranean area, it is remarkable that it did not split up into various new languages, as Vulgar Latin did, but remained in a relatively unified area. The Greek spoken at the southern coast of the Black Sea, called Pontic Greek, which did not undergo the many developments of vernacular Greek, is an exception to this. Dialects based on Koine Greek emerged at around the turn of the first millennium.

In Griko, a language spoken in the southern Italian exclaves, and in Tsakonian, which is spoken on the Peloponnese, dialects of older origin continue to be used today. In the course of the resettlement of its speakers to present-day Greece that began in 1923, some of the younger dialects, such as Cappadocian, vanished. Cypriot Greek was already in a literary form in the late Middle Ages, being used in the chronicles of Leontios Makhairas and Voustronios.

Phonetics and phonology[edit]

It is assumed that most of the developments leading to the phonology of Modern Greek had either already taken place in Medieval Greek, or were continuing to develop during this period. Above all, these developments included the establishment of dynamic stress, which had already replaced the tonal system of Ancient Greek during the Hellenistic period. In addition, the vowel system was gradually reduced to five phonemes without any differentiation in vowel length. Furthermore, Ancient Greek diphthongs became monophthongs.

Vowels[edit]

Type Front Back
Type Unrounded Rounded Rounded
Close /i/ ι, ει, η /y/ υ, οι, υι /u/ ου
Mid /e/ ε, αι   /o/ ο, ω
Open /a/ α    

The Suda, an encyclopedia from the late 10th century, gives some indication of the vowel inventory. Following the antistoichic system, it lists terms alphabetically but arranges similarly pronounced letters side by side. In this way, αι is grouped together with ε; ει and η together with ι; o with ω, and οι with υ, indicating that these were groups of homophones.

Until approximately the 10th/11th century, when they all merged into /i/, υ, οι and υι were pronounced as /y/. In the original closing diphthongs αυ, ευ and ηυ, the offglide [u] had developed into a consonantal [v] or [f] early on (possibly through an intermediate stage of [β] and [ɸ]). Before [n], υ turned to [m] (éunostos/εὔνοστος > émnostos/ἔμνοστος, cháunos/χαύνος > chamnos/χάμνος, eláuno/ἐλαύνω > lámno/λάμνω), or was dropped (tháuma/θαῦμα > tháma/θάμα). Before [s], it occasionally turned to [p] (anápausi/ἀνάπαυση > anápapsi/ἀνάπαψη).

Words with initial vowels were often affected by apheresis: i iméra (ἡ ἡμέρα) > i méra (ἡ μέρα "the day"), erotó (ἐρωτῶ) > rotó (ρωτῶ "to ask").

A regular phenomenon is synizesis ("merging" of vowels). In many words with the combinations /éa/, /éo/, /ía/ and /ío/, the stress shifted to the second vowel, and the first became a glide [j]. Thus: Roméos (Ῥωμαῖος) > Romiós (Ῥωμιός "Roman"), ennéa (ἐννέα) > enniá (ἐννιά "nine"), píos (ποῖος > piós (ποιός) – "which"; ta pedía (τα παιδία) > ta pediá (τα παιδιά "the children"). In many cases, the vowel o disappeared in the endings -ion/-ιον and -ios/-ιος (sakkíon/σακκίον > sakkín/σακκίν, chartíon/χαρτίον > chartín/χαρτίν, kýrios/κύριος > kýris/κύρις).

Consonants[edit]

The shift in the consonant system from voiced plosives /b/ (β), /d/ (δ), /ɡ/ (γ) and aspirated voiceless plosives /pʰ/ (φ), /tʰ/ (θ), /kʰ/ (χ) to corresponding fricatives (/v, ð, ɣ/ and /f, θ, x/, respectively) was already completed during Late Antiquity. But the original voiced plosives remained as such after nasal consonants, with /mb/ (μβ), /nd/ (νδ), /ŋɡ/ (γγ) — this would not actually change into the modern /ɱv, nð, ŋɣ/ until the 19th century Katharevousa reforms prescribed them as the pronunciation of educated people. The velar sounds /k, x, ɣ, ŋk, ŋɡ/ (κ, χ, γ, γκ, γγ) were realised as palatal allophones ([c, ç, ʝ, ɲc, ɲɟ]) before front vowels. The fricative /h/, which had been present in Classical Greek, had been lost early on, although it is still reflected in spelling through the rough breathing, a diacritic mark added to vowels.

