Koine Greek (UK English /ˈkɔɪniː/, US English /kɔɪˈneɪ/,
/ˈkɔɪneɪ/ or /kiːˈniː/;), also known as Alexandrian
dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common
supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during Hellenistic and
Roman antiquity and the early Byzantine era, or Late Antiquity. It
evolved from the spread of Greek following the conquests of Alexander
the Great in the 4th century BC, and served as the lingua franca of
much of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East during the
following centuries. It was based mainly on Attic and related Ionic
speech forms, with various admixtures brought about through dialect
levelling with other varieties.
Koine Greek included styles ranging from more conservative literary
forms to the spoken vernaculars of the time. As the dominant
language of the Byzantine Empire, it developed further into Medieval
Greek, which then turned into Modern Greek. Koine remained the court
language of the
Byzantine Empire until its ending in 1453, while
Medieval and eventually
Modern Greek were everyday languages.
Literary Koine was the medium of much of post-classical Greek literary
and scholarly writing, such as the works of
Plutarch and Polybius.
Koine is also the language of the Christian New Testament, of the
Septuagint (the 3rd-century BC Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible),
and of most early Christian theological writing by the Church Fathers.
In this context,
Koine Greek is also known as "Biblical", "New
Testament", "ecclesiastical" or "patristic" Greek. It continues to
be used as the liturgical language of services in the Greek Orthodox
2 Origins and history
4.1 Biblical Koine
New Testament Greek
4.2 Patristic Greek
5 Differences between Attic and Koine Greek
5.1 Differences in grammar
New Testament Greek phonology
6 Sample Koine texts
6.1 Sample 1 – A Roman decree
6.2 Sample 2 – Greek New Testament
9 Further reading
10 External links
The English name Koine derives from the
Koine Greek term ἡ
κοινὴ διάλεκτος, "the common dialect". The Greek word
koinē (κοινή) itself means "common". The word is pronounced
/kɔɪˈneɪ/, /ˈkɔɪneɪ/ or /kiːˈniː/ in US English and
/ˈkɔɪniː/ in UK English. The pronunciation of the word in Koine
itself gradually changed from [koinéː] (close to the Classical Attic
pronunciation [koinɛ́ː]) to [kyˈni] (close to the Modern Greek
[ciˈni]). In Greek it has been referred to as Greek:
Ελληνιστική Κοινή, "Hellenistic Koiné", in the sense
of "Hellenistic supraregional language").
The term was applied in several different senses by ancient scholars.
A school of scholars such as
Apollonius Dyscolus and Aelius Herodianus
maintained the term Koine to refer to the Proto-Greek language, while
others used it to refer to any vernacular form of Greek speech which
differed somewhat from the literary language.
Koine Greek became a language of literature by the 1st century
BC, some people distinguished it into two forms: written (Greek) as
the literary post-classical form (which should not be confused with
Atticism), and vernacular as the day to day spoken form. Others
chose to refer to Koine as the Alexandrian dialect (ἡ
Ἀλεξανδρέων διάλεκτος) or the dialect of
Alexandria, or even the universal dialect of its time. The former was
often used by modern classicists.
Origins and history
Greek-speaking areas during the
Hellenistic period (323 to 31 BC).
Dark blue: areas where Greek speakers probably were a majority.
Light blue: areas that were Hellenized.
Koine Greek arose as a common dialect within the armies of Alexander
the Great. Under the leadership of Macedon, their newly formed
common variety was spoken from the
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt to the
Seleucid Empire of Mesopotamia. It replaced existing ancient Greek
dialects with an everyday form that people anywhere could
understand. Though elements of
Koine Greek took shape in Classical
Greece, the post-Classical period of Greek is defined as beginning
with the death of
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great in 323 BC, when cultures under
Greek sway in turn began to influence the language. The passage into
the next period, known as Medieval Greek, dates from the foundation of
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great in 330. The post-Classical
period of Greek thus refers to the creation and evolution of Koine
Greek throughout the entire Hellenistic and Roman eras of history
until the start of the Middle Ages.
