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Products for grant RZ-230604-15

RZ-230604-15
Ancient Methone: Early Greek Maritime Trade, Industry, and the Origins of the Greek Alphabet
John Papadopoulos, University of California, Los Angeles

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=RZ-230604-15

The early history of the Greek alphabet: the new evidence from Eretria and Methone (Article)
Title: The early history of the Greek alphabet: the new evidence from Eretria and Methone
Author: John K. Papadopoulos
Abstract: Inscriptions on new archaeological finds in the Aegean, examined alongside linguistic evidence relating to Greek and Phrygian vowels, are here used to explore the origins and spread of the Greek alphabet. The ‘invention’ of vowels happened just once, with all of the various Greek, Phrygian and Italic alphabets ultimately deriving from this single moment. The idea spread rapidly, from an absence of writing in the ninth century BC to casual usage, including jokes, by 725 BC. The port of Methone in the northern Aegean emerges as a probable candidate for the site of origin. A place where Greeks and Phoenicians did business together, with international networks, was this where Semitic, Greek and Phrygian letters first coalesced?
Year: 2016
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Antiquity
Publisher: Antiquity

The early history of the Greek alphabet: new evidence from Eretria and Methone (Article)
Title: The early history of the Greek alphabet: new evidence from Eretria and Methone
Author: John K. Papadopoulos
Abstract: Inscriptions on new archaeological finds in the Aegean, examined alongside linguistic evidence relating to Greek and Phrygian vowels, are here used to explore the origins and spread of the Greek alphabet. The ‘invention’ of vowels happened just once, with all of the various Greek, Phrygian and Italic alphabets ultimately deriving from this single moment. The idea spread rapidly, from an absence of writing in the ninth century BC to casual usage, including jokes, by 725 BC. The port of Methone in the northern Aegean emerges as a probable candidate for the site of origin. A place where Greeks and Phoenicians did business together, with international networks; was this where Semitic, Greek and Phrygian letters first coalesced?
Year: 2016
Primary URL: doi:10.15184/aqy.2016.160
Primary URL Description: Enter article as published
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Publisher: Antiquity (Antiquity Publications Ltd.)

To write and to paint: more Early Iron Age potters' marks in the Aegean (Article)
Title: To write and to paint: more Early Iron Age potters' marks in the Aegean
Author: John K. Papadopoulos
Abstract: In Hesperia 63, 1994 I published a paper on Protogeometric and Geometric potters’ marks in Greece. The existence of such marks on pottery of the period had been largely overlooked. I provided a catalogue of some seventy pieces, from various parts of Greece, which had symbols that could be interpreted as potters’ marks. My primary aim in that paper was to draw attention to the existence of such marks and to attempt to provide a classification of the main types of marks: 1) painted symbols on wheelmade pottery; 2) incised symbols on wheelmade and handmade pottery; 3) stamped impressions on coarseware pottery; 4) finger or thumb impressions; 5) isolated painted figures. Since 1994, additional Early Iron Age potters’ marks have come to light, not least from Athens, the Corinthia (Corinth, Perachora, Isthmia), Ithake, Macedonia and Epirus. One aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the new examples—published and unpublished—as well as to isolate a group of potters’ marks whose function is now assured: reference marks. The new corpus of non-alphabetic marks from Methone—not all of which are potters’ marks—now fully published, adds a whole new dimension to any discussion of alphabetic and non-alphabetic marks on pottery in the later 8th and 7th centuries BC. The new Methone corpus may even contribute to a reassessment of the place where the adoption of Greek alphabet took place. The paper also reviews the evidence of the need for non-verbal and non-alphabetic symbols—semata—in early Greece, from Ajax’s winning lot in Iliad 7.187-189, to Bellerophon’s semata lygra in Iliad 6.168. In these early contexts, semata may have been simple symbols, pictorials tokens, or devices, denoting “sign,” “mark, “seal,” “signature,” “token,” “device,” “emblem.” The fact that a sema could be a symbol, such as the ubiquitous X, or a more complex pictorial device, underscores the fact that in Greek there is no distinction between the word “to write” and “to paint,” graphein.
Year: 2017
Primary URL Description: Book chapter
Format: Other
Periodical Title: J. Strauss-Clay, I. Malkin, and Y. Tzifopoulos, eds. Panhellenes at Methone: graphe in Late Geometric and Protoarchaic Methone
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter, Berlin


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