Greek Alphabet


The Greek alphabet was developed on the basis of  Phoenician 10900–1091F , having included all its letters. It is the world's first consonant-vocal writing system. This means that not only consonant sounds are graphically displayed with the letters of the alphabet, but all the vowels too. There was nothing like that in Phoenician.

The names of the letters were inherited too, but they were changed to fit Greek phonology. Meanwhile, various names lost the meanings that the Phoenicians intended for. For example, the first letter 𐤀 was “aleph (alp)”, which meant “bull”. It was given the name “alpha”, which had no specific purpose or relation.

Many scientists believe that the Greek alphabet appeared in the IX century BC, presumably in Euboea. The most ancient inscriptions found are made in the beginning of VIII century BC. The text on the “Nester Cup” and the Diphylon inscription date back to about the end of the VIII century BC. Before the adaptation of the Phoenician alphabet, the Greek language was written using  Linear B 10000–1005D .

The Greek alphabet served as the basis for various scripts in the world, including  Latin 0041–007A and  Cyrillic 0410–0474 . The latter got 17 more letters. Therefore, in the Old Slavonic language the words borrowed from the Greeks were written in the same way as in Greek.

The Greek people used these symbols to write down numbers too. The classical system offered numbers from 1 to 9 denoted by the first nine letters. Numbers multiplied by 10 and 100 (10, 20 ... 90, 100, 200 ... 900) were the next ones. That's why three more letters were added to the 24 letters of the standard Greek alphabet: Ϝ, Ϙ, Ϡ.