The linguistic roots of the Common Greek dialect had been unclear
since ancient times. During the Hellenistic period, most scholars
thought of Koine as the result of the mixture of the four main Ancient
Greek dialects, "ἡ ἐκ τῶν τεττάρων
συνεστῶσα" (the composition of the Four). This view was
supported in the early twentieth century by
Paul Kretschmer in his
book Die Entstehung der Koine (1901), while Ulrich von
Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and Antoine Meillet, based on the intense
Ionic elements of the Koine — such as σσ instead of ττ and ρσ
instead of ρρ (θάλασσα — θάλαττα,
ἀρσενικός — ἀρρενικός) — considered Koine to
be a simplified form of Ionic.
The view accepted by most scholars today was given by the Greek
linguist Georgios Hatzidakis, who showed that, despite the
"composition of the Four", the "stable nucleus" of
Koine Greek is
Attic. In other words,
Koine Greek can be regarded as Attic with the
admixture of elements especially from Ionic, but also from other
dialects. The degree of importance of the non-Attic linguistic
elements on Koine can vary depending on the region of the Hellenistic
In that respect, the varieties of Koine spoken in the Ionian colonies
Anatolia (e.g. Pontus) would have more intense Ionic Greek
characteristics than others and those of Laconia and
preserve some Doric and Arcadocypriot characteristics, respectively.
The literary Koine of the Hellenistic age resembles Attic in such a
degree that it is often mentioned as Common Attic.
The first scholars who studied Koine, both in Alexandrian and
contemporary times, were classicists whose prototype had been the
Attic Greek of the Classical period and frowned upon any
other variety of Ancient Greek.
Koine Greek was therefore considered a
decayed form of Greek which was not worthy of attention.
The reconsideration on the historical and linguistic importance of
Koine Greek began only in the early 19th century, where renowned
scholars conducted a series of studies on the evolution of Koine
throughout the entire
Hellenistic period and Roman Empire. The sources
used on the studies of Koine have been numerous and of unequal
reliability. The most significant ones are the inscriptions of the
post-Classical periods and the papyri, for being two kinds of texts
which have authentic content and can be studied directly.
Other significant sources are the Septuagint, the somewhat literal
Greek translation of the Old Testament, and the Greek New Testament.
The teaching of the Testaments was aimed at the most common people,
and for that reason they use the most popular language of the era.
Information can also be derived from some Atticist scholars of the
Hellenistic and Roman periods, who, in order to fight the evolution of
the language, published works which compared the "correct" Attic
against the "wrong" Koine by citing examples. For example, Phrynichus
Arabius during the second century AD wrote:
Βασίλισσα οὐδεὶς τῶν Ἀρχαίων εἶπεν,
ἀλλὰ βασίλεια ἢ βασιλίς.
Basilissa (queen) none of the Ancients said, but basileia (queen) or
Διωρία ἐσχάτως ἀδόκιμον, ἀντ' αὐτοῦ
δὲ προθεσμίαν ἐρεῖς.
Dioria (deadline) is extremely disreputable, instead you will say
prothesmia (appointed time).
Πάντοτε μὴ λέγε, ἀλλὰ ἑκάστοτε καὶ
Do not say pantote (always), but hekastote (every time) and dia pantos
Other sources can be based on random findings such as inscriptions on
vases written by popular painters, mistakes made by Atticists due to
their imperfect knowledge of
Attic Greek or even some surviving
Greco-Latin glossaries of the Roman period, e.g.:
Bono die, venisti?
Good day, you came?
Ἐὰν θέλεις, ἐλθὲ μεθ' ἡμῶν.
Si vis, veni mecum.
If you want, come with us.
Πρὸς φίλον ἡμέτερον Λεύκιον.
Ad amicum nostrum Lucium.
To our friend Lucius.
Τί γὰρ ἔχει;
Quid enim habet?
Indeed, what does he have?
What is it with him?
