Greek is one of the earliest written languages with a history documented over thirty four centuries. Many modern words have their roots in the Greek language, especially scientific and medical terms. There are over fifty thousand words in the English language which are derived from the Greek vocabulary. The language was a cornerstone of ancient literature with many significant and important works and texts being composed in Greek. These pieces of literature such as The Iliad and Homer’s Odyssey have been hugely influential across the centuries and are still studied today. The Greek language was the lingua franca spoken throughout the Mediterranean and around the world in many historical periods. In modern times it is one of only twenty three official languages of the European Union.