Greek alphabet

Greek alphabet. It is a twenty-four letter alphabet used to write the Greek language. Developed around the 9th century BC from the Phoenician consonant alphabet, the Greeks adopted the first complete alphabet in history, understanding it as the writing that expresses the individual sounds of the language , that is, practically each vowel and each consonant corresponds to a different symbol .

Its use continues to this day, both as a native alphabet of modern Greek and as a way to create technical names for the sciences, especially logic , mathematics , physics , astronomy, and computer science . Note that the first inscriptions are from the 8th century BC. The sense of the writing is from right to left or in bustrófedon. The classical Greek alphabet was used to write both the classical works that occurred in the Greek scholarly environment and the New Testament, written in everyday Koine.


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  • 1 Background
  • 2 Variants of the alphabet
  • 3 Common Alphabet
  • 4 Sources


The popular use of Greek was very widespread, to give us an idea, the graffiti made in Rome in the third century is exposed , which deals with a mockery of the pagans towards the Christian faith: a crude drawing accompanied by some words in Greek. The text says: Alexamenos worships her god and the drawing represents the figure of a crucified donkey to which a person worships. The word Alphabet is of Greek origin formed from the name of the first two letters of its alphabet (the Greek) Alpha and Beta .

Before the development of this alphabet, the Greeks used a syllabary for writing, called linear system B, used in Crete , and areas of mainland Greece such as Mycenae or Pylosbetween the 16th century BC and the 12th century BC The fragments preserved in Linear B are written in what appears to be a primitive version of the Arcado-Cypriot and Ionic-Attic dialects, a dialect called Mycenaean. Linear B developed from an earlier syllabary, called Linear A, used to write the Eteocretan language, a pre-Indo-European language spoken by the native Cretans before the Greek invasion of the island, and does not fully represent phonetics correctly. from the Mycenaean dialect. This and other reasons led to its abandonment and the development of a completely new alphabet.

Variants of the alphabet

Originally there were variants of the Greek alphabet, the most important being the western (Calcidic) and the eastern (Ionic). The western variant originated the Etruscan alphabet and hence the Roman alphabet. Athens adopted the eastern variant in 403 BC, resulting in the disappearance of the other existing forms of the alphabet shortly thereafter. By this time the Greek had already adopted the writing from left to right, while originally the bustrofedon had been used for this (the alternation of lines from left to right and from right to left, so that it began on the side where had completed the previous line, reversing all the characters in that process).

Placing the possible sources of the Greek alphabet both in an ancient North Semitic variant and in the Phoenician or Proto-Canaanite, what is really innovative about the Greek alphabet is the introduction of vowels. The first vowels were alpha, epsilon, iota, omicron, and epsilon. If the process of creation of the Greek alphabet is contemplated as the result of a dynamic process based on the adoption of several Semitic alphabets, even finding influences from Linear B, through time, a more satisfactory explanation could be given to its origin than theories that postulate a unique adaptation of a given alphabet at a given time.

Common alphabet

The alphabet is a series of written signs that each represent one sound or more than one that combine to form all possible words in a given language.

Capital letter Lower case Name Pronunciation
TO to alpha to
B b vita v
G g spectrum g, and, u
D d delta d
AND and ramming and
Z z zita s
H h ita j
Q what thita th
I i iota i
K k kapa k
L l lick l
M m me m
N n neither n
X x xi x
OR or omicron or
P p pi p, b
R r ro r
S s sigma s
T t taf t, d
OR or ipsilon i, u, f
F F fi F
C c khi kh
Y Y psi ps
W w omega or


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