Medieval Greek, also known as Byzantine Greek, is the stage of the Greek language between the beginning of the Middle Ages around 600 and the Ottoman conquest of the city of Constantinople in 1453. The latter date marked the end of the Middle Ages in Southeast Europe. From the 7th century onwards, Greek was the only language of administration and government in the Byzantine Empire. This former stage of language is thus described as Byzantine Greek. The study of the Medieval Greek language and literature is a branch of Byzantine Studies, or Byzantinology, the study of the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire.
The beginning of Medieval Greek is occasionally dated back to as early as the 4th century, either to 330 AD, when the political centre of the monarchy was moved to Constantinople, or to 395 AD, the division of the Empire. However, this approach is rather arbitrary as it is more an assumption of political as opposed to cultural and linguistic developments. It is only after the Eastern Roman-Byzantine culture was subjected to such massive change in the 7th century that a turning point in language development can be assumed. Medieval Greek is the link between the ancient and modern forms of the language because on the one hand, its literature is still strongly influenced by Ancient Greek, while on the other hand, many linguistic features of Modern Greek were already taking shape in the spoken language.
Famous quotes containing the words medieval and/or greek:
“The medieval university looked backwards; it professed to be a storehouse of old knowledge.... The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new knowledge.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley (18251895)
“Whats the Latin name for parsley?
Whats the Greek name for Swines Snout?”
—Robert Browning (18121889)