Finally, a very important source of information on the ancient Koine
is the modern
Greek language with all its dialects and its own Koine
form, which have preserved some of the ancient language's oral
linguistic details which the written tradition has lost. For example,
Cappadocian Greek preserved the ancient pronunciation of η
as ε (νύφε, συνέλικος, τίμεσον, πεγάδι for
Modern Greek νύφη, συνήλικος, τίμησον,
πηγάδι etc.), while the
Tsakonian language preserved the
long α instead of η (ἁμέρα, ἀστραπά, λίμνα,
χοά etc.) and the other local characteristics of Doric Greek.
Dialects from the Southern part of the Greek-speaking regions
Cyprus etc.), preserve the pronunciation of the double
similar consonants (ἄλ-λος, Ἑλ-λάδα, θάλασ-σα),
while others pronounce in many words υ as ου or preserve ancient
double forms (κρόμμυον — κρεμ-μυον, ράξ —
ρώξ etc.). Linguistic phenomena like the above imply that those
characteristics survived within Koine, which in turn had countless
variations in the Greek-speaking world.
Papyrus 46 is one of the oldest extant
New Testament manuscripts in
Greek, written on papyrus, with its 'most probable date' between
Biblical Koine refers to the varieties of
Koine Greek used in Bible
translations into Greek and related texts. Its main sources are:
The Septuagint, a 3rd-century BC Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible
and texts not included in the Hebrew Bible;
The Greek New Testament, compiled originally in Greek.
There has been some debate to what degree Biblical Greek represents
the mainstream of contemporary spoken Koine and to what extent it
contains specifically Semitic substratum features. These could have
been induced either through the practice of translating closely from
Biblical Hebrew or Aramaic originals, or through the influence of the
regional non-standard Greek spoken by originally Aramaic-speaking
Some of the features discussed in this context are the Septuagint's
normative absence of the particles μέν and δέ, and the use of
ἐγένετο to denote "it came to pass." Some features of Biblical
Greek which are thought to have originally been non-standard elements
eventually found their way into the main of the Greek language.
New Testament Greek
The Greek of the
New Testament is less distinctively Semitic than that
Septuagint because it is largely a de novo composition in
Greek, not primarily a translation from Hebrew and Aramaic.
The term patristic Greek is sometimes used for the Greek written by
the Greek Church Fathers, the Early Christian theologians in late
antiquity. Christian writers in the earliest time tended to use a
simple register of Koiné, relatively close to the spoken language of
their time, following the model of the Bible. After the 4th century,
when Christianity became the state church of the Roman Empire, more
learned registers of Koiné also came to be used.
Differences between Attic and Koine Greek
The study of all sources from the six centuries which are symbolically
covered by Koine reveals linguistic changes from ancient Greek on
elements of the spoken language including, grammar, word formation,
vocabulary and phonology (sound system).
Most new forms start off as rare and gradually become more frequent
until they are established. As most of the changes between modern and
ancient Greek were introduced via Koine, Koine is largely familiar and
at least partly intelligible to most writers and speakers of Modern
Differences in grammar
Koine Greek grammar
Koine Greek phonology,
Ancient Greek phonology, and
Modern Greek phonology
During the period generally designated as
Koine Greek a great deal of
phonological change occurred. At the start of the period pronunciation
was virtually identical to
Ancient Greek phonology, whereas in the end
it had much more in common with
Modern Greek phonology.
The three most significant changes were the loss of vowel length
distinction, the replacement of the pitch accent system by a stress
accent system, and the monophthongization of several diphthongs:
The ancient distinction between long and short vowels was gradually
lost, and from the second century BC all vowels were isochronic (all
vowels having equal length).
From the second century BC, the
Ancient Greek pitch accent was
replaced with a stress accent.
Psilosis: loss of rough breathing, /h/.
Rough breathing had already
been lost in the
Ionic Greek varieties of
Anatolia and the Aeolic
Greek of Lesbos.
