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Ancient Greek is the form of Greek used in ancient Greece and the ancient world around the ninth to sixth centuries BC (the Archaic period), around the fifth to fourth centuries BC (Classical period), and around the third century BC to sixth century AD (Hellenistic period). It is antedated in the second millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek.
The language of the Hellenistic phase is known as Koine (common), while the language from the late period onward features no considerable differences from Medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earlier form, it closely resembled the Classical. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects.
Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of classical Athenian historians, playwrights, and philosophers. It has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the West since the Renaissance. This article primarily contains information about the Epic and Classical phases of the language.
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Ancient Greek (to 1453)". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
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