Changes in the phonological system mainly affect consonant clusters that show sandhi processes. In clusters of two different plosives or two different fricatives, there is a tendency for dissimilation such that the first consonant becomes a fricative and/or the second becomes a plosive ultimately favoring a fricative-plosive cluster. But if the first consonant was a fricative and the second consonant was /s/, the first consonant instead became a plosive, favoring a plosive-/s/ cluster. Medieval Greek also had cluster voicing harmony favoring the voice of the final plosive or fricative; when the resulting clusters became voiceless, the aforementioned sandhi would further apply. This process of assimilation and sandhi was highly regular and predictable, forming a rule of Medieval Greek phonotactics that would persist into Early Modern Greek. When dialects started deleting unstressed /i/ and /u/ between two consonants (such as when Myzithras became Mystras), new clusters were formed and similarly assimilated by sandhi. Thus:
For plosives:

  • /kp/ > /xp/
  • /kt/ > /xt/ (nýkta/νύκτα > nýchta/νύχτα)
  • /pk/ > /fk/
  • /pt/ > /ft/ (eptá/ἑπτά > eftá/ἑφτά)
  • /tk/ > /θk/
  • /tp/ > /θp/

For fricatives where the second was not /s/:

  • /θf/ > /θp/
  • /θx/ > /θk/
  • /sθ/ > /st/ (Myz(i)thrás/Μυζ(η)θράς > Mystrás/Μυστράς)
  • /sf/ > /sp/
  • /sx/ > /sk/
  • /fθ/ > /ft/ (fthónos/φθόνος > ftónos/φτόνος)
  • /fx/ > /fk/
  • /xθ/ > /xt/ (chthes/χθές > chtes/χτές)
  • /xf/ > /xp/

For fricatives where the second was /s/:

  • /θs/ > /ts/
  • /fs/ > /ps/ (happened internally to ψ)
  • /xs/ > /ks/ (happened internally to ξ)

The nasals /m/ and /n/ occasionally disappear in front of voiceless fricatives, for example nýmfi/νύμφη > nýfi/νύφη, ánthos/ἄνθος > áthos/ἄθος.

Later, Greek developed a new set of voiced plosives /(m)b/, /(n)d/ and /(ŋ)ɡ/ through voicing of voiceless plosives after nasals. It is not known when exactly this development took place but apparently it began during the Byzantine period. The graphemes μπ, ντ and γκ for b, d and g can already be found in transcriptions from neighboring languages in Byzantine sources, like in ντερβίσης (dervísis), from Turkish derviş ("dervish"). The prenasalized voiced spirants μβ, νδ and γγ were still plosives by this time, causing a merger between μβ/μπ, νδ/ντ and γγ/γκ, which would remain until the learned pronunciation reforms prescribed during the Katharevousa era.

Grammar[edit]

Many decisive changes between Ancient and Modern Greek were completed by circa 1100 AD. There is a striking reduction of inflectional categories inherited from Indo-European, especially in the verb system, and a complementary tendency of developing new analytical formations and periphrastic constructions.

In morphology, the inflectional paradigms of declension, conjugation and comparison were regularised through analogy. Thus, in nouns, the Ancient Greek third declension, which showed an unequal number of syllables in the different cases, was adjusted to the regular first and second declension by forming a new nominative form out of the oblique case forms: Ancient Greek ho patér (ὁ πατήρ) > Modern Greek o patéras (ὁ πατέρας), in analogy to the accusative form ton patéra (τὸν πατέρα). Feminine nouns ending in -ís/-ás formed the nominative according to the accusative -ída/-áda, as in elpís (ἐλπίς) > elpída (ἐλπίδα 'hope') and in Hellás (Ἑλλάς) > Elláda (Ἑλλάδα 'Greece').

Only a few nouns remained unaffected by this simplification, such as to fos (τὸ φῶς), genitive tou fotós (τοῦ φωτός).

