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Greek writing

The Greek alphabet is an alphabet that has been used to write the Greek language since about the 9th century BC. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel and consonant alike. It is the oldest alphabetic script in use today.

At the start, the direction of writing was from right to left, but the early Greeks adopted an unusual practice of writing every second row in the opposite direction. This was called boustrophedon, literally meaning 'as the ox turns' because it resembled the way an ox ploughs a field.

Most specialists believe that the Phoenician alphabet was adopted for Greek during the 9th century BC, perhaps in Euboea. The earliest known fragmentary Greek inscriptions date from the early 8th century. The oldest substantial texts known to date are the Dipylon inscription and the text on the so-called Cup of Nestor, both dated to the late 8th century BC.

The Greek alphabet originated as a modification of the Phoenician alphabet and in turn gave rise to the Gothic, Glagolitic, Cyrillic, Coptic, and possibly the Armenian alphabets, as well as the Latin alphabet



Further information and links:

server02.is.uni-sb.de/courses/ident/themen/gesch_schrift/

www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A216073

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_alphabet