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CivilizationCivilization in AntiquityLanguage in Antiquity'Koine'


The traditional Macedonian dialect
The Ionic presence
The Attic influence

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Decree of Amphipolis
Decree of Amphipolis, condemning political opponents of Philip II to exile for life, 357 BC, Athens, Epigraphical Museum.

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Decree of Amphipolis
357 BC, Athens Epigraphical Museum

From the beginning of the 1st millenium BC, the Macedonian coast from the Peneios to the Strymon estuaries had been colonized by Ionians from Euboia and the Cyclades. The Ionic strongholds were the Chalkidike Peninsula and the island of Thasos, whence the Ionic dialect was also introduced to the shores of the Strymonic Gulf.

The Ionic influence, which increased during the Persians' expansion, probably contributed to the introduction and prevalence of the eastern Ionic alphabet in Macedonia. Philip II's capture of Amphipolis and its incorporation in the Macedonian state led to the amalgamation of north-western and Ionian linguistic traditions in the melting-pot of the 'koine' ("common" language), which was based on the Attic speech and was already being formed at the close of the 5th century BC.

See Also
Civilization - Letters in Antiquity

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.