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CivilizationCivilization in AntiquityLanguage in Antiquity'Koine'

'Koine'

The traditional Macedonian dialect
The Ionic presence
The Attic influence

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The stele of Kalindoia
'Inscription of Kalindoia', inscribed marble stele from Kalamoto, listing the priests of Asklepios and Apollo 323-303 BC, Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum.

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The stele of Kalindoia
323-303 BC

The dialect known as 'koine' is above all the product of the Athenian domination of the Aegean during the 5th and 4th century BC. Here the Attic speech mingled with the kindred Ionic dialects of the Cyclades and Ionia, as well as those of the Ionic colonies on the northern shores of the Aegean.

The result of blending and interaction was an Ionicized Attic speech which was originally introduced to the Macedonian kingdom as the language of informal intercourse, then as literary language, and was finally adopted as the country's official language by Philip II.

In Macedonia, this form of speech acquired elements of the local dialect, the third constituent of 'koine'. This is the form of language carried by Alexander the Great with his troops and colonists as far as the Indus River and the Falls of the Nile.

See Also
Civilization - Letters in Antiquity


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.