Development of the Greek alphabet based on a Phoenician model (4026 words)

Historical Context Essay

Alan Johnston (University College London)
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The development of the Greek alphabet

This essay discusses the Greek alphabet from its origins to the period when it reaches a stage very much as that of the present-day sequence, thus encompassing the years in which the classical canon of Greek authors was originally set down, c.700-200 BC. The topic is not without disputed detail, not least at what point, and indeed in what media, such texts, especially in the early period, were written.

Origins and transfer

While there is no disagreement that what were termed “Phoenician letters” in Greek were a borrowing from the Levant, from Phoenicia or perhaps the Aramaic-speaking area to its north, the date of the …

Citation: Johnston, Alan. "Development of the Greek alphabet based on a Phoenician model". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 May 2017 [, accessed 12 May 2021.]

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