Medieval Greek  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Medieval Greek, also known as Byzantine Greek is a cover term for all forms of the Greek language that were spoken and written during the time of the Byzantine Empire. It is conventionally dated as beginning some time between the fourth and sixth centuries and lasting until the mid-fifteenth century.

"Medieval Greek" refers not to a linguistically homogeneous form of Greek, but a whole spectrum of divergent varieties within the developing system of Greek diglossia. The spoken vernacular language developed on the basis of earlier spoken Koine Greek, and reached a stage that in many ways resembles present-day Modern Greek in terms of grammar and phonology by the turn of the first millennium AD. Written literature reflecting this demotic Greek begins to appear around 1100. Side by side with the spoken vernacular, most written Greek maintained consciously archaic forms. These forms can be further subdivided into different stylistic registers. They ranged from a moderately archaic style employed for most every-day writing and based mostly on the written Koine of the Bible and early Christian literature, to a highly artificial learned style, employed by authors with higher literary ambitions and closely imitating the model of classical Attic, in continuation of the movement of Atticism in late antiquity.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Medieval Greek" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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