Ancient Greek language

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Ancient Greek
Period about 800 to 300 BC BC (literary up to AD 600)

Formerly spoken in

first the southern Balkan Peninsula , then the eastern Mediterranean and Greek colonies

Indo-European languages , maybe Balkan Indo-European (with Armenian and Albanian)

  • Ancient Greek
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2

grc (historical Greek language until 1453)

ISO 639-3

grc (historical Greek language until 1453)

Ancient Greek (proper name: ἡ Ἑλληνικὴ γλῶσσα [ Attic : γλῶττα ] hē Hellēnikḗ GLOSSA [Attic: glotta ], "the Greek language") is the ancient language level of the Greek language , an Indo-European language in the eastern Mediterranean region , which has its own branch of this language family is , possibly through a Balkan Indo-European intermediate level.

The term Ancient Greek encompasses language forms and dialects that lasted much longer between the introduction of the Greek script (around 800 BC) and the beginning of the Hellenistic era (around 300 BC) and at least in literature for a much longer period of time, namely until the end of antiquity (around 600 AD). The literary Attic dialect of the 5th and 4th centuries BC, the language of Sophocles , Plato and Demosthenes, is considered the norm for classical ancient Greek . The language level between about 600 and 1453 ( conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans ) is commonly referred to as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek; the following Modern Greek , the state language of modern Greece, has evolved continuously from ancient and middle Greek.

The ancient Greek language has on the one hand through the mediation through Latin , the most essential educational language in western Europe up to the 19th century, on the other hand through the exemplary preserved literature especially in the fields of philosophy, science, historiography, poetry, music and theater an outstanding meaning for the entire western world . In addition, it is important as the language of the New Testament for religion and theology of Christianity. It has also marked by this influence the other European languages: A variety of loan translations , reclining and foreign words has found its way into European languages and is used in various technical languages used.

The language code according to ISO 639 for ancient and middle Greek (up to 1453) is grc .

Text sample

Audio file / audio sample Spoken ? / i
(1) Original text: πεπεισμένος δὲ πειρῶμαι καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους πείθειν ὅτι τούτου τοῦ κτήματος
(2) Transcription: pepeisménos peirōmai kaì toùs állous peíthein hóti toútou toū ktḗmatos
(3) IPA : pepeːzménos peːrɔ̂ːmai̯ kaì̯ tùːs álːuːs péːtʰeːn hóti túːtuː tûː ktɛː́matos
(4) Interlinear: convinced so I try also the other to convince that this of Possession
(1) τῇ ἀνθρωπείᾳ φύσει συνεργὸν ἀμείνω Ἔρωτος οὐκ ἄν τις ῥᾳδίως λάβοι.
(2) anthrōpeia physei synergon ameinō Erōtos ouk at tis rhadiōs laboi .
(3) tɛ̂ː (i̯) antʰrɔːpéːaː (i̯) pʰýseː synergòn améːnɔː érɔːtos uːk án tis rʰaː (i̯) díɔːs láboi̯
(4) for the human nature helper better ones (as-the) -love Not who effortless can get

Translation: "Convinced myself, I try to convince the others that one can hardly find a better helper for human nature than love to achieve this good."

( Plato: Symposium )


Ancient Greek can be classified as an Indo-European language, i.e. it is derived from the original Indo-European language , which probably developed in the 3rd millennium BC. Split into the language branches known today. The sound and vocabulary of ancient Greek differ so considerably from all other languages ​​of the family that it is considered a separate branch of Indo-European in the narrower sense and one assumes a strong substrate effect of the “pre-Greek” language levels on the Greek idioms.

Researchers suspect the origin of many non-Indo-European words in Greek (such as θάλασσα thalassa "sea" and νῆσος nēsos "island") in the language or languages ​​of the inhabitants of Greece before the arrival of the Indo-European peoples around 2000 BC. BC, which are also called Aegean languages . The pre-Greek population was called in ancient Greek u. a. Πελασγοί Pelasgoi " Pelasger ". Sure also have Minoan and Eteokretische , pre-Greek languages in Crete, the vocabulary of early Greek influences.


The oldest written documents in Greek are written in Linear B and date from the 14th century to the early 12th century BC. The language thus written in the Mycenaean culture (1600–1050 BC) is called Mycenaean Greek and is seen as an early Greek dialect, but not as a direct "predecessor" of classical Greek. From the time between approx. 1200 and 800 BC There are no written sources of Greek; with Homer's epics , probably between 850 and 700 BC. We encounter a literary work in ancient Greek for the first time. The language of Homer is an artificially formed literary language that consists mainly of Ionic and Aeolian elements. At that time, ancient Greek must have been widespread in various dialects in the southern Balkans and around the Aegean Sea .

The Greek dialects in the core of the Greek settlement area
Dialects of the Magna Graecia , the so-called Greater Greece

Gradually, with the increasing cultural and economic importance of the Poleis and their colonies throughout the Mediterranean, Greek became a world language of antiquity. The number of Greek speakers is estimated at the beginning of the 4th century BC. To seven million people, at the time of Alexander the great to nine million. As the state language of the Empire of Alexander and his successors , it spread to Egypt and Central Asia, and as the official language of the Roman Empire to Great Britain, Spain and North Africa.

Ancient Greek is divided into four dialect groups, the Ionian - Attic , the Arcadian-Cypriot , the Aeolian , and Western Greek , which consisted of Doric and northwest Greek dialects. In addition to these epichoric so "native", d. H. Regionally distributed spoken dialects also developed so-called literary dialects: Different genres of poetry mainly made use of four variants of the Epichorean dialects (Ionian, Aeolian, Doric and Attic). The literary prose was initially determined by authors who wrote Ionic (the natural philosophers Thales , Anaximander and Anaximenes ; Herodotus ), but continued in the 5th century BC. Chr. The Attic as the predominant literary dialect and became a classical literary model for all Greek literature through authors like Plato . From then on, this form of language was used by most authors of antiquity as a literary language and is still considered the norm for ancient Greek.

As early as the time of Hellenism , an increasing change began in terms of pronunciation, intonation and grammar, which was largely complete by the end of late antiquity . In contrast to modern Greek , the Hellenistic ( Koine , around 300 BC to 300 AD) and late antique (around 300 to 600 AD) language forms are also counted as ancient Greek. In literature, the “classical” Attic Greek formed the standard at this time, to which even late antique authors such as Libanios ( 4th century ) or Agathias (around 580) felt obliged: since the 1st century BC. The opinion prevailed among the upper class that the Koine should be rejected as vulgar. Since the language of the educated classes, which was based on the Attic dialect of the decades around 400 BC. Oriented ( Atticism ), more and more began to differentiate from that of the rest of the population, one speaks from this time of a pronounced diglossia in Greek. At the end of antiquity , however, the elite that used the Attic language form perished. Medieval Greek (around 600–1453) of the Byzantine Empire is then mostly referred to as Middle Greek .


