December 16th, 2013

Greek Writing

the classical period: in Plato's day, Greek was written with letters of only one size, with no diacritical marks or word separation, and little or no punctuation. The introduction of the Byzantine minuscule script after 800 c.e. was the most significant of many changes: the modern small letters derive from this script, itself the result of a lengthy development from cursive styles of writing employed in non-literary papyri of ancient and early Byzantine times. Modern writing and printing practices are virtually the same for ancient and modern Greek; they continue the practices of the first printed Greek books produced in Italy in the later fifteenth century, which themselves continued the practices of manuscripts of the late Byzantine period (after ca. 1250). The use of these modern writing practices for ancient texts is thus to a large degree conventional.