Ionic Greek

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Ionic Greek was a sub-dialect of the Attic-Ionic dialectal group of Ancient Greek (see Greek dialects).

Contents

History

Ionic dialect appears to have spread originally from the Greek mainland across the Aegean at the time of the Dorian invasions, around the 11th Century B.C.

By the end of the Greek Dark Ages in the 5th Century B.C, the central west coast of Asia Minor, along with the islands of Chios and Samos, formed the heartland of Ionia proper. The Ionic dialect was also spoken on islands across the central Aegean and on the large island of Euboea north of Athens. The dialect was soon spread by Ionian colonization to areas in the northern Aegean, the Black Sea, and the western Mediterranean.


*Dates (beginning with Ancient Greek) from Wallace, D. B. (1996). Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. p. 12. ISBN 0310218950. 

Ionic dialect is generally divided into two major time periods, Old Ionic (or Old Ionian) and New Ionic (or New Ionian). The exact transition between the two is not clearly defined, but 600 B.C. is a good approximation.

The Homeric works (the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Homeric Hymns), and the works of Hesiod, were written in a literary dialect called Homeric Greek or Epic Greek, which consists largely of Old Ionic, with some borrowings from the neighboring Aeolic dialect to the north. The poet Archilochus wrote in late Old Ionic.

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