Accent and Accent-Marking in Ancient Greek

Contonation and Mora

The Last 3 Syllables and the Accents
•more examples



Multiple Clitics

Traditional Terminology

Persistent Accentuation
• a- and o-declension
• consonant declension

Recessive Accentuation

Accent and Accent-Marking in Ancient Greek (2 of 4)

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The practice of marking accents was initiated by literary scholars in Alexandria ca. 200 B.C.E. Accent marking was needed to help in the correct pronunciation of unfamiliar words in the great poetry of the past, to eliminate ambiguities that would be present in an unaccented text lacking word division, to help in dealing with divergences in dialects, and perhaps to facilitate the teaching of Greek to foreigners.

illustration of accents in an ancient papyrus text

Extract of an image of an ancient book-roll (papyrus) of the late 1st cent. BCE or early 1st cent. CE

Credit: © The Egypt Exploration Society: P. Oxy. 24.2387, Alcman, 3 fr. 3, col. ii, lines 1-8