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OCT font

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OCT font

Postby Kurama » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:51 pm

I am wondering what the font they use on OCT editions for the Greek text is. In particular, I would like to know if there is a font that I can use in Word 2016 so the text will look the way it does in an OCT. So far I have found out that it is neither Arial, Calibri nor Times New Roman.
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Re: OCT font

Postby jeidsath » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:21 pm

Try out GFS Porson.
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Re: OCT font

Postby Timothée » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:46 pm

Image
The book says that Richard Austin cut the typeface a little after Porson’s death. It would be nice to see Porson’s hand to do a little comparison. The writer describes Porson’s hand “stately”.
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Re: OCT font

Postby jeidsath » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:55 pm

I found an old cb post that sources "Surviving Greek Tragedy" for a picture of Porson's handwriting. It's on page 127. Here is the top part of the image:

Image
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Re: OCT font

Postby Timothée » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:29 pm

Well done, Joel! That was very fast. Thanks. The resemblance isn’t evident, I would venture to suggest, but it is a nice hand, and even if Porson did drink too much gin, that won’t be obvious looking at his handwriting. Of course a typeface (unlike handwriting) will have letters of uniform quality.
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Re: OCT font

Postby anphph » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:33 pm

Also an interesting combination of lunate sigmas for capitals and snails for miniscule. No idea if this is common.
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Re: OCT font

Postby Kurama » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:58 am

Thanks for the info. I found a package and I can now type it in Word. However, there is something else I am not able to type yet. The package I found is for the slanted font, the one found in the main text. However, there is a straight version, like the one they use in boldtype in LSJ for the header of each entry. I haven't been able to find that one. Does anyone know where to find it?
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Re: OCT font

Postby mwh » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:54 pm

With the script of ΦΟΙΝΙϹϹΑΙ
compare http://163.1.169.40/gsdl/collect/POxy/i ... .hires.jpg
written in the 2nd century.
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Re: OCT font

Postby jeidsath » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:25 pm

Is that a circumflex on -αι? Was he trying to signal that he thought it was a verb? I didn't think that papyrus was accented very often.
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Re: OCT font

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:32 pm

What surprises me with this papyrus is that the characters have serifs. I knew inscriptions in Latin had them, but I didn’t know they’d been copied into Greek as well.
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Re: OCT font

Postby jeidsath » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:40 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:What surprises me with this papyrus is that the characters have serifs. I knew inscriptions in Latin had them, but I didn’t know they’d been copied into Greek as well.


I noticed those too. But, compared to Porson, the scribe looks much more comfortable with his script.
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Re: OCT font

Postby Kurama » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:53 pm

Do you know how I can type like that? Just to make clear what I mean, what I want is to be able to type like the bold text in this image.

Image

I can already type like the non-bold slanted text because I found the GFS Porson package, and it allows me to type in a slanted font that looks just like the slanted text of the entry and of OCT. But I want to learn how to type in the straight way too. I do not know the name of the font for sure, but I am assuming it is just a non-slanted version of the Porson font that is not included in the GFS package. Does anyone know where I can find a package that will allow me to write like that?
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Re: OCT font

Postby jeidsath » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:03 pm

Kurama, I don't know. It's possible that no one has ever tried to copy that specific type into a digital version. However, I'm sure there are bold Greek texts if you look for them. See the sample pages here (though I'm sure it's out of date):

https://www.tlg.uci.edu/help/UnicodeTest.php
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Re: OCT font

Postby Kurama » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:28 pm

Thanks, that link is very helpful! I might be able to find something that does the trick.

The background concern that motivated my question is this: I am curious as to how one would go about producing a searchable, neat PDF version that looks exactly like a pristine original OCT print and that will weigh no more than a typical non-scanned PDF of similar characteristics (so less than 2mb).

Essentially, I want a PDF file for an OCT text that is just like the PDF of a modern downloadable ebook (which is exactly what OUP should be selling, IMO). This, given how everyone is always complaining about the appalling quality of the reprints and how the publicly available scans are very cumbersome. My dream would be to do this for one of the Plato OCTs in the public domain so that no one ever needs again to rely on OUP's shoddy racket of a reprint at least for that one text or on 100+ mb scans that are not even searchable.

(There are already the Perseus texts, of course, but this is still not the real thing because you do not have the line breaks, and it would just be great to actually have a digital replica of the book that works like a modern PDF.)

Obviously LaTeX is the right option, but since I do not know enough LaTeX yet I just got curious and started seeing what I could do in Word. Then I realized I just did not have the fonts.
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Re: OCT font

Postby mwh » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:51 pm

Paul, Joel, This kind of script is what’s conventionally known as Roman Uncial (though it’s neither Roman nor uncial). It’s a fine specimen of a fairly well known type. Some calligraphic styles have serifs and finials, others not.

The marks above and below the first and last letters of Φοινιϲϲαι and Ευριπιδου are decorative. This is the play title or colophon (in the proper order). Titles are not given accents or other diacritics.

Porson’s lower-case script however is not based on ancient but more on early medieval scripts (hence σ/ς instead of ϲ).

Incidentally, the first two lines of the play are not by Euripides. There are papyri without them.

Kurama, Why are you bothered about replicating the hard-copy line breaks? There’s nothing remotely authoritative about them.
The Greeks themselves were content with handwritten copies none of which was identical to any other. I have to say that typing out OCT texts in this day and age seems a quixotic endeavor to me, especially when there are the Perseus texts available which anyone can copy and reformat if they want. Wouldn’t it be better just to read them?
The old Plato OCT is much easier on the eye than the new one, in my opinion (the kerning and tracking were better, for one thing), and the text itself is good.
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