Aeolic Greek

In linguistics, Aeolic Greek (/ˈɒlɪk/), also known as Aeolian (/ˈliən/), Lesbian or Lesbic dialect, is the set of dialects of Ancient Greek spoken mainly in Boeotia; in Thessaly; in the Aegean island of Lesbos; and in the Greek colonies of Aeolis in Anatolia and adjoining islands.

Aeolic Greek
Aeolian dialect
Lesbian dialect
Lesbic dialect
Αἰολικός
RegionBoeotia, Thessaly, Aeolis
Erac. 800–300 BC
Early form
Greek alphabet (uncial and cursive forms)
Eastern Archaic Greek alphabet (up to 4th century BC)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
grc-aeo
Glottologaeol1234
Distribution of Greek dialects in Greece in the classical period.[1]

The Aeolic dialect shows many archaisms in comparison to the other Ancient Greek dialects (Arcadocypriot, Attic, Ionic, and Doric varieties), as well as many innovations.

Aeolic Greek is widely known as the language of Sappho and of Alcaeus of Mytilene. Aeolic poetry, which is exemplified in the works of Sappho, mostly uses four classical meters known as the Aeolics: Glyconic (the most basic form of Aeolic line), hendecasyllabic verse, Sapphic stanza, and Alcaic stanza (the latter two are respectively named for Sappho and Alcaeus).

In Plato's Protagoras, Prodicus labelled the Aeolic dialect of Pittacus of Mytilene as "barbarian" (barbaros),[2] because of its difference from the Attic literary style:[3] "He didn't know to distinguish the words correctly, being from Lesbos, and having been raised with a barbarian dialect".