The Greek dialect of Attica. The Attic dialect is basically a sub-dialect of the Ionic dialect, but because after the 11th century Attica remained the only place in mainland Greece, where the culture was predominantly Ionic (all the other Ionians fled to Asia Minor, fearing the Doric invasion, and founded the cities of Ionia), the Attic dialect incorporated some Doric and Aeolic elements, and preserved some ancient forms that were lost in the Ionic dialect.

During the 5th century BC, as Athens (the polis of Attica) was at its prime, and attracted the greatest philosophers, poets, rhetors and historians, Attic gradually became the literary language of Greece. Almost anyone who wanted to be read throughout Greece, wrote in Attic.

The position of Attic as the principal literary language was strengthened during the Macedonian occupation of Greece, and spread with the conquests of Alexander throughout the Hellenistic world.

However, since Attic was not the spoken language in most of these areas, Attic has gone through many changes due to the influence of local dialects and languages. Gradually, the spoken tongue drifted away from classic Attic, which was slowly replaced by the Koine (a mixture of several dialects with Attic underlinings) from which modern Greek emerged.

In the 2rd and 3nd centuries AD, a group of reactionary scholars (to whom modern research refers as "Atticists") decided to purify the Attic of these influences and decided to write only in "pure Attic". They published many instruction books on the subjects as well as lists of "forbidden" and "recommended" words and phrases.

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