Beginning verses of the Odyssey , one of the oldest literary testimonies of ancient Greek. Full text on Wikisource.

The alphabet used today for the ancient and modern Greek language was thought to have been used between the late 9th and the middle 8th centuries BC. Derived from the Phoenician alphabet . Initially there were several variants of the alphabet in Greece, but the Ionic (also "Milesian", after the city of Miletus ) gradually gained acceptance in almost the entire Greek-speaking area. Unusual letters such as Digamma , Sampi , Qoppa and San were given up. The year 403 BC is used as the fixed point for the adoption of the Ionic alphabet. When the city of Athens officially introduced it, as Athens was becoming the center of Greek literary culture at that time. Up until classical times, the Greek alphabets were written with 24  capitals without spaces between words and punctuation marks ( scriptio continua ), initially from right to left, then with furrows , and with the introduction of the Milesian alphabet in Athens, finally to the right, i.e. from left to right. The Greek alphabet has not changed since that date, apart from the introduction of diacritics and minuscules .

The Latin alphabet was not derived from the Milesian but from a Western Greek alphabet in which, for example, χ stood for [ ks ], and not as in Milesian for [ ], which also explains the other differences between the two scripts.

With the phonological changes of the Hellenistic period, various diacritical marks were introduced in order to preserve the dwindling sound structure of Greek and the tonal accent, which are crucial for understanding classical poetry. These are the three accents acute ( ἡ ὀξεῖα hē oxeia "sharpness"), Gravis ( ἡ βαρεῖα hē bareia "severity") and circumflex ( ἡ περισπωμένη hē perispōmenē "the Vice-bent") that the tonal accent to play the ancient Greek , as well as the two spirits - Spiritus asper ( ἡ δασεῖα hē daseia “the rough”) and Spiritus lenis ( ἡ ψιλή hē psilē “the light one”) - those with words beginning with a vowel or / r / the breath or the lack of such Show. For more information on the diacritics, see under Polytonic orthography .

In Byzantine times the iota subscriptum ("signed iota") was added, which was originally the second letter of the long diphthongs ηι , ωι and ᾱι , but was already in the 8th century BC. Chr. Was silent. But since the identification of these long vowels is necessary to distinguish grammatical categories, the iota was placed under the other vowels. In capital letters, it is set as Iota adscriptum next to the vowel ( adscriptum : "written next to it", example: ῾Άιδης Hadēs ).

The Greek minuscule is believed to have been developed in Syria in the 9th century AD. The punctuation marks used today for ancient Greek were introduced at the same time: comma , point and colon ( :) are used as in German. The semicolon ( ; ) includes different from the Latin alphabet a set of questions from the function of the semicolon met the high point ( · ).

The Gräzistik modern times used to characterize the long and short phonemes of α, ι and υ the diacritics Breve and Makron ( ᾰ / ᾱ - ῐ / ῑ - ῠ / ῡ ). However, outside of the specialist literature, they are rarely used.


Differences to the Indo-European original language

Ancient Greek differs considerably from the indo-European original language and other family languages ​​in terms of sound. For example, a word in ancient Greek can end with only a vowel or the consonants / n /, / r /, and / s /; this applies to both Greek suffixes and, for example, nominative forms without suffixes , compare ἔφερον epheron (“they wore”) to Latin ferebant or the nominative γάλα gala with the genitive γάλακτος galaktos (“milk”). Further sound developments from Indo-European are in particular:

  • Indo-European / j / initially corresponds to Greek / h / or / z (d) /: Latin iugum , German yoke , Greek ζυγόν z (d) ygon . In the interior of the word / j / is completely omitted.
  • Indo-European / s / initially corresponds to Greek / h /: Latin sex , German six , Greek ἕξ hex .
  • Elimination of the Indo-European and early Greek sound / w / (and the corresponding grapheme Digamma ): old form ϝεργον wergon became Attic ἔργον ergon , compare German work .
  • The Indo-European Labiovelare , still preserved in Mycenaean Greek , are lost; Thus the phoneme / kʷ /, which corresponds to / qu / in Latin and / (h) w / in Old High German, becomes / p / or / t / in Greek of the classical period: Latin quo , German wo , Greek πού pou .
  • The Greek sounds [p beha] ( φ ), [tʰ] ( θ ) and [kʰ] ( χ ) correspond to the Indo-European breathy voiced plosives / bh /, / dh / and / gh /, which have survived in the modern Indo-Aryan languages ).


Ancient Greek knows seven vowels, the length of which is different in meaning. However, two vowels only appear in long form, so that there are a total of twelve phonemes . With [ a ], [ i ] and [ y ] the length is not indicated, but can be deduced in stressed syllables (from about 300 BC) through the accents. The modern Greek language marks the difference in dictionaries and grammars by breve (˘) for short and macron (¯) for long vowels.

phoneme [ a ] [ ] [ o ] [ ] [ ɔː ] [ e ] [ ] [ ɛː ] [ i ] [ ] [ y ] [ ]
grapheme α  / α  / ο ου ω ε ει η ι  / ι  / υ  / υ  /

Numerous diphthongs are formed from the vowels , which always end in [ ] or [ ], the latter being represented by the υ from an earlier language form : [ ai̯ ] ( αι ), [ oi̯ ] ( οι ), [ yi̯ ] ( υι ), [ au̯ ] ( αυ ), [ eu̯ ] ( ευ ), [ ɛːu̯ ] ( ηυ ). In the case of the three i̯ diphthongs with a long initial sound ([ aːi̯ ], [ ɛːi̯ ], [ ɔːi̯ ]) the [ ] sound disappeared around the classical period , but the origin of these vowels from diphthongs has been through the so-called iota subscriptum since Byzantine times displayed: ( ᾳ, ῃ, ῳ ).


As in Armenian today, the plosives appear in rows of three (voiced, voiceless, voiceless-breathed). There are also three affricates from the voiceless plosiva and / s /, which also play a role in the inflection ( e.g. π > ψ ). The pronunciation of the ζ ( zeta ) in classical times has not been fully clarified, in any case it was not [ ts ]. Dionysius Thrax describes it as a combination of σ and δ , which the pronunciation sd (both voiced, thus [ zd ]) suggests; the two sounds could also have been arranged the other way round (ie ds, [ dz ]).  

