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Η, η, ἦτα, τό, indecl., seventh letter of the Gr. alphabet; as numeral η# ὀκτώ and ὄγδοος, but #22η = 8000. The uncial form of Eta ( Η) was a double ε and prob. it was pronounced as a long ε, cf. δῆλος (from δέελος). The old Alphabet had only one sign ( Ε) for the ε sound, till the long vowels η and ω were introduced from the Samian Alphabet in the archonship of Euclides, B. C. 403. The sign H, before it was taken to represent the double ε, was used for the spiritus asper, as ΗΟΣ for ὅς, (which remains in the Latin H). When H was taken to represent long e, it was at the same time cut in two, so that ι represented the spir.asper, ο the spir. lenis; whence came the present signs for the breathings. As to dialectic changes,
1.the vowel η was much used by the ionic, being in aeolic and doric replaced by α_, as also in attic, but mostly after ρ or a vowel, πρήσσω θώρηξ ἰητρός, attic πράσσω θώραξ ἰατρός. attic, ει and ηι were not seldom changed into , as κλεῖθρα κλῇθρα, Νηρηίδες Νηρῇδες.
3.doric and aeolic for ει, as τῆνος, κῆνος for κεῖνος.

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