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2. The Greek alphabet as given above originated in Ionia, and was adopted at Athens in 403 B.C. The letters from A to T are derived from Phoenician and have Semitic names. The signs Υ to Ω were invented by the Greeks. From the Greek alphabet are derived the alphabets of most European countries. The ancients used only the large letters, called majuscules (capitals as Ε, uncials as [Eunc ]); the small letters (minuscules), which were used as a literary hand in the ninth century, are cursive forms of the uncials.

a. Before 403 B.C. in the official Attic alphabet E stood for ε, η, spurious ει (6), O for ο, ω, spurious ου (6), H for the rough breathing, ΧΣ for Ξ, ΦΣ for Ψ. Λ was written for γ, and [lins ] for λ. Thus:

ΕΔΟΧΣΕΝΤΕΙΒΟ[lins ]ΕΙΚΑΙΤΟΙΔΕΜΟΙἔδοξεν τῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ.
ΕΓΙΤΕΔΕΙΟΝΕΝΑΙΑΓΟΤΟΑΡΛΥΡΙΟἐπιτήδειον εἶναι ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀργυρίου.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Friedrich Blass, Ausführliche Grammatik der Griechischen Sprache, KG 1.1.1
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