Traditional name Phonetic description Bilabial Alveolar Velar
Ψιλά Psilá , Tenues unvoiced [ p ] π [ t ] τ [ k ] κ
Μέσα Mésa , Mediae voiced [ b ] β [ d ] δ [ ɡ ] γ
Δασέα Daséa , Aspirata aspirated and voiceless [ ] φ [ ] θ [ ] χ
Διπλά Diplá , Affrikata voiceless + / s / [ ps ] ψ ([ dz ] ζ ) [ ks ] ξ

Only in the post-classical period did the pronunciation of the aspirata <φ> <θ>, <χ> change to voiceless fricatives ([ f ], [ θ ], [ x ]). In the Greek loanwords of Latin, the phi was initially transcribed with <ph>. The transcription with <f> has only been found since the first century, which means that “Philip” could become “Filippus”. To a certain extent, in continuation of this development, Greek foreign words in Italian that go back to words with <φ> have <f> throughout, for example in la fisica "physics" or sfera "sphere"; the same applies to Spanish. In French , English and German , on the other hand - with a few individual exceptions - the conservative spelling (e.g. philosophy ) was used, but at the same time the supposed late antique pronunciation [ f ] was followed. In English, something parallel also applies to the relationship between the spelling and pronunciation of theta in Greek foreign words (pronounced [ θ ] according to the Middle Greek pronunciation). It was not until the end of the 20th century that the German orthography was adapted in the direction of Italian (or Scandinavian or Slavic) usage (e.g. photography , graphics ).

In addition to these plosives, there are the nasals [ m ] ( μ ) and [ n ] ( ν ), the latter with the variant [ ŋ ] before velar consonants (written γ ), the lateral approximants [ l ] ( λ ) and the vibrants [ r ] ( ρ ), the latter with the variant [ ] or [ ], which was later written and still appears as rh in German foreign words , and the fricative [ s ] ( σ ). Initially there was also [ h ], which started around the 3rd century BC. Chr., By the alcohol asper ( was reproduced) The Spiritus lenis ( ) was as a graphic equivalent of "no [h]" reinvented, also standing above the initial sound (if it was a vowel). Sometimes the theory is that it stood for the glottic stroke [ ʔ ], but only by a minority; it can therefore be assumed that a vowel initial sound was tied.

Tonality and accent

The ancient Greek accent was characterized less (as in today's German) by greater sound volume (volume) than by the pitch, so it was decentralizing . In ancient Greek, an accent could fall on one of the last three syllables of a word (this also depends on the length of the vowels of these final syllables), but did not emphasize it in terms of volume before the other syllables, but was spoken with a higher pitch than the surrounding syllables. When the decentralizing accent gave way to a centralizing one (around the 3rd century BC), the tonality of ancient Greek was preserved through accents using diacritical marks ( Aristophanes of Byzantium ): the acute , which occurs on the last three syllables of a word can stand, denotes the high tone, the circumflex , which can appear on the last two syllables of a word, denotes the high-beginning, then falling tone in long syllables, the grave accent (which is only found in stressed final syllables in context) was probably a falling tone Sound, for which there is no evidence. A compilation of the most important ancient and Byzantine grammar evidence by Axel Schönberger (2016) seems to show that the grave accent was not an accent at all, but merely indicated that a syllable that would be stressed when the word occurs in isolation or at the end of a phonetic word is within a phonetic word lost its original acclitic accent and was thus spoken without stress.

All ancient Greek (verse) poetry and metrics are not based on the contrast between stressed and unstressed syllables, as in German, but solely on the length or shortness of the respective syllables.

Note: The school pronunciation of ancient Greek of the various teaching traditions deviates considerably from the meanwhile researched phonology of the language.


Ancient Greek is a strongly inflected language ; meaningful word stems are subject to varied changes. Both the vowel ablaut and especially the consonant change in the final pronunciation of word stems are common in declination and conjugation , as well as in word derivation and formation. They represent a large amount of learning material for Greek learners.


  • The Greek root bal gives the concept of throwing. It forms the verb βάλλειν ball one ( "throw"), which in the conjugation forms like ἔβαλον e bal on ( "I threw") βέβληκα be BLE ka ( "I threw [and it is there]," Perfect form ) is ; Words such as βέλος bel os ("projectile") and βολή bol ē ("throw") are derived from the root .
  • From the root lab “take” are formed: λαμβάνω lamb anō (“I take”), ἔλαβον e lab on (“I took”), λήψομαι lēps omai , (“I will take”), ληφθήσομαι lēph thēsomai (“I will be taken ”) and εἴλημμαι ei lēm mai (“ I am taken ”).
  • The root pod with the meaning "foot", to be recognized in the genitive ποδός pod os , merges in the nominative form to πούς pous (from * pods ), forms a dative plural form ποσί pos i (from * podsi ); derived from this are πηδόν pēd on ("ship's foot, rudder ") and τράπεζα tra pez a ( tra ped -sa , "table").
  • The root prāg "act, do" appears in the conjugation of the perfect medium / passive in four different forms: πέπραγμαι pe prag mai (1st person sg.), Πέπραξαι pe prax ai (2nd person sg.), Πέπρακται pe prak tai (3rd person sg.) And πέπραχθε pe prach the (2nd person pl.).

Various prefixes and endings are added to the stem, which reflect the different grammatical parameters in the sense of a fusional language structure . Special phenomena in Greek are:

  • the augment ( Latin augmentum "growth"), a morpheme (mostly ε- ) that indicates the past and is placed in front of the stem.
  • the reduplication : the initial sound of the trunk is doubled, example θνῄσκω thnēskō ("I'm dying"), τέθνηκα te thnēka ("I'm dead", perfect form)
  • the stem extension through / s / for the aorist and the future tense : βλέπω blep ō ("I see"), ἔβλεψα e bleps a ("I saw (suddenly)"), βλέψομαι bleps omai ("I will be seen").

Furthermore, ancient Greek has an abundance of morphemes that reproduce the grammatical categories as infixes and affixes . The ancient Greek uses verbs as far as possible without compound forms, which means that all grammatical parameters can be formed by adding to the root and are combined in a single word. So a complex expression like “I'll let me write [something] to me”, which has to be expressed in German by five single words, in ancient Greek by a single verb form: γραφήσομαι graphēsomai .

The word formation also has numerous morphemes that enable derivations and differentiation of meanings; similar “tapeworm words” are possible in Greek as in German. A famous example is the caricature endless word λοπαδοτεμαχοσελαχογαλεοκρανιολειψανοδριμυποτριμματοσιλφιοκαραβομελιτοκατακεχυμενοκιχλεπικοσσυφοφαττοπεριστεραλεκτρυονοπτοκεφαλλιοκιγκλοπελειολαγῳοσιραιοβαφητραγανοπτερύγων lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphiokarabomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptokephalliokinklopeleiolagoosiraiobaphetraganopterygon ( "austernschneckenlachsmuränen-essighonigrahmgekröse-butter throttle Hasenbraten-hahnenkamm pheasant calf brain field syrup numb hering-lerch truffle filled bowl") from the Ekklesiazusai of Aristophanes (v 1169).


