in Greece in the
Ionic Greek ( Ancient Greek: Ἑλληνική Ἰωνική, romanized: Hellēnikē Iōnikē) was a subdialect of the Attic–Ionic or Eastern dialect group of Ancient Greek.
The Ionic dialect appears to have originally spread from the Greek mainland across the
Aegean at the time of the Dorian invasions, around the 11th century BC during the early Greek Dark Ages.
By the end of
Archaic Greece and early Classical Greece in the 5th century BC, the central west coast of Asia Minor, along with the islands of Chios and Samos, formed the heartland of Ionia proper. The Ionic dialect was also spoken on islands across the central Aegean and on the large island of Euboea north of Athens. The dialect was soon spread by Ionian colonization to areas in the northern Aegean, the Black Sea, and the western Mediterranean, including Magna Graecia in Sicily and Italy.
The Ionic dialect is generally divided into two major time periods, Old Ionic (or Old Ionian) and New Ionic (or New Ionian). The transition between the two is not clearly defined, but 600 BC is a good approximation.
The works of
Homer ( , The Iliad , and the The Odyssey Homeric Hymns) and of Hesiod were written in a literary dialect called Homeric Greek or Epic Greek, which largely comprises Old Ionic, with some borrowings from the neighboring Aeolic dialect to the north. The poet Archilochus wrote in late Old Ionic.
The most famous New Ionic authors are
Anacreon, Theognis, Herodotus, Hippocrates, and, in Roman times, Aretaeus, Arrian, and the Lucianic or Pseudo-Lucianic .
On the Syrian Goddess
Ionic acquired prestige among Greek speakers because of its association with the language used by both
Homer and Herodotus and the close linguistic relationship with the Attic dialect as spoken in Athens. This was further enhanced by the writing reform implemented in Athens in 403 BC, whereby the old Attic alphabet was replaced by the Ionic alphabet, as used by the city of Miletus. This alphabet eventually became the standard Greek alphabet, its use becoming uniform during the Koine era. It was also the alphabet used in the Christian Gospels and the book of Acts.
Proto-Greek ā > Ionic ē; in Doric, Aeolic, ā remains; in Attic, ā after e, i, r, but ē elsewhere.
ᾱνί ᾱς ne, Ionic νε āní ās ηνί ης ne "young man" ēní ēs original and Doric
ἁ (ᾱ) h > Attic-Ionic ā ἡ h "the" (feminine nominative singular) ē original and Doric μ ᾱτηρ m > Attic-Ionic μ ātēr ητήρ m "mother" ētḗr
e, o > East/Central Ionic : ei, ou [note 1] compensatory lengthening after loss of w in the sequences enw-, erw-, onw-, orw-. In Attic and West Ionic, e, o are not lengthened. (“East” refers to the Ionic of Anatolia, “Central” refers to the Ionic of the Cyclades, and “West” refers to the Ionic of Euboea.)
*k órwā > Attic κ  όρη k, East Ionic κ órē ούρη k "girl" oúrē
* > órwos ὄρος , óros οὖρος "mountain" oúros *ks > ξ énwos ένος x, ξ énos εῖνος x "guest, stranger" eĩnos
East Ionic generally removes initial aspiration (Proto-Greek h
V- > Ionic V-).
Proto-Greek * > Attic hāwélios , Homeric (early East Ionic) hēlios ēélios "sun"
Ionic contracts less often than Attic.
Ionic γέν εα gén, Attic γέν ea η gén "family" (neuter nominative plural) ē Consonants
*kʷ before o > Attic, West/Central Ionic p, some East Ionic k.
Proto-Greek *hó > East Ionic ὅ kʷōs κως hó, Attic ὅ kōs πως hó "in whatever way, in which way" pōs
*ťť > East/Central Ionic ss, West Ionic, Attic tt. This Ionic feature made it into Koine Greek.
