This is one of the reasons why some believe that the Greek alphabet had a single ‘inventor’, or at least a specific moment of ‘invention’. Around 800 BC, the Ancient Greeks developed a new alphabet that used separate vowels and consonants for the first time. This was followed by a period of bidirectional writing, which means that the direction of the writing was in one direction on one line but in the opposite direction on the next, a practice known as boustrophedon. Ancient Greek Boustrophedon Inscriptionby Ranveig Thattai (CC BY-SA). The Greek alphabet is still used today. Violatti, Cristian. Written by Cristian Violatti, published on 05 February 2015 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Violatti, Cristian. This was not the first time that Greek speaking peoples had used a written language. The letter names which constituted of the Greek alphabet were derived from Phoenician. While syllabaries, logographic, and pictographic systems can sometimes be ambiguous to represent spoken language, the Greek alphabet could accurately convey speech. This history is often divided into three parts, ancient Greek, medieval Greek, and modern Greek. The graffiti found in Lefkandi and Eretria, the ‘Dipylon oinochoe’ found in Athens, and the inscriptions in the ‘Nestor’s cup’ form Pithekoussai are all dated to the second half of the 8th century BCE, and they are the oldest known Greek alphabetic inscriptions ever recorded. This video by Tim McNinch can help. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. The Greeks passed their alphabet onto other cultures and it is the ancestor of all European alphabets. The beginning of Homer's Iliad exemplifies the Archaic period of ancient Greek (see Homeric Greek for more details): For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Example of an Ancient Greek boustrophedon inscription. Original image by Jason Davey.Uploaded by Cristian Violatti, published on 02 January 2015 under the following license: Public Domain.This item is in the public domain, and can be used, copied, and modified without any restrictions. This is supported by the fact that the classic Greek vowels are all present in the earliest examples of Greek alphabetic writing, with the only exception of Ω (omega). Greek is part of the Hellenic language system of the Indo-European language family. Because of the supposed involvement of Cadmus and the Phoenicians in the transmission of the alphabet, in 6th century BCE Crete an official with scribal duties was still called poinikastas “Phoenicianizer” and early writing was sometimes referred as “Kadmeian letters”. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. They did not employ ideograms; it was a phonetic writing system composed of a set of letters that represented sounds. The original Canaanite meanings of the letter names was lost when the alphabet was adapted for Greek. Mar 27, 2017 - Greek Alphabet - maybe have the kids write out their names in greek? For example, alpha comes for the Canaanite aleph (ox) and beta from beth (house).When the Greeks adapted the Phoenician alphabet to write their language they used five of the Phoenician consonants t… This is longer than any other Indo-European language spoken today. 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