Site Technical Information

Greek Text

The Greek language is written in one of two forms: the older polytonic form, which uses a range of accents and breathing marks, and the newer simplified monotonic form. In 1982 the Greek parliament adopted the monotonic form as the official notation to be used in Greece. Consequently many of the fonts commonly used by web browsers include only the monotonic Greek character set and not the additional diacritical markings required by polytonic Greek.

Polytonic Greek is still commonly used in the study of classical texts and it appears in this context on one page of this site. If you see some, but not all, characters of the word “ἀρσενοκοίτης” displayed as Greek letters you will need to install a font that supports polytonic Greek to be able to view all of the Greek text correctly. We recommend the Gentium font if you are using a Windows or Macintosh operating system and the Caslon font if you are using a Linux or other UNIX-like operating system. Both are available for download free of charge for non-commercial use. For information on other free or commercially available fonts that support polytonic Greek, see Alan Wood’s “Unicode character ranges and the Unicode fonts that support them”.

If you do not see any characters of the word “ἀρσενοκοίτης” displayed as Greek letters – if, for example, it appears as a series of question marks, or hollow rectangles, or a mixture of letters, numbers and punctuation signs, or nothing at all – then you may be using an older browser which does not support the Unicode character set, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 3, or Netscape Navigator 3. In this case, installing fonts will not help and you will be unable to view the Greek text without upgrading to a later browser.

URI of this page :
Created : Sunday, 2003-09-21 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2007-12-12
Brett Humphreys :