The predominent Greek dialect of Ionia, and most of the Aegean islands in antiquity.
It is one of the earliest of Greek dialects, and much of Homer's work is written in it (Cf. Homeric Greek).
It was in this dialect that most of the pre-socratic philosphy was written, it is the language of Heracleitus, Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes and Xenophanes and, much later, also of the historian Herodotus.
During the 5th century BC, Ionic has lost much of its importance and prestige to its decendant, the Attic dialect.
Linguistically the most remarkable feature in this dialect is the exchange af all pure alphas (alpha purum) with etas.