During 520-480 a.e.v. the western group
of ancient city-states
used the R
shape which through Southern Italy colonies reached the Etruscans and Romans, ending up at your keyboard!
Initially /r/ was accompanied by a /h/ sound. There was a reminiscence of it at the hellenistic
use of the daseia breathing mark
over all initial rhos! (this was the ONLY consonant to get a breathing mark!) Also, english, french and other european languages, pay 'tribute' to that archaic /h/ by retaining it in their orthography
. In the greek context of phonological evolution it became our familiar [r] quite early. (Rolled as in scottish or spanish.)
From northsemitic (phoenician): reš or rōš = (the) head.
hellenistic orthography was P
with an omega
, pronounced [ro]. The daseia breathing mark
reminded the already lost /h/. Today, its simplified orthography is Po
In old greek, when two Rho occurred within a word, the first would get a psile and the second a daseia. I did not remember that, until I found a letter, written by my grandfather, Odysseus Sarris, who was born c.1896. He signed our family name:
: sometimes double occurrence within a word. <ρρ> was pronounced [rr] till the middle times. Not pronounced as double in modern greek.
MORE GREEK WORDS STARTING WITH RHO
•ρεύμα=current(e.g. of water) rheumatologist