Re: End Form Sigma

From: Kevin W. Woodruff (
Date: Sun Aug 17 1997 - 13:35:33 EDT


Actually Greek does not use the "end-form" sigma in it's counting.

In addition to the the standard twenty-four letters, three additional
letters were used for the numerals digamma (and later stigma) was used for
6, koppa was used for 90, and sampi was used for 900. these letters had
dropped out of the alphabet by the time it was standardized and adopted at
Athens in 403 B. C.

The actual letters used in ancient time were majuscules (all capitals) and
so no difference could be observed between a intial/medial sigma and a
terminal sigma. The miniscule (small cursives) letters were not adoped until
about 900 A.D.

For more information consult, Herbert Weir Smyth's _Greek Grammar_.
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1956.

Hope this helps

At 03:49 PM 8/17/97 +1000, you wrote:
>Dear Gentlemen and Ladies
>I have a question that I havent been able to answer myself so I have joined
>this list to see if any here may be able to answer.
>My question is: what is the numerical value and by what authority and
>reference is it varified for the letter; End Form Sigma.
>All languages that I have seen tend to have the end froms at the end of the
>alphabet giving the value after all the 'normal' alphabet has been valued,
>so that they tend to be in the highest numerical values, such as in Hebrew,
>the last five letters are the end forms to make up the counting to one
>I thank you for any information that is given
>God bless you all

Kevin W. Woodruff, M.Div.
Library Director/Reference Librarian
Cierpke Memorial Library
Tennessee Temple University/Temple Baptist Seminary
1815 Union Ave.
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404
United States of America
423/493-4252 (office)
423/698-9447 (home)
423/493-4497 (FAX) (preferred) (alternate)

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