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The Greco-Bactrian alphabet - Printable Version

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The Greco-Bactrian alphabet - szin - 06-10-2024

The alphabet used to write Bactrian is the easternmost-attested application of the Greek script, as well as the only known application of the Greek script to an Indo-Iranian language. While the letter values are close to those of Ancient Greek, the forms of some of the letters are so divergent (like with Coptic and, in turn, Nubian) that it could be considered a separate alphabet.

The last dated document in the script is from the Bactrian year 549, corresponding to around 781AD. However, later examples have been found dating to around the end of the ninth century. It is likely that the language itself died out around 1000. Its closest surviving relative is most likely Munji, spoken in northeast Afghanistan.

More information on the language and script:

Chart (from Omniglot):

[Image: bactrian.gif]

Like the Nobiin linguist and historian Hatim-Arbaab Eujayl, it is my hope to revive this interesting Greek-derived script for the use of its living relatives. As such, I have been working on and off on a "Neo-Bactrian" script for Eastern Iranian languages.