The Ancient Greek formation of the comparative of adjectives ending in -ion and -ōn (-ιον, -ων), which was partly irregular, was gradually substituted by the formation using the suffix -ter and regular endings of the adjective: meízōn (µείζων) > mizóteros (µειζότερος 'the bigger‘).

The enclitic genitive forms of the first and second person personal pronoun, as well as the genitive forms of the third person demonstrative pronoun developed into unstressed enclitic possessive pronouns that were attached to nouns: mou (µου), sou (σου), tou (του), tis (της), mas (µας), sas (σας), ton (των).

Besides the particles na and thená (see below) the negation particle den (δέν 'not') was derived from the Ancient Greek word oudén (oὐδέν 'nothing').

Irregularities in verb inflection were also reduced through analogy. Thus, the contracted verbs ending in -aō (έω), -eō (έω) etc., which earlier showed a complex set of vowel alternations, adopted the endings of the regular forms: agapâ (ἀγαπᾷ) > agapái (ἀγαπάει 'he loves'). The use of the past tense prefix, known as augment, was gradually limited to regular forms in which the augment was required to carry word stress. Reduplication in the verb stem, which was a feature of the old perfect forms, was gradually abandoned and only retained in antiquated forms. The small ancient Greek class of irregular verbs in -mi (-μι) disappeared in favour of regular forms ending in -o: chōnnymi (χώννυμι) > chóno (χώνω 'push'). The auxiliary eimí (εἰμί 'be'), originally part of the same class, adopted a new set of endings modelled on the passive of regular verbs, as in the following examples:

Classical Medieval Regular passive ending
Present
1st person sing. eimi εἰμί íme εἴμαι -me
2nd person sing. ei εἴ íse εἶσαι -se
3rd person sing. estin ἐστίν éni > íne ἔνι, ἔναι, εἶναι -te
Imperfect
1st person sing. ē ímin ἤμην -min
2nd person sing. ēstha ἦσθα ísy ἦσοι -sy
3rd person sing. ēn ἦν íto ἦτο -to

In most cases, the numerous stem variants that appeared in the Ancient Greek system of aspect inflection was reduced to only two basic stem forms, sometimes only one. Thus, in Ancient Greek the stem of the verb lambánein (λαμβάνειν, “to take”) appears in the variants lamb-, lab-, lēps-, lēph- and lēm-. In Medieval Greek, it is reduced to the forms lamv- (imperfective/present system) and lav- (perfective/aorist system).

One of the numerous forms that disappeared was the dative. It was replaced in the 10th century by the genitive and the prepositional construction of eis (εἰς 'in, to') + accusative. In addition, the dual, nearly all the participles and the imperative forms of the 3rd person were lost. The optative was replaced by the construction of subordinate clauses with the conjunctions óti (ὅτι 'that') and ína (ἵνα 'so that'). ἵνα first became iná (ἱνά) and later na (να). By the end of the Byzantine era, the construction thélo na (θέλω να 'I want that...') + subordinate clause developed into thena (θενά). Eventually, thena (θενά) became the Modern Greek future particle tha (θα), which replaced the old future forms. Ancient formations like the genitive absolute, the accusative and infinitive and nearly all common participle constructions were gradually substituted by the newly emerged gerund and constructions of subordinate clauses.

The most noticeable grammatical change in comparison to ancient Greek is the almost complete loss of the infinitive, which has been replaced by subordinate clauses with the particle na (ѵα). Arabic influences have been assumed as a possible explanation for this phenomenon, as a sentence structure such as I can that I go was common in standard ancient Arabic. Possibly transmitted through Greek, this phenomenon can also be found in the adjacent languages and dialects of the Balkans. Bulgarian and Romanian for example, are in many respects typologically similar to medieval and present day Greek, although genealogically they are not closely related.

