Talk:History of the Greek alphabet

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Added a template[edit]

I've added the PhoenicianGreek template for reference, preparatory to more detailed discussion of the history. --rossb 11:09, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Work in progress[edit]

I've made a start on this. Still to be done:

* the various dialectal versions of Ξ, Χ, ψ

* the adoption of the Ionic alphabet (vocalic eta, omega, loss of a letter for h etc)

* later developments (lower case, breathings, accents, iota subscript)

* sound changes (not sure how far this should go)

* Greek numerals

  • change from right-to-left via boustrophedon to left-to-right. --rossb 20:31, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Makuria etc.[edit]

User:Codex Sinaiticus added some information about the use of the Greek alphabet in Makuria for the Old Nubian language. This is interesting and encyclopedic information. However, I don't believe it belongs in the "History of the Greek alphabet", any more than other descendents of the Greek alphabet belong here. After all, we don't discuss major descendents such as Latin or Cyrillic, or for that matter Coptic in this article, which is about the origins and the internal development of the Greek alphabet.

The Greek alphabet page does discuss the use of the more or less unmodified Greek alphabet for various languages (in fact, I wrote that section), but only mentions alphabets based on the Greek alphabet at the beginning. Of course, the distinction is arguable. Perhaps the Greek alphabet article should talk more about descendents. Currently, though, historic relations between alphabets are treated mostly in the History of the Alphabet and related articles.

As for Old Nubian in particular, if I'm not mistaken, it includes a number of new letters, some from Coptic, some original, and would guess it should be treated as a descendent of the Coptic alphabet, not a direct descendent of the Greek. --Macrakis 23:50, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

This is indeed a valid part of the History of the Greek alphabet, this is an African nation that used the Greek alphabet, not a descendant) ;your reverting it twice for contrived reasons smells to me like systemic bias (you obviously just want to blank any reference to an African Nation using the actual Greek alphabet up until 1324 ad), so it looks like I am going to have to post this on the "countering systemic bias project" if it gets pulled again. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 23:56, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Rather than calling my reasoning "contrived", could you please address the substance of my comments? The History of the Greek alphabet doesn't talk about any descendents of the Greek alphabet, whether African (e.g. Coptic), Asian (e.g. Armenian), or European (e.g. Roman), so I don't see how you can conclude that there is any 'systemic' (systematic?) bias here. As for whether it is the "actual" Greek alphabet or a descendant, the Old Nubian language article says it has six unique letters as well as some special diacritics, making it more different from Greek than the (original) Roman alphabet.
I won't edit, but await the contributions of other editors. --Macrakis 00:13, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
It would seem obvious to a newcomerto this discussion that it could perfectly well be discussed under both. DGG 08:59, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
The Latin alphabet is a descendant of Greek one, but Greek and Latin alphabets are completely different alphabets. There are far more than six Greek letters that don't have the same form in Latin. On the other hand, the Old Nubian language was written in a slightly modified form of the Greek alphabet; yes there are six new characters for different sounds, but it is clearly still uncial Greek, as the photograph of it should demonstrate (and not the Coptic one either). Some languages written in Latin and Cyrillic have added more than 6 extra symbols to accomodate new sounds, but all the other letter forms for existing sounds are all the same, so they are still considered variants of Latin or Cyrillic. However, Latin completely changed the shape of half its letters to create a unique alphabet from Greek, and not because they were different sounds, so its a new alphabet. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 00:43, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


It's usual for such discussion to have a full presentation in parallel of the forms in the different Greek dialects. The discussion of the "various dialectal versions of Ξ, Χ, ψ" is a good alternative, but I think the conventional way should be tried as well. The special letters discussed under Greek numbers should go in here also-- are there symbols, or do we need drawings?. DGG 08:59, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

letters in the photo[edit]

Beautiful image of the cup with the alphabet. But while the top side ends with Ψ, the bottom side continues with two more letters. Do we know what they are? The caption suggests that there is only one, Ω. kwami (talk) 00:14, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Fayum alphabet[edit]

Is the Fayum alphabet something worth adding to this article? Corpsicle (talk) 17:24, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Definitely, if we can confirm it. But if it's the oldest, and from 800B₠, why do so many people date the Greek alphabet to 750, and never mention it? Something isn't right. Or is it the Phoenician alphabet and just a good match to the Greek? — kwami (talk) 05:05, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Plate uncovered at Alcmene’s tomb[edit]

Hi again Macrakis. You seem quite excited to add your comments about the type of writing uncovered at Alcmene’s tomb as described by Plutarch. Perhaps you'd care to add your version of the story. If it's not linear B is it Minoan or perhaps is it hieroglyphs? --Odysses () 21:45, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Propose to merge[edit]

this article with Archaic Greek alphabets. In the latter interwiki are about specific variant rather than about all historical. Infovarius (talk) 07:41, 1 July 2013 (UTC)