KR017 Languages and Writing Systems of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2020

The course is not taught in Autumn 2020

Extent and Intensity
1/0/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Mgr. Juraj Franek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Juraj Franek, Ph.D.
Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Erlebachová
Supplier department: Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Basic knowledge of Ancient Greek is a plus, but it is not required.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 12 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course is conceived as a short overview of the languages and writing systems of the Ancient Mediterranean, with special attention dedicated to the development of Ancient Greek. Students are first introduced to the various modalities of the transmission of Ancient Greek texts. This exposition is followed by a diachronic account of the development of the Greek language from Mycenaean Greek to Hellenistic koine. To a limited extent, the course deals with the languages of non-Greek inhabitants of the Aegean sea and Asia Minor.
Learning outcomes
Following the successful completion of the course, student will be able to:
- describe main features of the evolution of languages and scripts in the area of Mediterranean from their origins to the testimonies of Greek dialects;
- indicate ways of formation and spreading of the writing systems;
- enumerate the most important written documents of selected non-Greek languages;
- describe the historical background of the formation of the Mycenaean Linear B script;
- outline the evolution of the Ancient Greek alphabet and of the Greek dialects from the pre-Classical to the Hellenistic period.
  • 1. Introduction.
  • 2. Epigraphic documents.
  • 3. Ancient papyri.
  • 4. Manuscripts of Late Antiquity.
  • 5. Indoeuropean languages and Ancient Greek.
  • 6. Minoan culture and the linear A script.
  • 7. Mycenaean culture and the linear B script.
  • 8. The "Dark Ages" and the origins of Greek alphabet.
  • 9. Homeric Greek.
  • 10. Archaic Greek lyric and the dialects of Ancient Greek.
  • 11. Hellenistic koine.
  • 12. Non-Greek peoples and their languages.
    required literature
  • Bartoněk, A. (2007). Písmo a jazyk mykénské řečtiny. Brno: Masarykova univerzita.
  • Bartoněk, A. (2009). Dialekty klasické řečtiny. Brno: Masarykova univerzita.
  • Bartoněk, A. (2011). Chréstomatie starořeckých nářečních nápisů. Brno: Masarykova univerzita.
  • Erhart, A. (1982). Indoevropské jazyky: Srovnávací fonologie a morfologie. Praha: Academia.
    recommended literature
  • Jeffery, L. (1990). The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Woodard, R. D. (1997). Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bakker, E. J. (ed.) (2010). A Companion to Ancient Greek Language. Malden - Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Christidis, A.-F. (ed.) (2007). A History of Ancient Greek. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Horrocks, G. (2010). Greek: A History of the Language and its Speakers. Malden - Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • McLean, B. H. (2002). An Introduction to Greek Epigraphy of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods from Alexander the Great down to the Reign of Constantine (323 B.C. - A.D. 337). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Bagnall, R. S. (ed.) (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Meillet, A. (1965). Aperçu d'une histoire de la langue grecque. Paris: Klincksieck.
  • Colvin, S. (2007). A Historical Greek Reader: Mycenaean to the Koiné. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Adrados, F. R. (1999). Historia de la lengua griega. Madrid: Gredos.
  • Meier-Brügger, M. (2002). Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft. Berlin - New York: Walter de Gruyter.
  • Forston, B. W. (2010). Indo-European Language and Culture. Malden - Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Clackson, J. (2007). Indo-European Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Teaching methods
Lectures, class discussions.
Assessment methods
The credits are awarded for the successful passing of the written test (multiple choice, 20 questions, pass mark = 70%).
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every week.

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