Vocabulary, script, influence on other languages[edit]

Intralinguistic innovations[edit]

Lexicographic changes in Medieval Greek influenced by Christianity can be found for instance in words like ángelos (ἄγγελος messenger > heavenly messenger > angel) or agápi (ἀγάπη love > altruistic love, which is strictly differentiated from érōs (ἔρως), physical love). In everyday usage, some old Greek stems were replaced, for example, the expression for "wine" where the word krasíon (κρασίον mixture) replaced the old Greek ínos (οἶνος). The word ópson ὄψον (meaning "something you eat with bread") combined with the suffix -arion (-αριον), which was borrowed from the Latin -arium, became "fish" (opsárion, ὀψάριον), which after apheresis and synizesis became, via psárin, the new Greek psári (ψάρι) and eliminated the Old Greek ichthys (ἰχθύς), which became an acrostic for Jesus Christ and a symbol for Christianity.

Loanwords from other languages[edit]

Especially at the beginning of the Byzantine Empire, Medieval Greek borrowed numerous words from Latin, among them mainly titles and other terms of the imperial court’s life like Αὔγουστος (Ávgoustos “Augustus”), πρίγκιψ (prinkips, Lat. princeps “Prince”), μάγιστρος (mágistros “Master”), κοιαίστωρ (kyéstor, Lat. quaestor “Quaestor”), ὀφφικιάλος (offikiálos, Lat. officialis “official”). In addition, Latin words from everyday life entered the Greek language, for example ὁσπίτιον (ospítion, Lat. hospitium “hostel”, therefore “house”, σπίτι - spiti in Modern Greek ), σέλλα (sélla “saddle”), ταβέρνα (tavérna “tavern”), κανδήλιον (kandílion, Lat. candela “candle”), φούρνος (foúrnos, Lat. furnus “oven”) and φλάσκα (fláska, Lat. flasco “wine bottle”).

Other influences on Medieval Greek arose from contact with neighboring languages and the languages of Venetian, Frankish and Arab conquerors. Some of the loanwords from these languages have been permanently retained in Greek or in its dialects:

  • káltsa (κάλτσα) from Ital. calza "stocking"
  • dama (ντάμα) from Fr. dame "dame"
  • gouna (γούνα) from Slav. guna "fur"
  • louloúdi (λουλούδι), probably from Alban. lule "flower"[6]
  • pazári (παζάρι) from Turk. pazar (itself derived from Persian), "market, bazaar"
  • chatzi- (χατζι-) from Arab. hajji "Mecca pilgrim", used as a name affix for a Christian after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Script[edit]

Middle Greek used the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet which, until the end of antiquity, were predominantly used as lapidary and majuscule letters and without a space between words and with diacritics.

Uncial and cursive script[edit]

Manuscript of the Anthology of Planudes (c.1300)

In the third century, the Greek uncial developed under the influence of the Latin script because of the need to write on papyrus with a reed pen. In the Middle Ages, uncial became the main script for the Greek language. A common feature of the medieval majuscule script like the uncial is an abundance of abbreviations (e.g. XC for "Christos") and ligatures. The first Greek script, a cursive script, developed from quick carving into wax tablets with a slate pencil. This cursive script already showed descenders and ascenders, as well as combinations of letters. Several letters of the uncial (є for E, C for Σ, Ѡ for Ω) were also used as majuscules especially in a sacral context. The sigma was adopted in this form as a C by the Cyrillic script. The Greek uncial used the interpunct in order to separate sentences for the first time, but there were still no spaces between words.

Minuscule script[edit]

The Greek minuscule script, which probably emerged from the cursive writing in Syria, appears more and more frequently from the 9th century onwards. It is the first script that regularly uses accents and spiritus, which had already been developed in the 3rd century B.C. This very fluent script with ascenders and descenders and many possible combinations of letters is the first to use gaps between words. The last forms which developed in the 12th century were Iota subscript and word-final sigma (ς). The type for Greek majuscules and minuscules that was developed in the 17th century by a printer from the Antwerp printing dynasty, Wetstein, eventually became the norm in modern Greek printing.

Influence on other languages[edit]

As the language of the Orthodox Church, Middle Greek has, especially with the conversion of the Slavs by the brothers Cyril and Methodius, found entrance into the Slavic languages via the religious sector, in particular to the Old Church Slavonic and over its subsequent varieties, the different Church Slavonic manuscripts(?), also into the language of the countries with an Orthodox population, thus primarily into Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian and Serbian. For this reason, Greek loanwords and neologisms in these languages often correspond to the Byzantine phonology, while they found their way into the languages of Western Europe over Latin mediation in the sound shape of the classical Greek (cf. German Automobil vs. Russian автомобиль avtomobil and the differences in Serbo-Croatian).

