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Alphabets of Asia Minor: Wikis

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Various alphabetic writing systems were in use in Iron Age Anatolia to record Anatolian dialects and the Phrygian language. Previously several of these languages had been written with logographic and syllabic systems.

The alphabets of Asia Minor proper share characteristics that distinguish them from the earliest forms of the Greek alphabet. Many letters in these alphabets resemble Greek letters but have unrelated readings, most extensively in the case of Carian. The Phrygian and Lemnian alphabets by contrast were early adaptations of regional variants of the Greek alphabet; the earliest Phrygian inscriptions are contemporary with early Greek inscriptions, but contain Greek innovations such as the letters Φ and Ψ which did not exist in the earliest forms of the Greek alphabet.

  • The Lydian script, an alphabet used to record the Lydian language from ca. the 5th to 4th centuries BCE, related is the "Para-Lydian" alphabet known from a single inscription in Sardis. Lydian used the letter 8 for /f/, a remarkable convergence with the Etruscan alphabet, where 8 (𐌚) was added in the 6th century BCE.
  • The Carian script, recording the Carian language, known from inscriptions in Caria, Egypt and Athens. Only partially understood, there were 45 letters. Many of these resemble the Greek alphabet in form, but have different values.
  • The Sidetic script, an alphabet of 25 letters, known from coin legends in what might be a Sidetic language, is only partially deciphered.

The Anatolian alphabets fell out of use around the 4th century BCE with the onset of the Hellenistic period.

See also

Further reading

  • Diringer, David (1948). The Alphabet: A Key to the History of Mankind. Cambridge: Hutchinson.  
  • Friedrich, Johannes (1966). Geschichte der Schrift. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer geistigen Entwicklung. Heidelberg: Winter.  

External links

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