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Historical Question

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Historical Question

Postby Jordan St. Francis » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:31 am

When did the sigma begin to be written looking like "c" ?

A book I bought for some supplementary translations, the "teach yourself" series "ancient Greek" writes all its sigmas as "c" or "C".

In the course of two years in my university courses, the sigma was never written this way . I had thought it was perhaps a medieval or byzantine development.

Is this an error on the part of this text book?
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Re: Historical Question

Postby anglicus » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:45 am

It's not an error. I've heard it's becoming more popular to use the lunate sigma since it avoids the issue of having two forms of the same letter. Supposedly it derives from some ancient variant of the alphabet, but was popularized more in the middle ages, I think. I'm sure someone here has more details.

I started learning with that book and thought it was weird, but got used to it and wrote out all my flash cards using it. But once I started reading other things, I started to get annoyed with it, so now I've gone over to σ and ς.
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Re: Historical Question

Postby cb » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:44 pm

hi, the lunate sigma is ancient; see this table of letters used in ancient papyri (remove spaces):

www . freewebs . com / mhninaeide / Thompson . pdf

cheers :)
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Re: Historical Question

Postby demetri » Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:36 am

Jordan St. Francis wrote:When did the sigma begin to be written looking like "c" ?

A book I bought for some supplementary translations, the "teach yourself" series "ancient Greek" writes all its sigmas as "c" or "C".

In the course of two years in my university courses, the sigma was never written this way . I had thought it was perhaps a medieval or byzantine development.

Is this an error on the part of this text book?

Indeed, it is a medieval Byzantine development. Note the ICXC iconic abbreviation for "Jesus Christ" from the first and last letters of each word in Greek.
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Re: Historical Question

Postby cb » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:10 am

hi, it's not a byzantine development. it's ancient. see the link in my above post, cheers :)
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Re: Historical Question

Postby demetri » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:58 pm

cb wrote:hi, it's not a byzantine development. it's ancient. see the link in my above post, cheers :)


Sure thing. I wouldn't want to disturb your homework project. :wink:
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Re: Historical Question

Postby annis » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:44 pm

Jordan St. Francis wrote:Is this an error on the part of this text book?


It's more a fad.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
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Re: Historical Question

Postby demetri » Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:13 am

annis wrote:
Jordan St. Francis wrote:Is this an error on the part of this text book?


It's more a fad.


Chuckle...very good. :lol:
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