The Importance Of Common Culture In Ancient Greece

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Even before their violent encounter with the Persians, the Greeks had a haphazard sense of common culture. For example, language was a significant cultural similarity between the different Greek states. Although there were several different dialects used in the Greek states during the Classical Period, for example the Doric and Attic dialects, the ‘Greek language’ essentially all originated from the Linear B script used during the Mycenaean times. Due to this common origin, there were several ‘essential features’ that the different dialects shared. For example, greater emphasis was placed on the root of a word as opposed to the accent of the word. The greater emphasis on the root of a word meant that between the different dialects, the only main differences were the variations in the pronunciation.…show more content…
For example, the word ‘mother’ was ‘ΜηΤΗP’ in Attic dialects (used in Athens), which is very similar to the Doric word for mother, ‘ΜαΤΗP’. Since language is the basic tool for expression and communication, it inevitably impacts how one interprets the world; therefore, the similarities between the language used in the Greek city-states helped the them in forming their common culture. The Greeks themselves were aware of the ‘distinctiveness it granted them from non-Greeks…barbaroi’. Language was especially crucial to the Greek common culture because language was among the few things they had in common; in fact, Jacob Burckhardt in History of Greek Culture says that language defined the ‘mode of life the Hellenes had in
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