On the “Phoenician letters”: the case for an early transmission of the Greek alphabet from an archaeological, epigraphic and linguistic perspective
Willemijn Waal Αιγαιακές Σπουδές 1, 2018, 83-125
Though it is generally agreed upon that the Greeks borrowed (and modified) the alphabet from the Phoenicians, there is no consensus about the moment when this took place. Over the years, several dates have been proposed, ranging from the 14th to the 8th/7th century BC. In classical studies the prevalent opinion is that the alphabet was introduced in or shortly before the 8th century BC, when the first attestations of Greek alphabetic writing appear. There are, however, quite a number of indications (from existing and new evidence) that plead for a much earlier date. In this article, a detailed analysis of the presently available archaeological, epigraphic and linguistic data will be presented to argue the case for an introduction in the 11th century BC at the latest.