|region||eastern roman empire|
|era||336 bc – 300 ad (byzantine official use until 1453)|
grc (includes all pre-modern stages)
koine greek (/, /), also known as alexandrian dialect, common attic, hellenistic or biblical greek, was the common supra-regional form of greek spoken and written during the hellenistic period, the roman empire, and the early byzantine empire, or late antiquity. it evolved from the spread of greek following the conquests of alexander the great in the fourth century bc, and served as the lingua franca of much of the mediterranean region and the middle east during the following centuries. it was based mainly on attic and related ionic speech forms, with various admixtures brought about through dialect levelling with other varieties.
koine greek included styles ranging from more conservative literary forms to the spoken vernaculars of the time. as the dominant language of the byzantine empire, it developed further into medieval greek, which then turned into modern greek.
literary koine was the medium of much of post-classical greek literary and scholarly writing, such as the works of plutarch and polybius. koine is also the language of the christian new testament, of the septuagint (the 3rd-century bc greek translation of the hebrew bible), and of most early christian theological writing by the church fathers. in this context, koine greek is also known as "biblical", "new testament", "ecclesiastical" or "patristic" greek. the roman emperor marcus aurelius also wrote his private thoughts in koine greek in a work that is now known as the meditations. koine greek continues to be used as the liturgical language of services in the greek orthodox church.