Greek Writing System

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Greek Writing System

 

the writing system that developed from the Phoenician consonantal script in the tenth to eighth centuries B.C. (its oldest monuments are from the eighth to seventh centuries B.C.). The system that was used by the ancient Greeks is still in use. An innovation in the development of the Greek writing system was the introduction of separate letters for the vowels, in addition to those designating consonants.

Table 1. Greek writing system
1Letters in brackets are the Library of Congress transliterations when they differ from the values given in the original
LetterNameAncient Greek pronunciationModern Greek pronunciationNumerical value
alphaaa1
betabv2
Гγgammagg3
   (fricative) 
   j 
  ηη 
Δδdeltadδ(voiced interdental)4
E εepsilonee5
zetadzz7
H ηetaēi8
Ɵθthetathth (unvoiced interdental)9
iotaii10
K ϰkappakk20
∧ λlambda1130
M μmumm40
ƞvnunn50
Ξ ξxiksks [x]160
O oomicron0070
П пpiPp80
rhorr[rh]100
∑ σ, ςsigmasS200
T τtautt300
Y υupsilonu →0i[y; u in diphthong]400
Φ φphiphf500
Ψ ψpsipsps700
Ω ωomegaō0800
ειeii
o ιαiө
oii
ευeuev, ef
α υauav, af
uu
ηυiv, if
υιi
μ пmpb, mb
υτntd, nd

REFERENCES

Istrin, V. A. Vozniknovenie i razvitie pis’ma. Moscow, 1965.
Jeffery, J. H. The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece. Oxford, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.