Proto-Greek *táťťō > Ionic τά σσω tá, Attic τά ssō ττω tá "I arrange" ttō Grammar
Ionic had a very analytical word-order, perhaps the most analytical one within ancient Greek dialects. Glossary
ἄβδης ábdês scourge ( Hipponax .98)
ἄεθλον áethlon (Attic ἆθλον athlon prize)
ἀειναῦται aeinaûtai archontes in Miletus and Chalcis ( aeí always + naûtai sailors)
ἀλγείη algeíē illness (Cf.Attic ἀλγηδών algēdṓn pain) Algophobia
ἄμπωτις ámpōtis ebb, being sucked back, i.e. of sea (Attic anápōtis, verb anapínō) (Koine, Modern Greek ampotis)
ἄνου anou (Attic ἄνω ánō, up)
Απατούρια Apatoúria Pan-ionic festival ( see also Panionium )
ἀππαλλάζειν appallázein (Attic ἐκκλησιάζειν ekklesiázein gather together,decide) (Doric apellazein)
ἀχάντιον achántion (Attic ἀκάνθιον akánthion small thorn acanthus)
βάθρακοι báthrakoi (Attic βάτραχοι bátrachoi, frogs) in Pontus babakoi
βροῦκος broûkos species of locust (Attic akrís) ( Cypriots call the green locust βρούκα broúka)
βυσσός byssós (Attic βυθός bythós depth, bottom, chaos)
γάννος gánnos Ephesian (Attic huaina (glanos Aristotle.HA594a31.) ( Phrygian and Tsakonian ganos
eídē (Attic εἴδη ὕλη hýle forest) ( Aeolic Greek eide also) (Greek Eidos)
ἐνθαῦτα enthaûta here ( entoutha also) (Attic ἐνταῦθα entaûtha) ( Elean ἐνταῦτα entaûta)
ἐργύλος ergýlos (Attic ἐργάτηςergátēs worker)
ἑστιᾶχος hestiâchos ionic epithet for Zeus, related to Hestia (oikourós, housekeeper, οἰκῶναξ oikônax)
ēgós (Attic ἠγός εὐδαίμων eudaímon happy) (Hesychius s.v. εὐηγεσίη) (τ 114)
ἠέλιος êélios (Attic hḗlios sun) (Cretan abelios)
Iastí, "the ionic way" ( Ἰαστί Ἰάονες, Iáones, Ionians; Ἰάς, Iás, old name of Attica, Strabo IX, 1.5 )
ídē forested mountain (Attic ἴδη δρυμῶν ὄρος drymôn óros) ( Herodotus 4,109,2) ( Mount Ida)
ἰητρός iētrós, iētēr (Attic iatrós, iatēr doctor)
ἴκκος íkkos (Attic ἵππος híppos, horse) ( Mycenaean i-qo )
κάρη kárē head (Common kara) (Poetic kras)
κιθών kithṓn (Attic χιτών chitṓn)
κοεῖν koeîn (Attic νοεῖν noeîn to think) noesis
κοῖος koîos (Attic ποῖος poîos who?)
κύθρη kýthrē (Attic χύτρα chýtra cooking pot)
μύτταξ mýttax (Attic πώγων pṓgōn beard)
Xouthidai Ionians from Ξουθίδαι Xuthus
ὀδμή odmḗ (Attic ὀσμή osmḗ scent, smell)
πηλός pēlós thick wine, lees (Attic πηλός pelós mud, silt) ( proverbial phrase mê dein ton , don't make wine into lees, Ath.9.383c, cf. Demetr.Eloc.171) Oinea Pêlea poiein
ῥηχίη rhêchíê flood-tide, loanword to Attic as ῥαχία rhachía (Homeric, Koine, Modern Greek πλημμυρίς plêmmurís -ída)
σαβακός sabakís (Attic σαθρός sathrís decayed) Chian
σάρμοι sármoi lupins (Attic θέρμοιthermoi} Carystian
σκορπίζω skorpízô scatter, disperse (probably from skorpios scorpion and an obsolete verb skerpô, penetrate)
ταῦροι  taûroi (Attic tauroi bulls) ( Ephesian word, the youths who acted as cupbearers at the local festival of Poseidon)
φοινικήια phoinikḗia grámmata Lydians and Ionians called so the letters
χλοσσός chlossós (Attic ἰχθύς ichthús fish) ô oioî exclamation of discontent ὦ οἰοῖ ἐπιφώνημα σχετλιαστικὸν παρ' Ἴωσι Notes
^ Among Greek dialects, Ionic was the fondest of long vowels and was thus considered especially suited to solo singing; the more austere, broad-sounding Doric was preferred in choral singing.
^ Roger D. Woodard (2008), "Greek dialects", in:
The Ancient Languages of Europe, ed. R. D. Woodard, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 51.
Smyth, par. 30 and note, 31: long a in Attic and other dialects
^ Smyth, par. 37 note: Ionic compensatory lengthening after loss of w
κόρη. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; at the A Greek–English Lexicon Perseus Project.
^ Smyth, par. 9 note: early loss of rough breathing in Ionic of Asia Minor
^ Smyth, par. 59 note: contraction in dialects
^ Smyth, par. 112, 78: ky, khy > tt; = ss in non-Attic dialects
^ Athenaeus Deipnosophists 10 425c
A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity by A. Panayotou; Ionic and Attic A Grammar of the Greek Language by Benjamin Franklin Fisk; Ionic
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