ᾱͅ, ῃ, ῳ /aːi eːi oːi/ were simplified to ᾱ, η, ω /aː
The diphthongs αι, ει, and οι became monophthongs. αι, which
had already been pronounced as /ɛː/ by the Boeotians since the 4th
century BC and written η (e.g. πῆς, χῆρε, μέμφομη),
became in Koine, too, first a long vowel /ɛː/ and then, with the
loss of distinctive vowel length and openness distinction /e/, merging
with ε. The diphthong ει had already merged with ι in the 5th
century BC in Argos, and by the 4th century BC in
ΛΕΓΙΣ), and it acquired this pronunciation also in Koine. The
diphthong οι fronted to /y/, merging with υ. The diphthong υι
came to be pronounced [yj], but eventually lost its final element and
also merged with υ. The diphthong ου had been already raised to
/u/ in the 6th century BC, and remains so in Modern Greek.
The diphthongs αυ and ευ came to be pronounced [av ev] (via [aβ
eβ]), but are partly assimilated to [af ef] before the voiceless
consonants θ, κ, ξ, π, σ, τ, φ, χ, and ψ.
Simple vowels mostly preserved their ancient pronunciations. η /e/
(classically pronounced /ɛː/) was raised and merged with ι. In the
10th century AD, υ/οι /y/ unrounded to merge with ι. These changes
are known as iotacism.
The consonants also preserved their ancient pronunciations to a great
extent, except β, γ, δ, φ, θ, χ and ζ. Β, Γ, Δ, which were
originally pronounced /b ɡ d/, became the fricatives /v/ (via [β]),
/ɣ/, /ð/, which they still are today, except when preceded by a
nasal consonant (μ, ν); in that case, they retain their ancient
pronunciations (e.g. γαμβρός > γαμπρός [ɣamˈbros],
ἄνδρας > άντρας [ˈandras], ἄγγελος >
άγγελος [ˈaŋɟelos]). The latter three (Φ, Θ, Χ), which
were initially pronounced as aspirates (/pʰ tʰ kʰ/ respectively),
developed into the fricatives /f/ (via [ɸ]), /θ/, and /x/. Finally
ζ, which is still metrically categorised as a double consonant with
ξ and ψ because it may have initially been pronounced as σδ [zd]
or δσ [dz], later acquired its modern-day value of /z/.
New Testament Greek phonology
Koine Greek in the table represents a reconstruction of New
Testament Koine Greek, deriving to some degree from the dialect spoken
in Judea and
Galilee during the first century and similar to the
dialect spoken in Alexandria, Egypt. The realizations of certain
phonemes differ from the more standard Attic dialect of
Note that γ has spirantized, with palatal allophone before
front-vowels and a plosive allophone after nasals, while β is
beginning to develop a fricative articulation intervocalically.
φ, θ and χ still preserve their ancient aspirated plosive values,
while the unaspirated stops π, τ, κ have perhaps begun to develop
voiced allophones after nasals. Initial aspiration has also likely
become an optional sound for many speakers of the popular
variety. Monophthongization (including the initial stage in
the fortition of the second element in the αυ/ευ diphthongs) and
the loss of vowel-timing distinctions are carried through, but there
is still a distinction between the four front vowels /e/, /e̝/,
/i/, and /y/ (which is still rounded).
/b/ ([b, β])
/ɣ/ ([ɣ, g, ʝ])
/i/ ([i, j])
/k/ ([k, g])
/n/ ([n, m])
/p/ ([p, b])
/s/ ([s, z])
/t/ ([t, d])
/i/ ([i, j])
/yi/ (or /y/)
Sample Koine texts
The following texts show differences from
Attic Greek in all aspects
– grammar, morphology, vocabulary and can be inferred to show
differences in phonology.
The following comments illustrate the phonological development within
the period of Koine. The phonetic transcriptions are tentative, and
are intended to illustrate two different stages in the reconstructed
development, an early conservative variety still relatively close to
Classical Attic, and a somewhat later, more progressive variety
Modern Greek in some respects.
Sample 1 – A Roman decree
The following excerpt, from a decree of the Roman Senate to the town
of Thisbae in
Boeotia in 170 BC, is rendered in a reconstructed
pronunciation representing a hypothetical conservative variety of
mainland Greek Koiné in the early Roman period. The transcription
shows raising of η to /eː/, partial (pre-consonantal/word-final)
raising of ῃ and ει to /iː/, retention of pitch accent, and
retention of word-initial /h/ (the rough breathing).
