Greek alphabet

The Greek alphabet developed on the basis of Phoenician, including all its letters. He 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. In Phoenician this was not.

The names of the letters were inherited, but they changed to fit Greek phonology. At the same time, the names lost the meaning that was laid by the Phoenicians. For example, the first letter 𐤀 is «aleph (alp)», which means «bull» was given the name «alpha», which has no specific meaning.

Many scientists believe that the Greek alphabet appeared in the IX century BC, presumably in Euboea. The most ancient inscriptions, from 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 8th century BC. Before the adaptation of the Phoenician letter, the Greek language was recorded using Linear B.

The Greek alphabet became the basis from which the writings of most countries of the world went, including latin and Cyrillic. In the last 17 letters were simply added, therefore, in the Old Slavonic language the words borrowed from the Greeks were written in the same way as in Greek.

With the help of the symbols of their writing, the Greeks wrote down numbers. In the classical system, the numbers from 1 to 9 were denoted by the first nine letters. Numbers multiplied by 10 and 100 (10, 20 ... 90, 100, 200 ... 900) are the next ones. Especially for this, three more letters were added to 24 letters of the standard Greek alphabet: Ϝ, Ϙ, Ϡ.