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Koine Greek (UK: // KOY-nee; US: // KOY-nay, // koy-NAY; Koine Greek: ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος, romanized: hē koinè diálektos, lit. 'the common dialect'), also known as Hellenistic Greek, common Attic, the Alexandrian dialect, Biblical Greek, Septuagint Greek or New Testament Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during the Hellenistic period, the Roman Empire and the early Byzantine Empire. It evolved from the spread of Greek following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC, and served as the lingua franca of much of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East during the following centuries. It was based mainly on Attic and related Ionic speech forms, with various admixtures brought about through dialect levelling with other varieties.
|ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος
|(h)e̝ kyˈne̝ diˈalektos ~
i cyˈni ðiˈalektos
|eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East
|300 BC – 600 AD (Byzantine official use until 1453); developed into Medieval Greek, survives as the liturgical language of the Greek Orthodox and the Greek Catholic churches
|(a proposal to use ecg was rejected in 2023)
Koine Greek included styles ranging from conservative literary forms to the spoken vernaculars of the time. As the dominant language of the Byzantine Empire, it developed further into Medieval Greek, which then turned into Modern Greek.
Literary Koine was the medium of much post-classical Greek literary and scholarly writing, such as the works of Plutarch and Polybius. Koine is also the language of the Septuagint (the 3rd century BC Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), the Christian New Testament, and of most early Christian theological writing by the Church Fathers. In this context, Koine Greek is also known as "Biblical", "New Testament", "ecclesiastical", or "patristic" Greek. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote his private thoughts in Koine Greek in a work that is now known as Meditations. Koine Greek continues to be used as the liturgical language of services in the Greek Orthodox Church and in some Greek Catholic churches.
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