The Greek Alphabet

The Greek alphabet has been in continuous use since about 750 BC! The lowercase letters first appeared sometime after 800 AD. The letter sigma has a special form which is used when it appears at the end of a word.

Greek words

Greek alphabet

Diacritics to represent stress and breathings were added to the alphabet in around 200 BC. In 1982, the Greek diacritics representing breathings, which were not widely used after 1976, were officially abolished by presidential decree. However, the “tonos” accent that indicates emphasis of a syllable and is added only to vowels has remained!

Page from Greek document with diacritics to represent breathing          Greek document with the tonos accent to indicate emphasis

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