Is it possible to use Babel with 'polytonic' Greek in plain TeX with LuaTeX? I tried

\input greek.sty

but that generated an error.

  • there is a blank line on line 384 of greek.ldf that looks like a bug, if you delete the blank line then the runaway argument goes but the file seems to need all of latex's font encoding support so \fontencoding{LGR} works, I don't know if that is possible easily in plain, it would seem to be a strange thing to do, anyway. May 18, 2018 at 18:38
  • Do you need the fonts (with the encoding) or only the glyphs? I mean: are you tied to (pdf)TeX, or may you use [Xe|Lua]TeX?
    – jarnosc
    May 18, 2018 at 20:06
  • @erreka, I usually use luatex, and I need to be able to use unicode. I also want proper hyphenation (so I need some way of selecting 'polutoniko' rather than modern Greek.
    – Toothrot
    May 18, 2018 at 21:20
  • 2
    What about your fonts? I assume you have picked a set of unicode fonts to use with LuaTeX, right?
    – jarnosc
    May 18, 2018 at 22:35
  • @erreka, I'm not sure what you mean by 'with encoding', but I usually use an OTF font, GFS Didot Classic.
    – Toothrot
    May 19, 2018 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


You don't need to use babel. In plain LuaTeX you may type

\input eplain

\font\grfont=file:gfsdidot.ttf \relax

\input xgrcodes
\input grchyph

{\grc Δαρείου καὶ Παρυσάτιδος γίγνονται παῖδες δύο, 
 πρεσβύτερος μὲν Ἀρταξέρξης, νεώτερος δὲ Κῦρος: 
 ἐπεὶ δὲ ἠσθένει Δαρεῖος καὶ ὑπώπτευε τελευτὴν τοῦ βίου,
 ἐβούλετο τὼ παῖδε ἀμφοτέρω παρεῖναι.

Darius and Parysatis had two sons born to them, 
of whom the elder was Artaxerxes and the younger Cyrus. 
Now when Darius lay sick and suspected that the end of his life was near, 
he wished to have both his sons with him.


Provided you have the GFS-Didot font and the grchyph.tex hyphenation font installed. You may get them around the Net. You'll also need to copy the \lccodes defined by Syropoulos in xgreek.sty, also in your nearby CTAN mirror, and put them in the xgrcodes.tex file; I didn't include them in the sample to save space.


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