RE: h in Greek epigraphy

From: David J. Perry (
Date: Thu Dec 19 2002 - 16:39:59 EST

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    Scripsit Michael Everson:

    > Recently I saw a piece of epigraphical Greek, and while Latin "h" was
    > written in the transliteration, the letter used in the actual Greek
    > was ETA.

    Yes; that is the whole point here. In all variants of the Greek
    alphabet except the Ionic, eta stood for the "h" sound as in English
    (hence the equivalent shapes of Eta and H, since it was some western
    form of the Greek alphabet that was apparently carried to Italy). After
    the Ionic alphabet was officially adopted at Athens, eta became used for
    long e in subsequent standardized Greek writing. Epigraphers need to
    indicate when they are transcribing into lowercase form, or
    transliterating, an Eta that was intended to represent the "h" sound and
    have adopted the Roman lc h as the means for doing so.


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