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Good morning!

I 'm writing an article in (new) Greek and I was trying to write a ancient phrase (ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι) in it. I thought that I have to use \usepackage[greek.polutoniko]{babel}, but when I tried the code below everything was ok.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[english,greek]{babel}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\begin{document}

όπερ έδει δείξαι % (new) Greek

ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι % ancient Greek

\end{document}

Is it possible?

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  • Apparently, yes! As far as I know, this works ok because the ancient and modern characters are different UTF8 code points. So in Unicode omicron+tonos is not the same as omicron+dasia+oxia. So provided your font has all the code points you need, then you can use them together. I think babel also sets up the hyphenation rules, but maybe that's not a big deal?
    – Thruston
    Jan 15, 2019 at 8:58
  • @Thruston , thank's for the answer! So, why I someone has to install \usepackage[greek.polutoniko]{babel}, if \usepackage[greek]{babel} is also ok? Jan 15, 2019 at 10:42

2 Answers 2

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Sure. The best way to do this is to load a font with fontspec that contains polytonic accents. With babel in either XeTeX or LuaTeX, you can use \babelfont.

\documentclass[varwidth, preview]{standalone}

\usepackage{fontspec}
\usepackage[english,greek]{babel}

\babelfont{rm}{GFS Didot}

\begin{document}

όπερ έδει δείξαι % (new) Greek

ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι % ancient Greek

\end{document}

Polytonic Greek

Babel also supports the language polutonikogreek, so you could insert a \selectlanguage{polutonikogreek} before the second line if you wanted, but that isn’t actually needed in this example.

You can also do this with polyglossia:

\documentclass[varwidth, preview]{standalone}

\usepackage{polyglossia}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\setdefaultlanguage{greek}
\setotherlanguage{english}

\defaultfontfeatures{ Scale = MatchUppercase, Ligatures = TeX }

\setmainfont{GFS Didot}[Scale = 1.0, Ligatures = Common]
\newfontfamily\greekfont{GFS Didot}[
  Ligatures = Common,
  Script = Greek,
  Language = Greek ]

\begin{document}

όπερ έδει δείξαι % (new) Greek

ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι % ancient Greek

\end{document}

If you need backwards-compatibility with PDFTeX and legacy NFSS, you will have to use the 8-bit LGR encoding, which supports polytonic Greek:

\documentclass[varwidth, preview]{standalone}

\usepackage[LGR, T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % The default since 2018.
\usepackage[english, greek]{babel}
\usepackage{gfsdidot}
\usepackage{textcomp} % Not actually used here.

\begin{document}

όπερ έδει δείξαι % (new) Greek

ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι % ancient Greek

\end{document}
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  • ,thank's for your answer! (1) I 'm using pdflatex, so I tried your last solution. (2) The gfsdidot has problems with the math mode (I think). For example with the boldsymbol or \ell, so I use kerkis. (3) You are suggesting to use \usepackage[LGR, T1]{fontenc} , instead of my code? Why? For hyphenation reasons? Jan 15, 2019 at 10:54
  • @KώσταςΚούδας Right, I just picked Didot as an example. I suggested T1 instead of OT1 (and textcomp) mainly so you get slightly less-obsolete fonts and their full range of glyphs. I throw in inputenc just in case someone tries to compile the document on an old installation.
    – Davislor
    Jan 15, 2019 at 11:02
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The option greek.polutoniko changes a few things compared to greek. E.g. fix names are different. \refname gives with polutoniko

enter image description here

but this with greek:

enter image description here

The date format are perhaps also different. The two options load different hyphenation patterns, and the code shows also a few lccode setting -- this could affect \MakeUppercase -- and different shorthands.

But there I see nothing font encoding related, so for short sentences it should be okay, if you have an eye on the hyphenation.

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  • thank's for your answer! I thought that the hyphenation or the orthography might have problems. Jan 16, 2019 at 9:32

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