περὶ ὧν Θισ[β]εῖς λόγους ἐποιήσαντο·
περὶ τῶν καθ᾿αὑ[τ]οὺς πραγμάτων,
οἵτινες ἐν τῇ φιλίᾳ τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ
ἐνέμειναν, ὅπως αὐτοῖς δοθῶσιν
[ο]ἷς τὰ καθ᾿ αὑτοὺς πράγματα
ἐξηγήσωνται, περὶ τούτου τοῦ
πράγματος οὕτως ἔδοξεν· ὅπως
Κόιντος Μαίνιος στρατηγὸς τῶν ἐκ
τῆς συνκλήτου [π]έντε ἀποτάξῃ οἳ ἂν
αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν δημοσίων πρα[γμ]άτων καὶ
τῆς ἰδίας πίστεως φαίνωνται.
[peri hoːn tʰizbîːs lóɡuːs epojéːsanto; peri toːn katʰ
hautûːs praːɡmátoːn, hoítines en tiː pʰilíaːi tiː
heːmetéraːi enémiːnan, hópoːs autois dotʰôːsin hois ta katʰ
hautùːs práːɡmata ekseːɡéːsoːntai, peri túːtuː tuː
práːɡmatos húːtoːs édoksen; hópoːs ˈkʷintos ˈmainios
strateːɡòs toːn ek teːs syŋkléːtuː pénte apotáksiː, hoi an
autoːi ek toːn deːmosíoːn praːɡmátoːn kai teːs idíaːs
Concerning those matters about which the citizens of Thisbae made
representations. Concerning their own affairs: the following decision
was taken concerning the proposal that those who remained true to our
friendship should be given the facilities to conduct their own
affairs; that our praetor/governor Quintus Maenius should delegate
five members of the senate who seemed to him appropriate in the light
of their public actions and individual good faith.
Sample 2 – Greek New Testament
The following excerpt, the beginning of the Gospel of John, is
rendered in a reconstructed pronunciation representing a progressive
popular variety of Koiné in the early Christian era. Modernizing
features include the loss of vowel length distinction,
monophthongization, transition to stress accent, and raising of η to
/i/. Also seen here are the bilabial fricative pronunciation of
diphthongs αυ and ευ, loss of initial /h/, fricative values for β
and γ, and partial post-nasal voicing of voiceless stops.
Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν
πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.
οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.
πάντα δι᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς
αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν.
ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ
φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων. καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ
σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ
[ˈen arˈkʰi in o ˈloɣos, ke o ˈloɣos im bros to(n) tʰeˈo(n),
ke tʰeˈos in o ˈloɣos. ˈutos in en arˈkʰi pros to(n)
tʰeˈo(n). ˈpanda di aɸˈtu eˈjeneto, ke kʰoˈris aɸˈtu
eˈjeneto ude ˈen o ˈjeɣonen. en aɸˈto zoˈi in, ke i zoˈi in to
pʰos ton anˈtʰropon; ke to pʰos en di skoˈtia ˈpʰeni, ke i
skoˈti(a) a(ɸ)ˈto u kaˈtelaβen]
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by
him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was
life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in
darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
^ "Koine". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
^ "koine", Merriam-Webster .
Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House.
^ a b Bubenik, V. (2007). "The rise of Koiné". In A. F. Christidis. A
history of Ancient Greek: from the beginnings to late antiquity.
Cambridge: University Press. pp. 342–345.
^ Horrocks, Geoffrey (1997). "4–6". Greek: a history of the language
and its speakers. London: Longman.
^ Horrocks, Geoffrey C. (2010). Greek: a history of the language and
its speakers (2nd ed.). London: Longman. p. xiii.
ISBN 978-1-4051-3415-6. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
^ A history of ancient Greek by Maria Chritē, Maria Arapopoulou,
Centre for the Greek Language (Thessalonikē, Greece) pg 436
^ Victor Roudometof and Vasilios N. Makrides, eds. Orthodox
Christianity in 21st Century Greece, Ashgate Publishing, 2010. "A
proposal to introduce
Modern Greek into the Divine Liturgy was
rejected in 2002"
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Andriotis, Nikolaos P.
