The classical Greek alphabet is a writing system that was used in ancient Greece and other areas of the Mediterranean from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE. It is the ancestor of the modern Greek alphabet and has 24 letters, which are:
The classical Greek alphabet was adapted from the earlier Phoenician alphabet and was later adopted by the Romans for their own writing system. It has been used to write many important works of literature, philosophy, and history, including the works of Homer, Plato, and Aristotle.
“δηλοῖ δὲ μάλιστα Ὅμηρος ὅτι τοιαῦτα ἦν [α φεστιϝαλ ατ δελος] ἐν τοῖς ἔπεσι τοῖσδε, ἅ ἐστιν ἐκ προοιμίου Ἀπόλλωνος: ‘ἀλλ̓ ὅτε Δήλῳ Φοῖβε μάλιστά γε θυμὸν ἐτέρφθης,
ἔνθα τοι ἑλκεχίτωνες Ἰάονες ἠγερέθονται
σὺν σφοῖσιν τεκέεσσι γυναιξί τε σὴν ἐς ἀγυιάν:
ἔνθα σε πυγμαχίῃ τε καὶ ὀρχηστυῖ καὶ ἀοιδῇ
μνησάμενοι τέρπουσιν ὅταν καθέσωσιν ἀγῶνα.
’ ὅτι δὲ καὶ μουσικῆς ἀγὼν ἦν καὶ ἀγωνιούμενοι ἐφοίτων, ἐν τοῖσδε αὐ δηλοῖ, ἅ ἐστιν ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ προοιμίου. τὸν γὰρ Δηλιακὸν χορὸν τῶν γυναικῶν ὑμνήσας ἐτελεύτα τοῦ ἐπαίνου ἐς τάδε τὰ ἔπη, ἐν οἷς καὶ ἑαυτοῦ ἐπεμνήσθη: ‘ἀλλ̓ ἄγεθ̓ ἱλήκοι μὲν Ἀπόλλων Ἀρτέμιδι ξύν,
χαίρετε δ̓ ὑμεῖς πᾶσαι: ἐμεῖο δὲ καὶ μετόπισθε
μνήσασθ᾽ ὁππότε κέν τις ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων
ἐνθάδ̓ ἀνείρηται ταλαπείριος ἄλλος ἐπελθών:
ὦ κοῦραι τίς δ᾽ ὔμμιν ἀνὴρ ἥδιστος ἀοιδῶν
ἐνθάδε πωλεῖται καὶ τέῳ τέρπεσθε μάλιστα;
ὑμεῖς δ᾽ εὖ μάλα πᾶσαι ὑποκρίνασθαι ἀφήμως,
τυφλὸς ἀνήρ, οἰκεῖ δὲ Χίῳ ἔνι παιπαλοέσσῃ.
’ ” = Apoll. 146-150, 165-172 with variants.
This citation, which was possibly intended as a reply to Herodotus’ appeal to Olen’s hymn (also with regard to Delos) iv. 35 (see further p. lvi), evidently recognises the Hymn to Apollo as Homeric. Thucydides calls it “προοίμιον”, the designation used by Pindar, who (Nem. ii. 1) alludes to a hymn to Zeus as “Διὸς ἐκ προοιμίου”.1 Thucydides’ words have been used 2 to support the view that the document as we have it contains two hymns, one of which ended at this point; but the natural interpretation of the passage is that the words “ἐτελεύτα τοῦ ἐπαίνου” mean “he ended his compliment” to the Delian women, after which he returned to his account of the God. (Cf. the introduction to the Hymn.) The variants (J. H. S. xv. 309, Gemoll ad loc.) seem independent, and not necessarily preferable one to the other. In a text which depends throughout on the MSS. we have not departed from them here. In two places the Thucydidean version seems to have preserved a reading which was common to the MSS. also, but has been corrupted in them; 165 “ἀλλ᾽ ἄγεθ᾽ ἱλήκοι μὲν” where the MSS. “ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε δὴ λητὼ” “μὲν” gives no construction, and may easily be accounted for on graphical grounds (through “λητοῖ”); 171 “ἀφήμως” of the older MSS. of Thucydides appears to be the parent of the voces nihili of the younger Thucydides-MSS. and all the Hymn-MSS. “ἀφ᾽ ἡμέων, ἀφ᾽ ὑμέων, ἀφ᾽ ὑμῶν”.
1 Plutarch (de mus. 1133c) uses the word of Terpander. Empedocles (Diog. Laert. viii. 2. 3) wrote a “προοίμιον” to Apollo. There seems no reason, however, with Welcker Ep. Cycl. i. 328 to limit the word to the worship of Apollo. Cf. Plato’s words Laws 722 D “καὶ δή που κιθαρῳδικῆς ᾠδῆς λεγομένων νόμων καὶ πάσης μούσης προοίμια θαυμαστῶς ἐσπουδασμένα πρόκειται”. See further p. lxi. An analogous word is “προαύλιον” ( Plato Cratylus 417 fin. “ὥσπερ τοῦ τῆς Ἀθηνάας νόμου προαύλιον στομαυλῆσαι”).
2 First by Ruhnken Ep. crit. i. p. 7, 8; cf. Guttmann l.c. p. 16.
The Homeric Hymns, edited, with preface, apparatus criticus, notes, and appendices. Thomas W. Allen. E. E. Sikes. London. Macmillan. 1904.
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