Since about 750 B.C., or for the last 2750 years, the Greek Alphabet has been in use. The Greek alphabet was developed from the Canaanite/Phoenician alphabet and the order and names of the letters are believed to have derived from Phoenician. The original Canaanite meaning of the letter names was dropped when the alphabet was adapted for Greek. For example, alpha comes for the Canaanite aleph (ox) and beta from beta (house), not actual letters. It was the first alphabet system to include vowels, and around 500 BC the direction of writing changed to horizontal lines running from left to right instead of the original right to left direction. (Greek Alphabet chart courtesy of http://greece.mrdonn.org/alphabet.html )
Above is the Alphabet with the symbol, pronunciation of the symbol, and the official names of the symbol.
Did You Know??????
- With an area of 50,949 square miles (131,958 square kilometers), Greece is roughly the size of Alabama. The population of Greece is more than 10 million people; the population of Alabama is around 4.5 million.
- No one in Greece can choose to not vote. Voting is required by law for every citizen who is 18 or older
- Greece doesn’t have any navigable rivers because of the mountainous terrain. Almost 80% of Greece is mountainous
- An old Greek legend says that when God created the world, he sifted all the soil onto the earth through a strainer. After every country had good soil, he tossed the stones left in the strainer over his shoulder and created Greece
- Greece enjoys more than 250 days of sunshine or 3,000 sunny hours a year.
- The life expectancy for ancient Greek women was 36, and the average for males was 45. Of the children born, only half survived infancy. Currently the life expectancy for Greek females is 82 years and for men, 77 years. Greece is ranked #26 in the world for life expectancy rates. The United States is ranked #49
- Football, or what we call soccer, is the national sport of Greece
- Feta, which is made from goat’s milk, is the Greece’s national cheese
- The saying “taking the bull by its horns” comes from the Greek myth of Hercules saving Crete from a raging bull by seizing its horns.
- The first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C. The first Olympic champion was a Greek cook named Coroebus who won the sprint race