Some words in Germanic languages, mainly from the religious context, have also been borrowed from Medieval Greek and have found their way into languages like German or English through the Gothic language. These include the word church (from κυριακὴ [οἰκία], kyriakí ykía 'House of the Lord') via Germanic *kirike, and the German word for Pentecost, Pfingsten (from πεντηκοστή, pentikostí‚ 'the fiftieth [day after Easter]').

Byzantine research played an important role in the Greek State, which was refounded in 1832, as the young nation tried to restore its cultural identity through antique and orthodox-medieval traditions. Spyridon Lambros (1851–1919), later Prime Minister of Greece, founded Greek Byzantinology, which was continued by his and Krumbacher’s students.

Research[edit]

In the Byzantine Empire, Ancient and Medieval Greek texts were copied repeatedly; studying these texts was part of Byzantine education. Several collections of transcriptions tried to record the entire body of Greek literature since antiquity. As there had already been extensive exchange with Italian academics since the 14th century, many scholars and a large number of manuscripts found their way to Italy after the decline of the Eastern Roman Empire. Renaissance Italian and Greek humanists set up important collections in Rome, Florence and Venice. The conveyance of Greek by Greek contemporaries also brought about the itacistic tradition of Greek studies in Italy.

The Greek tradition was also taken to Western and Middle Europe in the 16th century by scholars who had studied at Italian universities. It included Byzantine works that mainly had classical Philology, History and Theology but not Medieval Greek language and literature as their objects of research. Hieronymus Wolf (1516–1580) is said to be the "father" of German Byzantism. In France, the first prominent Byzantist was Charles du Fresne (1610–1688). As the Enlightenment saw in Byzantium mainly the decadent, perishing culture of the last days of the empire. The interest in Byzantine research decreased considerably in the 18th century.

It was not until the nineteenth century that the publication of and research on Medieval Greek sources began to increase rapidly, which was particularly inspired by Philhellenism. Furthermore, the first texts in vernacular Greek were edited. The branch of Byzantinology gradually split from Classical Philology and became an independent field of research. The Bavarian scholar Karl Krumbacher (1856–1909) carried out research in the newly founded state of Greece, and is considered the founder of Medieval and Modern Greek Philology. From 1897 onwards, he held the academic chair of Medieval and Modern Greek at the University of Munich. In the same century Russian Byzantinology evolved from a former connection between the Orthodox Church and the Byzantine Empire.

Byzantinology also plays a large role in the other countries on the Balkan Peninsula, as Byzantine sources are often very important for the history of each individual people. There is, therefore, a long tradition of research, for example in countries like Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. Further centres of Byzantinology can be found in the United States, Great Britain, France and Italy. Today the two most important centres of Byzantinology in German speaking countries are the Institute for Byzantine Studies, Byzantine Art History and the Institute of Modern Greek Language and Literature at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and the Institute of Byzantine Studies and of Modern Greek Language and Literature at the University of Vienna. The International Byzantine Association is the umbrella organization for Byzantine Studies and has its head office in Paris.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "There is a pending petition for an ISO639-3 code of Medieval Greek: gkm". Sil.org. 
  2. ^ Ostrogorsky 1969, "The Struggle for Existence (610-711)", p. 106.
  3. ^ Mango 1980, p. 23.
  4. ^ a b Lombard 2003, p. 93: "Here too Coptic and Greek were progressively replaced by Arabic, although less swiftly. Some dates enable us to trace the history of this process. The conquest of Egypt took place from 639 to 641, and the first bilingual papyrus (Greek and Arabic) is dated 693 and the last 719, while the last papyrus written entirely in Greek is dated 780 and the first one entirely in Arabic 709."
  5. ^ Toufexis 2008, pp. 203–217.
  6. ^ Babiniotis, Lexiko tis Neas Ellinikis Glossas, s.v. λουλούδι.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]