The Aeolic dialect was one of the most ancient of the Greek dialects, and, according to some researchers, preceded even the Ionic dialect. This dialect composed much of the basis for Homeric Greek.

The Aeolic dialiect was spoken mainly on Aeolis and Lesbos, and sub-dialcts of it were spoken on Thessaly (except in Phthia), and on Boeotia (where it was mixed with many ingredients borrowed from the Doric dialect). However, when one speaks of "High Aeolic", one usually means Lesbian Aeolic (and by lesbian I do mean the inhabitants of the isle of Lesbos, not necessarily women who like women).

Very little is known of this dialect, mainly because very few writings in it survived. What has survived (mostly in inscriptions and little in poetry), shows that in Aeolic there was practically no aspiration, almost no use of the letter zeta, and many other phenomena that disappeared from the other Greek dialects, survived in it.

Quite a few poets came from Aeolic speaking poleis including the lesbians Sappho, Alcaeus, Corrina and Praxilla. Some of Theocritus' idyls are also written in this dialect.

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