I know the teubner package can produce Attic Greek numerals with the \AtticNumeral command, but their appearance is quite different from what numerals are used in history of math textbooks. For instance, in Howard Eves' textbook on the history of mathematics, he gives the following representation of the number 2857:

enter image description here

Is there a way to produce these symbols for the different numerals (particularly the symbols that incorporate the use of 5 -- the third and seventh symbols above, from left to right, respectively)?

3 Answers 3


You could use the font Quivira for this. Generally I would search the symbol fifty in unicode and see, which fonts are supported there.

% arara: lualatex


        {Arabic} & Attic Greek\\
        0.25 & \symbol{"10140}\\
        0.5 & \symbol{"10141}\\
        1 & \symbol{"0399}\\ % usual Iota
        5 & \symbol{"10143}\symbol{"03A0}\\ % second: usual Pi
        10 & \symbol{"0394}\\ % usual Delta
        50 & \symbol{"10144}\\
        100 & \symbol{"0397}\\ % usual Eta
        500 & \symbol{"10145}\\
        1000 & \symbol{"03A7}\\ % usual Chi
        5000 & \symbol{"10146}\\
        10000 & \symbol{"039C}\\ % usual Mu
        50000 & \symbol{"10147}\\

enter image description here

Your example could be set (using FreeSerif) like this:

% arara: lualatex

\setmainfont{Linux Biolinum O}

        2857 = \atThousand\atThousand\atFiveHundret\atHundret\atHundret\atHundret\atFifty\atFive\atOne\atOne

enter image description here

In order to get automatic calculation like \atticNum{2857} you will have to do another question or wait for real programmers to help out. You could search this site for the calculation of Roman numerals and use the routines you find there. Or you ask Claudio Beccari to add an option for unicode mapping to his package teubner. This would omit to program it again.

  • Very nice! One very minor quibble: The repeated direct use of \fontspec (as part of the \AtticFont macro) is called "inefficient" in section 5 of the fontspec user guide. Instead, issue the command \newfontfamily\atticFont{freeserif.otf}, followed by \newcommand*{\atOne}{{\atticFont\symbol{"0399}}}, etc. (Note the extra pair of curly braces, which localizes the scope of the \atticFont switch.
    – Mico
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 8:50
  • @Mico Thank you for the feedback. Actually I was surprised I did not need these braces... But the \newfontfamily looks much better. Will add that in a second.
    – LaRiFaRi
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 8:52

Complementing @LaRiFaRi 's answer, both polyglossia and xgreek contain an atticnum command which you can use to produce the numbers (up to a certain limit) in Attic format:





In polyglossia you need to be in a greek language environment for the command to be available.


   \hspace{-2.6cm} \begin{tabular}{|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|}\hline
       $1$ & $5$ & $10$ & $50$ & $100$ & $500$ & $1\,000$ & $5\,000$ & $10\,000$  \\ \hline
   \symbol{"0399} & \symbol{"10143} \symbol{"03A0} & \symbol{"0394} & \symbol{"10144} & \symbol{"0397} & \symbol{"10145} & \symbol{"03A7} & \symbol{"10146} & \symbol{"039C} \\ \hline

Note: Download FreeSerif to the same directory and use LuaLaTeX. You obtain a simple table of attic numeration.

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