Fonts for Ancient Greek


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This page displays different fonts for a single passage of ancient Greek text.


Some fonts are embedded with @font-face, and should appear on all computers; other fonts will only display correctly if they have already been installed on the user's computer. (In the latter case, your computer will default to using the Monospace font instead).


Note that the spacing of the different fonts can be adjusted in CSS with letter-spacing, word-spacing and / or line-spacing.



Usable Fonts

Theano Didot (embedded)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Theano Modern (embedded)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Theano Old Style (embedded)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Palatino Linotype

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Galatia (embedded)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Times New Roman

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

New Athena Unicode Regular (embedded)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Cardo Regular (embedded)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Minion Pro

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.



Unusable Fonts

Garamond

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Adobe Garamond Pro

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Charlemagne Std

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Droid Serif Regular (embedded)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Sylfaen

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Constantia

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Candara

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Monospace (default)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

Translation:

"Strepsiades happens to be lamenting because he owes a lot of money. For his son, being crazy about horses, always takes a lot of money. And now, the son sleeps deeply, but sleep does not take the father."



Final Notes:

Theano Didot, Theano Modern and Theano Old Style are all fine-looking old-fashioned fonts. They need to be embedded with @font-face, since they are relatively rare. (It appears that a version of Theano Didot called GFS Didot is also embeddable via Google Fonts). The stroke is a little thin on Theano Modern and Theano Old Style, and italics would be difficult to differentiate on these two because the fonts are already oblique to begin with. Theano Didot does not have this problem, but the stroke thickness is inconsistent, which makes it difficult to read at smaller font sizes.


Palatino Linotype is another fine old-fashioned font, and is present on 99.5% of Windows computers to boot. But the stroke is a little thin, and the tail on the rho (ρ) extends a little too far to the right for my liking.


Galatia is a more modern-looking serif font, with a very nice rho (ρ) and psi (ψ). Its only drawbacks are its florid rendering of pi (π), and the fact that it needs to be embedded due to its rarity on most computers.


Times New Roman is the workhorse of English fonts, and the same goes true for ancient Greek as well. I can quibble with some of the renderings, but appearance-wise, Times New Roman is quite possibly the best choice for ancient Greek characters. It is also found on 99.8% of all Windows computers, so most users will already have it.


New Athena Unicode Regular and Cardo Regular both have a hand-written style and are almost serif-free. New Athena Unicode Regular has a thicker stroke and is thus a little easier to read. Both are rare, and need to be embedded with @font-face. (Cardo is also embeddable via Google Fonts.)


Minion Pro is light on serifs, and is apparently quite uncommon.


Garamond is present on 85% of all Windows computers, but is unusable because it does not render letters with accents or breathing marks correctly (the displayed passage is usually a mix of Garamond and Monospace letters...though in Opera, all letters after the accented letter will be rendered in Monospace). All this is a shame, because the psi (ψ) and eta (η) in this font look terrific. (Apparently, Garamond Premier Pro does not have this problem.)


Adobe Garamond Pro and Charlemagne Std are unusable since they do not have render Greek characters other than pi (π). Hence, they render most characters in the default Monospace font. I have displayed these fonts simply to illustrate their renderings of pi. Charlemagne Std in particular has a very attractive pi -- the top stroke has a bend or curve which is not found in most other fonts.


Droid Serif Regular is light on serifs, yet stylish and readable. This font is also unusable because it does not render accented characters.


Sylfaen is also light on serifs, and is found on 98% of all Windows machines. Unusable since it does not render accented characters.


Constantia and Candara are similar, and both are light on serifs (particularly Candara). One advantage of these two fonts is that Constantia is found on 88.5% of Windows computers, while 88.7% of Windows machines have Candara. Unfortunately, both are unusable because of they lack support for accented characters.


Monospace type is displayed above simply as an example of the default. While usable, it is nevertheless quite unattractive.



Theano Didot (with flame effect)

ὁ Στρεψιάδης ὀλοφυρόμενος τυγχάνει διότι πολλὰ χρήματα ὀφείλει. ὁ γὰρ υἱός, ἱππομανὴς ὤν, πολλὰ χρήματα ἀεὶ λαμβάνει. νῦν δὲ τυγχάνει βαθέως καθεύδων ὁ υἱός, ὕπνος δ’ οὐκ ἔχει τὸν πατέρα.

The ring, the ring! To Mordor, we will take you!

(LOTR Ringwraith image from www.examiner.com)



Google Font API test

The following title should render in the Diplomata SC font, with a flame animation special effect. While the flame animation DOES work in Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari, it does not work in Opera or Internet Explorer.

Fonts For Ancient Greek

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