Re: 1st century pronunciation of greek

I think Keith Massey has already supplied you with a lot of significant infor-
mation. The only thing I'm somewhat dubious about is the matter of the u-diph-
thongs already having assumed their later (and modern) transformation into
fricatives (au --> av,af; eu --> ev,ef). I think there's evidence for that in
Byzantine Greek but my impression is that it hasn't set in yet in the Helle-
nistic era.

I know of nothing for Koine that is comparable to Allen's Vox Graeca, but I
would highly recommend a little book which is probably out of print but that
deserves re-printing:
     George Thomson, _The Greek Language_. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons Ltd.1960
This is a paperback prepared by Thomson for early classes in Greek at Birming-
ham University. It is a marvelous compendium of Greek linguistic history from
the beginnings up tothe middle of this century (which means that it doesn't
deal with the ultimate triumph of the Demotic in very recent years. The best
or one of the best features of the book is an appendix with selections of all
sorts--epigraphical, papyri, literary, ecclesiastical, administrative, etc.
illustrating the stages of the language from the Nikandre inscription up to
the poetry of Cavafy. There are several papyri in this collection from the
period of most interest to your question, and particularly fascinating in them
is the orthography of vowels and diphthongs. While some are very careful to
spell things correctly (i.e. the way they are no longer pronounced) others
will use any combination that gives the right pronunciation for the sound they
want in a particular place. It certainly illustrates very well the phenomenon
of "itacism" whereby EI, OI, H, Y all go over into the same long-I sound.

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