The first grammar textbooks of the West were written in the philological school of Alexandria in Hellenistic times . Aristarchus of Samothrace wrote a technē grammatikē of Greek. Probably the first autonomous grammatical script is the technē grammatikē of Dionysius Thrax (2nd century BC), which includes the phonology and morphology including parts of speech. The syntax is the subject of a very systematic work by the second important Greek grammarian, Apollonios Dyskolos (2nd century AD). Allegedly in 169/68 the Romans "imported" Greek grammar and adapted it.

The grammar of ancient Greek is at first glance very similar to Latin , which participle and other satzwertige constructions ( AcI so that knowledge of Latin in learning the ancient Greeks are very helpful terms etc.) - and vice versa. However, a good understanding of German grammar also helps; in many cases, ancient Greek is more structurally similar to German than Latin, for example certain articles are present in Greek while they are absent in Latin. There are also cases where the similarity to Latin is superficial and causes more confusion than it helps - for example, the tenses of verbs are often used differently in Greek than in Latin.

In the West, and also in this article, Latin-based terms (such as noun, dative, active, person ...) are often used to denote ancient Greek grammatical and semantic categories that (often) represent direct translations of the Greek definitions. In Greece, however, Greek-based terms from the technē grammatikē of Dionysius Thrax are still used today.


In ancient Greek nouns , adjectives , pronouns , the (definite) article and some numerals are declined . Verbal adjectives are particularly rich in number and form .

Grammatical categories of nouns

The ancient Greek nouns (declinable words) are declined in the following grammatical categories:

Participles, verbal adjectives and infinitives are also declined; they are considered intermediate forms (so-called nominal forms of the verb). Nouns can with an article ( ὁ, ἡ, τό , ho hē to "the the") intended to be; there is no indefinite article.


Five of the eight cases of Indo-European have survived in ancient Greek: nominative , accusative , genitive , dative and vocative (form of address). Numerous different case functions are distinguished according to the way they are used. The ancient Greek case system is basically similar to the German one.

  • The nominative is the subject case ( ὁ ὄρνις ᾄδει ho ornis ādeithe bird sings”) and the case of the predicate noun ( ὁ φιλόσοφος σοφός ἐστιν ho philosophos sophos estin “the philosopher is clever ”).
  • The genitive expresses an affiliation or an area in its original meaning. Numerous case functions can be distinguished, including: a. the genitivus possessoris, which expresses a possession ( ὁ τοῦ γεωργοῦ ἀγρός ho tou geōrgou agros "the field of the farmer "), the genitivus partitivus, which indicates a subset ( πολλοὶ τῶν ἀνhrρπων polloi tōnus “, many of the peopleantōnus “many of the peopleantōnus ) subjectivus that specifies the action support ( ἡ τῆς μητρὸς ἀγάπη Tēs metros Agapê "love of the nut ") and the genitive objectivus that specifies the action target ( ἡ τῆς μητρὸς ἀγάπη Tēs metros Agapê "love to the mother "). Furthermore, the genitive has taken over the meaning of an origin from the Indo-European ablative . This expresses u. a. as a genitivus separativus, which denotes a separation ( ἐλεύθερος φόβου eleutheros phobou “free from fear ”). In Classical Greek, these two ways of using are in many cases fused together. Many ancient Greek verbs rule the genitive (for example τυγχάνειν τινός tynchanein tinosto gain something ”).
  • The dative case is the case of the indirect object ( ἔδωκε αὐτῷ χρυσόν edōke autō chryson "he gave him gold"). Furthermore, he has taken over the function of indicating a means from the Indo-European instrumental (Dativus instrumentalis, such as τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ὁρᾶν tois ophthalmois horān " seeing with the eyes "), from the Indo-European locative the function of indicating a place or a time (Dativus loci or temporis , such as ταύτῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ tautē tē hēmerāon this day ”). Further case functions of the dative are u. a. the dative modi, which indicates the way ( τούτῳ τῷ τρόπῳ toutō tō tropō " in this way , so") and the dative causae, which indicates the reason ( ἥδομαι τῇ νίκῃ hēdomai tē nikē "I am happy about the victory ") .
  • The accusative is the case of the direct object ( ὁρῶ αὐτόν horō auton “I see him ”). Furthermore, it can express a spatial or temporal extension (like δέκα ἡμέρας ἔμεινε deka hēmeras emeine “he stayed ten days ”). The accusativus limitationis or respectus expresses a relationship or respect (for example τὴν ψυχὴν νοσεῖν tēn psychēn nosein “being sick in relation to the soul , being mentally ill”).
  • The vocative is the form of address ( κύριε ἐλέησον kyrie eleēsonLord , have mercy”). It is identical in the plural and with many nouns (especially with nouns of the 3rd declension and feminine) also in the singular with the nominative. The vocative is often preceded by the interjection ō (for example ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι ō andres Athenaioi “You men of Athens!”). A lack of these is a sign of factual coolness or even of contempt: «Ἀκούεις, Αἰσχίνη;» “Akoueis, Aeschinē?” “Do you hear, Aeschines ?” Demosthenes asks his hated opponent.


In addition to the singular (singular) and plural (plural), ancient Greek still retained the dual (two-number) in remnants . The articles of the dual are often in all genera τὼ in the nominative and accusative and τοῖν toin in the genitive and dative. Less common forms of the feminine dual are correspondingly τὰ ta and ταῖν tain . In the o-declension (see below) it has the endings in the nominative and accusative and -οιν -oin in the genitive and dative. In the a-declination the endings are -ᾱ and -αιν -ain , in the 3rd declination -e and -οιν -oin . The dual was already disappearing in pre-classical times (before the 5th century BC), and the original use (only for things that really belonged together in the two number, such as twins, the two hands, eyes and so on) was lost. Cautious attempts at resuscitation were made in classical literature, but they did not re-establish the dual and also alienated it from its original, specific use. Due to its rarity, the dual is not included in the declination examples below.


  • τὼ χώρα tō chōrā "the two countries", τοῖν χώραιν toin chōrain "the two countries, the two countries"
  • τὼ θεώ tō theō "the two gods", τοῖν θεοῖν toin theoin "the two gods, the two gods"
  • τὼ παῖδε tō paide "the two sons / children", τοῖν παίδοιν toin paidoin "the two sons / children, the two sons / children"
  • τὼ πόλει tō polei "the two cities", τοῖν πολέοιν toin poleoin "the two cities, the two cities"


Like most Indo-European languages, ancient Greek has three genera: masculine (male), feminine (female) and neuter (neuter). Males are often masculine, females are often feminine. Winds, rivers and months are often masculine, countries, islands and cities are often feminine. A special feature of the neuter is that with a neutral subject the predicate is always in the singular. This can be explained by the fact that the neuter plural goes back linguistically to a collective .

