Using Polyglossia, it's possible to use ancient and modern Greek in a single document. Unfortunately, Polyglossia's support for Greek is broken under LuaLaTeX. Is is possible to accomplish this using Babel?

According to the babel-greek documentation, polutonikogreek and greek cannot be used in the same document; it doesn't explicitly say that there is no way to mix ancient and modern Greek, but it seems that the \usepackage[greek.ancient,english]{babel} or \languageattribute{greek}{ancient} options can only be used in a preamble.

  • 1
    It is possible but not with the current implementation of babel-greek. You would have to write e.g. a ancientgreek.ldf and sort out the commands you need. You could ask the babel-greek maintainers if they could options for this. Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 14:52
  • Thanks for the confirmation! I suspect it would be easier to fix Polyglossia, but I don't entirely understand the nature of the bug there. Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 10:48
  • I don't understand the bug either, but you can activate the hyphenation by using e.g. \selectlanguage{greek}\hyphenrules{polygreek} (which uses babel code to load the pattern). But imho it would be better to switch to babel and contact the babel-greek maintainer, they are more active currently than polyglossia. Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 13:46
  • It's unfortunate, since Polyglossia is still more advanced in many respects, and it's also easier to understand its development, since it has a repository on GitHub. I keep hoping that the two packages will merge! Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


Using Monotonic Greek, Polytonic Greek and Ancient Greek at the same time in babel is possible, but you have to resort to the ini locale files, because the basic ldf style still has this limitation.

In the following example, the option provide*=* means ‘load all declared languages as ini locale files’. I’ve colorized the fonts to show the different languages. It works with both xetex and luatex.


\usepackage[polytonicgreek, ancientgreek, greek, provide*=*]{babel}



Greek text (monotonic): \figurename, \alsoname.


Polytonic Greek: \figurename, \alsoname.


Ancient Greek: \figurename, \alsoname.


enter image description here

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .