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CivilizationCivilization in ByzantiumLanguage in Byzantium

Language in Byzantium

Late Antiquity (324-565)
Dark Antiquity (565-867)
Middle and Late Byzantine periods (867-1430)

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Full-page illumination
Full-page illumination with chapter titles, from a codex of Homilies of Grigorios of Nazianzos, 10th century, Mount Athos, Iviron Monastery.

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Full-page illumination
Mt Athos, Iviron Monastery,
10th century

Not much is known about the language of Macedonia during the Byzantine years , but it most probably followed the general trends of this period, which proved crucial for the history of the Greek language. Already in the Early Christian years the last traces of the ancient Macedonian dialect disappeared.

At the same time the first features of the modern Macedonian dialects appeared in 'koine', which had replaced the local dialect. The modern dialects were probably fully formed about the 10th century, although the existing written testimonia cannot prove it with certainty. These dialects were used only in speech, while the older form of 'koine', which differed progressively more from the spoken language, remained official language of the state.

See Also
Civilization - Language in Antiquity
From the Archaic period to Alexander III
'Koine'
The traditional Macedonian dialect
The Ionic presence
The Attic influence


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.