The genus commune is also preserved in some vocabulary, for example in ὁ / ἡ βοῦς ho / hē bous , which can mean “cattle” as well as “ox” or “cow”. Some words are Epicöna such as ἡ ἀλώπηξ hē alōpēx the fox, which includes both male and female foxes.

Declension of nouns

Ancient Greek knows three basic classes of declination: the o-declination, the a-declination and a third, consonantic declination.

For a declination (or first declension) feminine belong to short -ᾰ -a (as δόξᾰ Doxa "fame, View"), long -ᾱ -A (about χώρᾱ Chora "Country") and -e (about νίκη Nike "Victory") and masculine in -ᾱς -ās (about νεανίᾱς neaniās "young man") and -ης -ēs (about ποιητής poiētēs "poet"). If the root of the word ends with an ε e , ι i or ρ r , the endings in all forms have an α a ( alpha purum ), otherwise a long ā becomes an η ē ( alpha impurum ). The masculine genitive has the ending -ου -ou , in the vocative they end in -ᾰ , otherwise they are declined in the same way as the feminine.

Example word : δόξᾰ doxă "fame, view"
(feminine, with short alpha impurum)
  Singular Plural
Nominative ἡ δόξα hē doxa αἱ δόξαι shark doxai
Genitive τῆς δόξης tēs doxēs τῶν δοξῶν tōn doxōn
dative τῇ δόξῃ tē doxē ταῖς δόξαις tais doxais
accusative τὴν δόξαν tēn doxan τὰς δόξας tas doxas
vocative ὦ δόξα ō doxa ὦ δόξαι ō doxai

The o-declension (or second declination) includes masculine -ος -os (like φίλος philos "friend") and neuter -ον -on (like τέκνον teknon "child"). The declension endings are the same except that words ending in -ον -on like all neutrals in the nominative and accusative plural end in -a and have the same form in the vocative as in the nominative. Occasionally , feminine nouns appear in -ος -os (such as νῆσος nēsos "island"), which are declined in the same way as masculine. In addition, there are special cases of Kontrakta (such as νοῦς nous "sense"), in which the vocal stem is merged with the declension ending , and the so-called Attic declension (such as νεώς neōs "temple").

Example word : φίλος philos "friend" (masculine)
  Singular Plural
Nominative ὁ φίλος ho philos οἱ φίλοι hoi philoi
Genitive τοῦ φίλου tou philou τῶν φίλων tōn philōn
dative τῷ φίλῳ tō philō τοῖς φίλοις tois philois
accusative τὸν φίλον sound philon τοὺς φίλους tous philous
vocative ὦ φίλε ō phile ὦ φίλοι ō philoi

The 3rd declension includes a variety of consonant stems . Depending on the stem extension, they can be divided into Muta-stems ( e.g. γύψ gyps m. "Vulture" [strain γύπ- gyp- ], αἴξ aix f. "Ziege" [strain αἴγ- aig- ], ὄρνις ornis m. "Vogel" [ Tribe ὄρνιθ- ornith- ]), liquida and nasal trunks (about ῥήτωρ rhētōr m. "Redner", μήτηρ mētēr f. "Mother", λιμήν limēn m. Hafen), Sigma strains (like γένος genos n. "Gender, Art ") And vowel stems (about πόλις polis f. " City ", βασιλεύς basileus m. " King ") subdivide. For reasons of linguistic history, the declination of the individual subgroups is subject to irregularities that cannot be discussed here. The 3rd declension includes masculine, feminine and neuter. In the masculine and feminine forms, the nominative is either characterized by the ending -s or the expansion stage of the stem ( e.g. ῥήτωρ rhētōr to the stem ῥητορ- rhētor- ), in the neuter it consists of the basic stage of the stem. Some liquida strains are subject to the quantitative ablaut (for example, μήτηρ mētēr has the expansion stage in the nominative, the basic stage in the accusative μητέρα mētera and in the genitive μητρός mētros the shrinkage stage).

Example word masculine: ῥήτωρ rhētōr "Redner"
(masculine, liquida stem without ablaut)
  Singular Plural
Nominative ὁ ῥήτωρ ho rhētōr οἱ ῥήτορες hoi rhētores
Genitive τοῦ ῥήτορος tou rhētoros τῶν ῥητόρων tōn rhētorōn
dative τῷ ῥήτορι tō rhētori τοῖς ῥήτορσι (ν) tois rhētorsi (n)
accusative τὸν ῥήτορα tone rhētora τοὺς ῥήτορας tous rhētoras
vocative ὦ ῥῆτορ ō rhētor ὦ ῥήτορες ō rhētores

The bracketed Ny in the dative plural is called movable Ny ( ν ἐφελκυστικόν n ephelkystikon or νῦ ἐφελκυστικόν ny ephelkystikon ) and can be added if the following word begins with a vowel.


Adjectives are declined either after the o / a declination or after the 3rd declination. The former end in masculine on -ος os , in the feminine on -a or -e and neuter on -ον -one (about νέος, νέα, νέον neos, nea, neon "new"). Some (especially compound) adjectives are also two-ended, i.e. That is , they end in both masculine and feminine in -ος -os (for example εὔκολος, εὔκολον eukolos, eukolon "light"). Adjectives of the 3rd declination are partly declined in the feminine after the a-declension (like πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν pas, pasa, pan "whole"), partly they are also two-ended ( e.g. σαφής, σαφές saphēs, saphes “clear, clear”) ).

Adjectives can be increased ( positive σοφός sophos “clever”, comparative σοφώτερος sophōteros “cleverer”, superlative σοφώτατος sophōtatos “most clever”). As an absolute superlative ( elative ), the superlative can only designate an absolute prominence (“very clever”). The endings of the comparative and the superlative are mostly -τερος -teros and -τατος -tatos , in some adjectives also -ίων ion and -ιστος -istos (about κακός, κακίων, κάκιστος kakos, kakiōn, Kakistos "bad, worse, on worst ").

Adverbs are derived from the adjectives with the ending -ως -ōs (compare σοφός ἐστιν sophos estin “he is clever” [ predicate nouns , adjective] and σοφῶς λέγει sophōs legei “he speaks cleverly”).


