This book provides the most comprehensive account of the history of the Greek language from its beginnings to late antiquity. In this revised and expanded translation of the Greek original published in 2001, a distinguished international team of scholars goes beyond a merely technical treatment of the subject by examining the language's relationship with politics, society and culture. An attempt is made to cover all aspects of the history of Greek, including those that are usually considered marginal, such as obscene language, the language of the gods and child talk. Other topics which receive particular emphasis are language contact and translation practices in antiquity. The book's clear organisation and concise chapters make it highly readable and accessible to non-specialists, and the text is supported by example passages from primary sources and numerous informative illustrations. It is an essential reference work for all those interested in the history of Greek.