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Numismatica 8-bit Font

CautionThis is an outdated 8-bit font. It is not a Unicode font and is unsuitable for use on Internet web pages. It may be useful for internal documents or those to be exchanged with others who own the same font.

Until Unicode is widely implemented, this 8-bit font provides a solution for those requiring archaic, classical and Hellenistic Greek characters for numismatic descriptions of ancient coins. The font has been designed to support older as well as current applications on Macintosh, Microsoft Windows and Unix. Both Type 1 and Truetype fonts are available. Additionally, a retrograde version of the font is provided as well as a numismatic signs font. The fonts may be downloaded free through the Internet, and may be redistributed with only one restriction: if you change the font in any way, you must name it something else.

An Interim 8-bit Numismatic Font

CautionThis is an outdated 8-bit font. It is not a Unicode font and is unsuitable for use on Internet web pages. It may be useful for internal documents or those to be exchanged with others who own the same font.

Despite the attractive potential of Unicode, the addition of characters to Unicode is a lengthy process, and final approval of the epigraphy associations' recommendations is perhaps several years in the future. When and if approved, I intend to incorporate these characters into a Unicode-compliant font.

In the meantime, given the number of characters represented in the literature, it is possible to create a font within the approximately 220 characters available for glyphs in an 8-bit font. For practical and immediate availability on Macintosh and Windows computers, an interim 8-bit font has been prepared in the below format. In this font, a glyph  appears only once, regardless of its intended literary value. For example, a Greek capital Lambda appears only once in the font, but the lambda letterform has been used on ancient coins to represent Alpha, Delta and Omega.

Click here to learn more about the 8-bit font.

The following chart shows the characters available in the font, with the Windows mapping. This chart contains every Greek character discussed on the Letterform Names page. A tabular summary of the letterforms by usage is located on the Glyph Chart. A retrograde version of the font is also available, as well as a numismatic signs font.

Character Position Chart (Windows Encoding)
Version 1.1.5, 10 Aug 2004
Character Map

Note the primary letters occupy the same position in this font as in Windows and Macintosh Symbol fonts. This allows direct conversion of Symbol font to Numismatica by simply changing an inscription's font. There is one exception, however: Numismatica has Koppa in the position of capital J while Symbol font has no Koppa, but instead a Greek small letter theta script symbol (Unicode 03D1) in the capital J position of the keyboard.

There are numerous character positions not used due to various well-known Windows system, Macintosh system and application conflicts. These are shown with a gray dot.

Characters in the gray borders provide a hexadecimal reference to  chart positions and are not part of the font; the left border is read first; e.g., Koppa02 (dotted Koppa) = 6A hex.

Once you have installed the Numismatica font, a printer-friendly keyboard chart is available that gives the key presses for an IBM-compatible keyboard. It is a web page which gives you all the key presses for Numismatica characters. It fits fine on 800 x 600 screens and will also print out on one page on an HP4 printer. There's about two inches at the bottom. Hopefully, this will keep it on one page when printed on printers with less than the HP4's resolution. The page is not titled since Internet Explorer and Netscape print out the page title at the top of the sheet.

Note that the Numismatica 8-bit font is a "symbol" font. This means the characters may be seen and selected using MS Word's Insert Symbol menu item. However, MS Word 97 (and above) sees every character as a symbol, including "space" which does not signal a break between two words. Word sees a sentence of Greek text written in a symbol font as one giant word without breaks. For this reason, Greek text in a symbol font will frequently wrap to the next line in the middle of a word. There is a quick fix for this, recordable as a macro, which is replacing symbol font spaces with a normal font's spaces. (The procedure is detailed in a FAQ located on Matthew Robinson's excellent Classical Greek Fonts and Utilities web pages.) This solves the word-wrap problem, but it cannot be applied while one is actually typing the Greek. If you are using Word 97 or above, you will have ignore the word-wrap problem or fix it manually. Reports to date indicate this problem does not affect WordPerfect.


Position Chart Changes
Known Issues in 8-bit Font
Numismatica HTML Code Examples
Numismatica Alternate Character Map
Future Fonts

This page last updated 26 Feb 2021

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