There are personal pronouns in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person. The nominative forms of personal pronouns (Attic: ἐγώ ego "I" σύ sy "you" ἡμεῖς hēmeis "we", ὑμεῖς hymeis "their") are always emphasized because the person is given usually already by the verb. In the other cases, a distinction is made between the enclitic unstressed forms ( e.g. με me ) and non-enclitic forms ( ἐμέ eme "me"), which are in a stressed position and after prepositions. As a substitute for the personal pronouns of the third person, the forms of the demonstrative pronoun οὗτος houtos ("this") are used in the nominative , in the other cases the forms of the word αὐτός autos ("self"). In all three persons there are reflexive and non- reflexive forms of the personal pronoun, depending on whether they relate to the subject of the sentence ( e.g. ἐμέ eme “me” - ἐμαυτόν emauton “me [myself]”). In the third person, a distinction is also made between direct and indirect reflexive pronouns, whereby the indirectly reflexive pronouns refer to the subject of the superordinate sentence. The possessive pronoun is ἐμός, σός emos, sos . It only exists in the 1st and 2nd person in classical Greek.

At demonstrative come ὅδε, ἥδε, τόδε hode, Hede, death ( "this" as Latin hic, haec, hoc ) οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο houtos, Haute, touto ( "this" as Latin is, ea, id ) and ἐκεῖνος, ἐκεῖνη, ἐκεῖνο ekeinos, ekeinē, ekeino ("those", like Latin illeg, illa, illud ). The relative pronoun ὅς, ἥ, ὅ hos, hē, ho becomes the generalizing relative pronoun ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅτι hostis, hētis, hoti by adding the indefinite pronoun . The generalizing relative pronoun is similar to the indirect question pronoun . The direct question pronoun τίς, τί tis, ti (“who, what”) always carries the acute. The indefinite pronoun τις, τι tis, ti ("anyone, anything") corresponds to the direct question pronoun, but is enclitic.


Grammatical categories of the verb system

Tense and aspect system

The ancient Greek tense system is fundamentally different from the German or Latin. The division into six tenses (seven if the rare perfect future is taken into account ), which is common in grammar, is, strictly speaking, misleading, as the aspect is in the foreground rather than the temporal meaning . There are three tense stems in ancient Greek that express a certain aspect. In the indicative, each tense stem has a main tense with a present and a secondary tense with a meaning of the past. (The aorist stem is the oldest tense stem and has never developed a main tense in the indicative.) For example, the indicative present expresses a durative action of the present, the indicative imperfect a durative action of the past. In addition, there is the younger future tense stem, which has no secondary tense and actually has a purely temporal meaning.

In dealing with these three aspects, the Greek speaker uses inflection affixes to establish the temporal references that are not expressed by the aspects themselves. The aspects apply in general, while there is a direct temporal meaning only in the indicative (except for the future tense : see below).

The past is formed in the indicative with the help of the secondary tempora. These are the present stem the imperfect, the perfect stem the pluperfect and the aorist stem of the aorist .

The tenses ( χρόνοι chronoi ) of ancient Greek can be represented according to the following scheme:

Tense stem Main tense Secondary tempo aspect Promotion type
Present stem Present tense
( ἐνεστὼς χρόνος, ἐνεστώς
enestōs chronos, enestōs )
Imperfect tense
( παρατατικὸς χρόνος
paratatikos chronos )
imperfectively durative , frequentative , iterative ,
habitual , conative
Aorist tribe - Aorist
( ἀόριστος aoristos )
perfective /
punctual , egressive , effective ,
inchoative , ingressive , gnomish
Perfect stem Perfect
( παρακείμενος parakeimenos )
past continuous
perfect resultant
Future stem Future tense
( μέλλων mellōn )
- - -

The remaining modes are each assigned to the main tense of the tense stem (if available, otherwise to the secondary tense). But they have no temporal significance. This also explains the fact that at first glance seems paradoxical that the imperative aorist is a form of command for a past tense.

The ancient Greek verb thus forms four tense stems:

The present tense stem  - also called the linear or paratatic stem - is better to treat as the imperfect stem . It takes on the functions of the durative, iterative, habitual and conative types of action. That means, it will be with this aspect u. a. expresses the course or duration of an action.


  • νοσεῖν nosein "to be sick" ("to lie sick" "")
  • (ἀπο) θνῄσκειν (apo) thnēskein "die" ("to lie in the dying")

The aorist stem denotes punctual things. This means that the mere completion of an action is reported. (The term punctual is used to express the opposite of the linear so-called present tense stem. The aorist stem is the normal form and names an action or an event without wanting to express whether this action was / is in reality punctual or linear.) With this aspect In language practice, a certain point of the verbal term is often considered, namely the conclusion (resultative) or the beginning ( ingressive , inchoative ) of an action.


  • ingressive: νοσῆσαι nosēsai "get sick" or "get sick"
  • effective: (ἀπο) θανεῖν (apo) thanein "(ver) die" (as the moment of passing)

The forms of the perfect stem have premature-result-related meaning. That means: Where other languages ​​put verbs of resultant action type, there is a perfect form in ancient Greek. This means that with this aspect a (reached) state or simply the quality of a thing is expressed without any further determination.


  • τεθνηκέναι (τεθνάναι) tethnēkenai (tethnanai) "(died and now) to be dead"
  • πεποιθέναι pepoithenai "trust"
  • compare also the classic quote of the runner from Marathon: Νενικήκαμεν Nenikēkamen ("We have won").

The fourth tense stem of Ancient Greek, the future tense stem , is a more recent development and indeed has temporal significance in all modes.

Mode system

There are four modes in ancient Greek (according to modern linguists): indicative , optative , subjunctive , imperative . The functions that these forms fulfill syntactically and semantically are very diverse. Only a fundamental determination of their meaning can be made here.

The mode expresses the mental attitude of the speaker towards the content of the verb:

  • With the indicative the speaker expresses that a process or state appears to him as real (real). However, the indicative is also used when describing something that has almost happened.
  • In the other modes, the speaker expresses that the process or state is only presented as presented, modally restricted:
    • The imperative expresses an order, a request, for example Φέρε μοὶ τόδε. Phere moi death. " Bring this to me!"
    • The subjunctive expresses a will ( voluntary ) or an expectation ( prospective ) (it has a slightly futuristic meaning, which the other way round also applies to the future tense in relation to the subjunctive), but is also similar to the subjunctive of Latin, e.g. Ἴωμεν. Iomen. "Let's go!" (Compare Latin (coniunctivus hortativus): eamus!. )
    • The optative expresses a wish ( cupitive ) or a possibility ( potentialis ), such as Εἴθε τις λύοι. Eithe tis lyoiMay someone solve it ”.

Diathesis, gender verbi

Of the three diatheses , two ( active and medium ) are inherited from Indo-European. The passive voice is a more recent development.

The active is the unmarked structure.

The medium expresses that the subject is involved in the action or is interested in it, i.e. that there is a closer relationship between subject and action (transitive medium). It can also express that the subject is affected by his own action (intransitive medium). The term medium (Latin medius "the middle one") is intended to express that this form stands between active and passive. However, this is neither linguistically nor morphologically correct. The passive voice is the borderline case of the medium in Greek, because:

The passive voice expresses the effect of an action on the subject that does not come from him. Insofar as the action only affects the subject without starting from it, it forms the borderline case of the medium. (Outside of the future tense and aorist stem, the passive voice has no independent form. Formally, in addition to its own function, the medium also takes on that of the passive voice, which can only be distinguished from the syntactic context or if the nature of the corresponding verb is precisely known.)


  • Active: παιδεύσει paideusei "he will raise [someone]"
  • transitive medium: παιδεύσεται paideusetai "he will educate [someone]"
  • intransitive medium: παιδεύσεται paideusetai "he will educate himself, he will be educated"
  • Passive: παιδευθήσεται paideuthēsetai "he will be raised [by someone]"

Number and person system

Due to the personal inflection of the ancient Greek verb, the personal pronouns of the nominative are usually left out, as in many other Indo-European languages ​​(also in Latin), if they are not to be emphasized - for example in adversative clauses  . So it does not necessarily have to be a reference word explicitly naming the subject ( pronoun or noun ) next to the verb - the ending is sufficient to identify the person and thus the subject. So, ancient Greek is a pro-drop language .

The ancient Greek has a singular , a plural and a dual (as a fading form ) in the verb . The dual with its own endings is only formed for the 2nd and 3rd person , while the 1st person of the dual coincides with the first person plural. In the following examples only the active is dealt with.

  • Present indicative
    • Singular 2nd person: παιδεύεις paideueis "you educate"
    • Dual 2nd person: παιδεύετον paideueton "you two educate"
    • Plural 2nd person: παιδεύετε paideuete "you educate"
  • Aorist indicative
    • Singular 3rd person: ἐπαίδευσε (ν) epaideuse (n) "er educated"
    • Dual 3rd person: ἐπαιδευσάτην epaideusatēn "they raised two"
    • Plural 3rd person: ἐπαίδευσαν epaideusan "they educated"

Conjugation tables

Conjugation table for the regular verb λύω lyō (infinitive λύειν lyein "to solve") in the active.
The dual was not considered due to its rarity.

Main tempora of the indicative Subtempora of the indicative conjunctive Optional imperative
Present tense / imperfect tense
λύω, λύεις, λύει,
λύομεν, λύετε, λύουσι (ν)

lyō, lyeis, lyei,
lyomen, lyete, lyousi (n)
ἔλυον, ἔλυες, ἔλυε (ν),
ἐλύομεν, ἐλύετε, ἔλυον

elyon, elyes, elye (n),
elyomen, elyete, elyon
λύω, λύῃς, λύῃ,
λύωμεν, λύητε, λύωσι (ν)

lyō, lyējs, lyēj,
lyōmen, lyēte, lyōsi (n)
λύοιμι, λύοις, λύοι,
λύοιμεν, λύοιτε, λύοιεν

lyoimi, lyois, lyoi,
lyoimen, lyoite, lyoien
-, λῦε, λυέτω,
-, λύετε, λυόντων

-, lye, lyetō,
-, lyete, lyontōn
Future tense λύσω, λύσεις, λύσει,
λύσομεν, λύσετε, λύσουσι (ν)

lysō, lyseis, lysei,
lysomen, lysete, lysousi (n)
- - λύσοιμι, λύσοις, λύσοι,
λύσοιμεν, λύσοιτε, λύσοιεν

lysoimi, lysois, lysoi,
lysoimen, lyseite, lysoien
Aorist - ἔλυσα, ἔλυσας, ἔλυσε (ν),
ἐλύσαμεν, ἐλύσατε, ἔλυσαν

elysa, elysas, elyse (n),
elysamen, elysate, elysan
λύσω, λύσῃς, λύσῃ,
λύσωμεν, λύσητε, λύσωσι (ν)

lysō, lysējs, lysēj,
lysōmen, lysēte, lysōsi (n)
λύσαιμι, λύσαις, λύσαι,
λύσαιμεν, λύσαιτε, λύσαιεν

lysaimi, lysais, lysai,
lysaimen, lysaite, lysaien
-, λῦσον, λυσάτω,
-, λύσατε, λυσάντων

-, lyson, lysatō,
-, lysate, lysantōn
Perfect /
λέλυκα, λέλυκας, λέλυκε (ν),
λελύκαμεν, λελύκατε, λελύκασι (ν)

lelyka, lelykas, leluke (n),
lelykamen, lelykate, lelykasi (n)
ἐλελύκειν, ἐλελύκεις, ἐλελύκει,
ἐλελύκεμεν, ἐλελύκετε, ἐλελύκεσαν

elelykein, elelykeis, elelykei,
elelykemen, elelykete, elelykesan
λελύκω, λελύκῃς, λελύκῃ,
λελύκωμεν, λελύκητε, λελύκωσι (ν)

lelykō, lelykējs, lelykēj,
lelykōmen, lelykēte, lelykōsi (nelykōsi)
λελύκοιμι, λελύκοις, λελύκοι,
λελύκοιμεν, λελύκοιτε, λελύκοιεν

lelykoimi, lelykois, lelykoi,
lelykoimen, lelykoite, lelykoien

Composed of
: -, λελυκὼς ἴσθι, λελυκὼς ἔστω, -, λελυκότες ἔστε, λελυκότες ἔστων
-, lelykōs isthi, lelykōs, estō,
-, lelykotes esto, lelyely

Corresponding table for the important irregular auxiliary verb εἰμί eimi (infinitive εἶναι einai “to be”).

Main tempora of the indicative Subtempora of the indicative conjunctive Optional imperative
Present tense / imperfect tense
εἰμί, εἶ, ἐστί (ν),
ἐσμέν, ἐστε, εἰσί (ν)

eimi, ei, esti (n),
esmen, este, eisi (n)
ἦ, ἦσθα, ἦν,
ἦμεν, ἦτε, ἦσαν

ē, ēstha, ēn,
ēmen, ēte, ēsan
ὦ, ᾖς, ᾖ,
ὦμεν, ἦτε, ὦσι (ν)

ō, ēs, ē,
ōmen, ēte, ōsi (n)
εἴην, εἴης, εἴη,
εἴημεν, εἴητε, εἴησαν

eiēn, eiēs, eiē,
eiēmen, eiēte, eiēsan
-, ἴσθι, ἔστω,
-, ἔστε, ἔστων

-, isthi, estō,
-, este, estōn
Future tense ἔσομαι, ἔσῃ, ἔσται,
ἐσόμεθα, ἔσεσθε, ἔσονται

esomai, esē, estai,
esometha, esesthe, esontai
- - ἐσοίμην, ἔσοιο, ἔσοιτο,
ἐσοίμεθα, ἔσοισθε, ἔσοιντο

esoimēn, esoio, esoito,
esoimetha, esoisthe, esointo

The remaining tenses are irrelevant for use as an auxiliary verb. They are actually derived from the stem of the verb γίγνομαι gignomai ("to become"; synonymous with English to become ).

Today's meaning

In German-speaking countries, Greek has been an important educational language alongside Latin since the end of the Middle Ages .

In Germany is predominantly humanistic schools (usually from grade 7, 8 or 9) Greek lessons given, also is there Greek Studies as part of Philology Classical offered at many universities as a subject.

For courses such as Latin Studies , Theology , Classical Archeology , Ancient History and Philosophy , the Greek exam, the so-called Graecum , is often a prerequisite to this day. The basis for the ancient Greek taught in schools is the Attic of the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Chr., But also authors of other dialects are treated.

Greek high school students can measure their skills in the international Exploring-the-Ancient-Greek-Language-and-Culture competition.

Numerous German expressions ( winged word , swan song ) and proverbs (“There is truth in wine”, “One hand washes the other”) originally come from ancient Greek sources and are loan translations . Many exemplary idioms by ancient Greek authors are famous to this day and are often quoted.

Words borrowed from ancient Greek can be found in numerous scientific technical languages , especially in areas that have already been worked on by ancient Greek authors. Especially in the field of geometry , natural sciences , medicine , philosophy and theology as well as rhetoric and theater studies , Greek word roots have shaped the specialist vocabulary.

In contrast to older forms of German in the German language, ancient Greek also plays a role in the active vocabulary of the modern Greek language: ancient quotations and idioms are always used untranslated, new words and compound words are derived directly from ancient Greek.

See also



  • Francisco R. Adrados : History of the Greek Language from the Beginning to Today . Tübingen 2002, ISBN 3-7720-2981-7 .
  • Egbert Bakker (Ed.): A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language . Malden 2010.
  • A.-F. Christidis (Ed.): A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity . Cambridge et al. a. 2007 (orig. Thessaloniki 2001).
  • Hans Eideneier : From Rhapsody to Rap. Aspects of the Greek Language History from Homer to Today . Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-8233-5202-4 .
  • Lothar Willms: Classical Philology and Linguistics . Göttingen 2013, ISBN 978-3-8252-3857-5 .

History and structure of the dialects

Etymological dictionaries



Historical grammar


  • W. Sidney Allen: Vox Graeca. A Guide to the Pronunciation of Classical Greek . Cambridge 1968 (paperback 1987), ISBN 978-0-521-33555-3 .
  • Axel Schönberger: On the treatment of the accentuation of ancient Greek in selected German representations under critical consideration of Greek sources from the first millennium after Christ. Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-936132-39-7 .


  • Christophe Rico et al .: Polis - Learn ancient Greek like a living language . Translation from the French by Helmut Schareika , Helmut Buske Verlag, Hamburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-87548-571-4 .
  • Günther Zuntz: Greek course . 3 volumes, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1983. Available as free PDFs.

Web links

Wiktionary: Ancient Greek  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Portal: Ancient Greek  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


Wikisource: Ancient Greek Dictionaries  - Sources and Full Texts

Language courses



Text collections

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Library of Congress: ISO 639-2
  2. SIL: grc
  3. Ethnologue: grc
  4. ^ A b c Heinz F. Wendt: The Fischer Lexicon - Languages. Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-596-24561-3 .
  5. a b c d Christos Karvounis : Greek. In: Miloš Okuka (Ed.): Lexicon of the Languages ​​of the European East. Klagenfurt 2002 ( PDF; 977 KB )
  6. ^ Fritz Schachermeyer: The pre-Greek language remnants. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classical antiquity . Volume XXII, 1494 ff .; F. Lochner-Hüttenbach: The Pelasger. Work from the Institute for Comparative Linguistics in Graz, Vienna 1960.
  7. ^ Jan Driessen: Chronology of the Linear B-Texts. In: Yves Duhoux ; Anna Morpurgo Davies (Ed.): A Companion to Linear B. Vol. 1, Dudley, Louvain-la-Neuve 2008, pp. 69-79, especially pp. 75f.
  8. ^ Herbert Weir Smyth, Gordon M. Messing: Greek Grammar. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1956, pp. 45 f.
  9. ^ A b William W. Goodwin, A Greek Grammar. Revised and enlarged, Boston, 1900, p. 35. “ 159 The gender must often be learned by observation. But
    (1) Names of males are generally masculine, and names of females feminine.
    (2) Most names of rivers, winds , and months are masculine; and most names of countries, towns, trees , and islands are feminine.
    (4) Diminutive nouns are neuter […].
  10. ^ Herbert Weir Smyth & Gordon M. Messing: Greek Grammar . Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1956, p. 46. Quoted: “ 198. Common Gender. - Many nouns denoting persons are either masculine or feminine. [...]
  11. ^ William W. Goodwin, A Greek Grammar. Revised and enlarged, Boston, 1900, p. 35. Quotation: “ 158. Nouns which may be either masculine or feminine are said to be of the common gender as (ὁ, ἡ) θεός , God or Goddess . Names of animals which include both sexes, but have only one grammatical gender, are called epicene ( ἐπίκοινος ); as [..] ἡ ἀλώπηξ , the fox ; [..] including males and females.
  12. ^ Herbert Weir Smyth & Gordon M. Messing: Greek Grammar . Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1956, p. 84. Quotation: “ 134. Moveable N may be added at the end of a word when the next word begins with a vowel. […] 135 Moveable ν is usually written at the end of clauses, and at the end of a verse in poetry. To make a syllable long by position (144) the poets add ν before words beginning with a consonant. Prose inscriptions frequently use ν before a consonant.
  13. ^ Herbert Weir Smyth & Gordon M. Messing: Greek Grammar . Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1956, p. 90.
  14. ^ William W. Goodwin, A Greek Grammar. Revised and enlarged, Boston, 1900, p. 82.
  15. ^ Herbert Weir Smyth: A Greek Grammar For Colleges . 1920, § 357: "The infinitive [...] is sometimes classed as a mood."
  16. ^ Günther Zuntz : Greek course . Volume 3: Appendix grammatica, Summa grammatica, subject index. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht , Göttingen 1983, ISBN 3-525-25320-6 , pp. 114 f . ( [accessed on April 15, 2019]).
  17. Martin Holtermann: "Medio tutissimus ibis. On the didactics of diatheses in Greek lessons" . Forum Classicum. 2019, p. 180–192 ( [accessed December 16, 2019]).
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on October 12, 2007 .