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CivilizationCivilization in AntiquityLanguage in Antiquity'Koine'


The traditional Macedonian dialect
The Ionic presence
The Attic influence

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Base of a votive statue
of Eurydike daughter of Sirra
Marble base of a votive statue with the inscription: 'Euridike of Sirra to Eukleia', sanctuary of Eukleia, first half of 4th century BC, Vergina.

PreviousUpNext The traditional Macedonian dialect

Until recently only isolated words and proper nouns, but no continuous text, had survived in the ancestral dialect of the Macedonians. Most Macedonian literary works and continuous inscriptions appear in the 4th century BC, when the 'koine' ("common" language) had already prevailed. This explains why the classification of the Macedonian dialect as Greek has raised vehement scientific controversy, exacerbated by political expediencies.

Base of a votive statue
of Eurydike daughter of Sirra

Vergina, first half of 4th century BC

Recently however research has proved that Macedonian was a Greek dialect related to those of Epirus and Thessaly; evidence comes from the systematic classification of elements of inscriptions which do not belong to the official 'koine' but to everyday speech, the study of names derived from common nouns, and the discovery of continuous inscriptions in the local dialect, such as the "Defixio of Pella" (magical text). Elements of the Macedonian dialect infiltrated 'koine' and survive to this day in the Modern Greek dialects.

See Also
Civilization - Letters in Antiquity

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.