How was 1st century Greek pronounced? And how do we know?

Some highly technical work on this subject has been published, but a recent short video by Benjamin Kantor does a great job of explaining the basics in very simple terms.

Video by Benjamin Kantor

For a more technical discussion, see either of the following:

• Gignac, Francis (1976), A Grammar of the Greek Papyri of the Roman and Byzantine Periods: Vol. 1 Phonology, Milan: Instituto Editoriale Cisalpino-La Goliardica, ASIN B0006CVTGQ

• Teodorsson, Sven-Tage (1977), The phonology of Ptolemaic Koine, Göteborg: Göteborg University, ISBN 91-7346-035-4

There’s also a fairly detailed discussion on Wikipedia.

For a discussion of why it matters, and some clear explanation of key terms, see Randall Buth’s excellent discussion of the topic (or the PDF version).

And, of course, there’s Benjamin Kantor’s own discussion of the topic on the same page where he published the video.

What do you think? Other readers and I would love to hear from you.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.