An Analytical Essay on the Greek Alphabet

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Originally published in 1791, this work by classical scholar and connoisseur Richard Payne Knight (1751-1824) attempts to reconstruct the original pronunciation of ancient Greek. Emphasising the importance of knowing what the various ancient dialects sounded like in order to better appreciate surviving works of ancient literature, Knight engages in textual criticism of certain notable writings, including the poetry of Homer and Hesiod and the plays of Sophocles. Representing a learned contribution to classical philology, the essay also goes some way towards analysing the ways in which Greek sounds were distorted by their inclusion in other languages. Several plates at the end of the text reproduce a selection of ancient inscriptions on stone, coins and ceramics. Knight's Analytical Inquiry into the Principles of Taste (1805) and Inquiry into the Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology (1818) are also reissued in this series.

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Cambridge University Press
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