History of the Greek Language.
^ Pollard, Elizabeth (2015). Worlds Together Worlds Apart. 500 Fifth
Ave New York, NY: W.W. Norton& Company Inc. p. 202.
^ The Latin gloss in the source erroneously has "with me", while the
Greek means "with us".
^ On the other hand, not all scholars agree that the Pontic
pronunciation of η as ε is an archaism. Apart from the improbability
that the sound change /ɛː/>/e̝(ː)/>/i/ did not occur in this
important region of the Roman Empire, Horrocks notes that ε can be
written in certain contexts for any letter or digraph representing /i/
in other dialects––e.g. ι, ει, οι, or υ, which never
pronounced /ɛː/ in Ancient Greek––not just η (c.f. óvερov,
κoδέσπεvα, λεχάρι for standard óvειρo,
oικoδέσπoιvα, λυχάρι.) He therefore attributes this
feature of East Greek to vowel weakening, paralleling the omission of
unstressed vowels. Horrocks (2010: 400)
^ Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare(1856-1924)
Grammar of Septuagint
^ Horrocks (1997: ch.5.11.)
^ Horrocks (2010: 162)
^ Horrocks (2010: 167) citing Teodorsson, S.-T. (1974) The phonology
of Ptolemaic Koine, Göteborg.
^ For evidence c.f. Gignac, Francis T. "The Pronunciation of Greek
Stops in the Papyri". The Johns Hopkins University Press.
JSTOR 2936047. Missing or empty url= (help)
^ Horrocks (2010): 111, 170-1
^ Horrocks (2010): 171, 179.
^ For convenience, the rough breathing mark represents /h/, even if it
was not commonly used in contemporary orthography. Parentheses denote
the loss of the sound.
^ For convenience, the mid-vowel value of ε/αι is transcribed here
as /e/, rather than /e̞/ or /ɛ̝/. The two mid vowels ε and η were
apparently still distinguished in quality, as they are far less
confused than ει is with ι, ω with o and οι with υ. η perhaps
represented a near-close vowel /e̝/, not fully merged with /i/, cf.
Horrocks (2010: 118, 168.)
^ G. Horrocks (1997), Greek: A history of the language and its
speakers, p. 87, cf. also pp. 105-109.
^ Horrocks (1997: 94).
Abel, F.-M. Grammaire du grec biblique.
Allen, W. Sidney, Vox Graeca: a guide to the pronunciation of
classical Greek – 3rd ed., Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Andriotis, Nikolaos P. History of the Greek Language
Buth, Randall, Ἡ κοινὴ προφορά:
Koine Greek of Early
Bruce, Frederick F. The Books and the Parchments: Some Chapters on the
Transmission of the Bible. 3rd ed. Westwood, NJ: Revell, 1963.
Chapters 2 and 5.
Conybeare, F.C. and Stock, St. George.
With Selected Readings, Vocabularies, and Updated Indexes.
Horrocks, Geoffrey C. (2010). Greek: A history of the language and its
speakers (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.
Smyth, Herbert Weir (1956), Greek Grammar, Harvard University Press,
ISBN 0-674-36250-0 .
Stevens, Gerald L.
New Testament Greek Primer. ISBN 0-7188-9206-2
Stevens, Gerald L.
New Testament Greek Intermediate. From Morphology
to Translation. ISBN 0-7188-9200-3
Easterling, P & Handley, C. Greek Scripts: An illustrated
introduction. London: Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies,
2001. ISBN 0-902984-17-9
Look up Κοινή in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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Koine Greek grammar
Cyrillization and Romanization
Promotion and study
Hellenic Foundation for Culture
Center for the Greek Language
Morphemes in English
Terms of endearment
Greek language question
Ages of Greek
C. 3rd millennium BC
C. 1600–1100 BC
C. 800–300 BC
C. 300 BC – AD 330