Unicode Greek fonts

(This page, and the Aristarcoj font, are currently being updated.)

If you see a row of eight accented characters on the left that resemble the ones on the right (not necessarily the same font), then you have a Unicode polytonic Greek font installed and your browser should be ready to go:

ἀέῃϊὸῥϋᾧ       characters

If not, or if you want to try something new, here are samples and links to a number of fonts.  My font, Aristarcoj, is now available in version 2, embodies my personal appearance preferences.*  My other pick as to appearance is GentiumAlt (the regular Gentium uses the tilde accent), but unfortunately it still contains no numerals.  I also wish it had a “handwritten” theta.

Why is it called “Aristarcoj”?  Because it appears as the name of the Greek mathematician Aristarchus when displayed in its own characters, such as in a drop-down menu.  🙂  The standard non-Unicode characters are mapped like the WinGreek fonts, making them mutually compatible.  It contains no Latin charater set, nor any other language (except Coptic, which coexists in the standard Greek Unicode range), but it is currently being updated.

The fonts below are all freely downloadable.  More commercial and shareware fonts are available, but my goal is to help make Unicode Greek freely accessible.  DISCLAIMER:  I make no claims as to the functioning of any of the fonts or software below.  I have tested Aristarcoj with Windows 98, 2000, XP, and 7, and several Linux distributions, using many different browsers, and have suffered no untoward effects.  Please use customary discretion when downloading any software.

These fonts contain all of the Greek and Coptic characters, including archaic numerals such as digamma:
Aristarcoj My font, Aristarcoj version 2;
download it here
Arev Sans Arev Sans by
Tavmjong Bah
AttikaU AttikaU by
the American Philological Association
BosporosU BosporosU by
the American Philological Association
Cardo Cardo by
David J. Perry
CMU Serif CMU Serif (and 32 others in the family!) at
Computer Modern Unicode fonts
Works in Word and Firefox, but not IE6 on my computer.
Hindsight Unicode Hindsight Unicode by
Darren Rigby
KadmosU KadmosU by
the American Philological Association
These as well contain all the numerals:
DejaVu Serif DejaVu Serif from
Dioxipe Dioxipe from
the Elpenor site
Galilee Unicode Gk Galilee Unicode Gk by
Rodney J. Decker
New Athena Unicode New Athena Unicode from
the GreekKeys site
The rest are all missing some numerals:
Aisa Unicode Aisa Unicode, packaged with
the MultiKey utility
Alkaios Alkaios by
Lucius Hartmann
Asteria Asteria from
the Elpenor site
Caslon Caslon by
George Williams
Chrysanthi Unicode Chrysanthi Unicode by
D. Paul Alecsandri
FreeSerif FreeSerif from
the Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Galatia SIL Galatia SIL from
Galatia SIL Greek Unicode Fonts
GentiumAlt GentiumAlt by
Victor Gaultney
Would be my choice for a “big” Unicode font, if it had numerals and a handwritten theta.
Georgia Greek Georgia Greek, available at
Christos A. Sartzetakis' site or the Elpenor site
GFS Artemisia GFS Artemisia from
Legendum Legendum by
Rogier van Dalen
The larger font, Legendum_legacy.otf, uses precomposed characters.
Minion Pro Minion Pro
Packaged with Acrobat 7; find it in the Acrobat folder, such as C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Resource\Font
Palatino Linotype Palatino Linotype
Packaged with Windows XP/2000; also commercially available.
Porson Porson by
Richard G. Spaulding
Thryomanes Thryomanes by
Herman Miller
TITUS Cyberbit Basic TITUS Cyberbit Basic from
the TITUS site
Juan-José Marcos was kind enough to send me his font, Alphabetum, to try out.  The demo is free, but there is a charge for the full working copy.
Alphabetum Alphabetum by
Juan-José Marcos
Besides Greek, it contains many other ancient fonts such as Runic, Sanskrit, Iberian, Old Nordic, Ugaritic, Phoenician, and cuneiform, to name a few.

*For some reason, most font designers today use a tilde instead of the round, Porsonic circumflex accent.  This never looks right to me, and it provides less space for a breathing mark.  I also like handwritten-like theta and phi, simple zeta and xi, a small loop in gamma, a not-too-fancy psi, middle and final sigmas that look as much alike as possible (like modified lunate sigma, written like a “c”), and fairly simple design in general.  For the capital letters, I prefer the rounded upsilon and a fairly long bar in theta.  Thus, the Aristarcoj font.

The current release is Aristarcoj version 2.  I have updated it with all the characters added to the Unicode standard on the Greek and Coptic, and Greek extended, code charts since the first version was released in 2002.  I have also added some additional characters such as double brackets.  The only glyph which was changed in the sample above is capital sampi Ϡ.  When I first made Aristarcoj, there were very few other fonts available which contained all the archaic numerals, and I followed David Perry's example by using an “M”-like glyph for this character.  Now, however, the Unicode standard suggests this shape for the new character san, so I used my former glyph Ϻ for this character, and bowed to the prevailing trend by creating a large Pi-like glyph for sampi.  Additionally, I reduced the slant of the characters a little, and scaled the font up slightly so that it fits better with common Latin fonts.  View it in .pdf format (52kb).

For Greek fonts in general, which tend to have lots of curves, tell your computer to “smooth edges of screen fonts” if they appear jagged on-screen.  Clear Type will produce very smooth results.