ALPHABETUM Unicode font    TrueType
Version 12.00  (updatedMarch 2017)
A multilingual Unicode font (TTF, TrueType font) for ancient languages: classic & medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Old Italic (Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Faliscan, Messapic, Picene), Gothic, Iberian, Celtiberian, old & middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Runic, Ogham, Ugaritic, Anatolian scripts (Lydian, Lycian, Carian, Phrygian, Sidetic), Inscriptional Parthian, Meroiticnew, Old Persian cuneiform, Coptic, Glagolitic, Phoenician, Old Cyrillic, Old Church Slavonic, Linear B, Brahmi, Inscriptional Pahlavi, Old Turkicnew, Kharosthi, Cypriot, Avestan, Imperial Aramaic, Old Hungarian (rovásírás)new, Ancient Greek  musical notation, Ancient Greek acrophonic numerals, New Testament editorial symbols, Ancient Greek papyrological numbers, Phaistos Disc, Byzantine musical symbolsnew, Aegean numbers and old & medieval Nordic.

by Juan José Marcos
Professor of classical languages

   The Alphabetum Unicode font is the result of a personal interest dating back many years in the problems faced by classicists who need special characters to type ancient languages. This font tries to solve, at least in some extent, this problem.
   Alphabetum is a large font (7,470 characters in version 12.00) and it has been specifically designed to type classical and medieval LATIN (including long and short vowels, epigraphical signs, coin symbols, Mediaeval abbreviations and metrical symbols, among others), GREEK (including vowels with macron and breve, metrical signs and many other characters missing in most fonts), OLD ITALIC, (Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Picene, Faliscan, Messapic etc), IBERIAN, CELTIBERIAN, OLD NORSE, KHAROSTHI, INSCRIPTIONAL PARTHIAN, MEROITICnew, OGHAM, OLD PERSIAN cuneiform, GLAGOLITIC, OLD CYRILLIC, COPTIC, PHAISTOS DISC, BYZANTINE MUSICAL SYMBOLSnew, BRAHMI, AVESTAN, IMPERIAL ARAMAIC, OLD TURKICnew, LINEAR B, PHOENICIAN, ANATOLIAN SCRIPTS, INSCRIPTIONAL PAHLAVI, OLD HUNGARIAN (rovásírás)new, CYPRIOT, Ancient Greek  musical notation, Ancient Greek acrophonic numerals, New Testament editorial symbols, Ancient Greek papyrological numbers, Aegean numbers and OLD & MIDDLE ENGLISH, but this font includes support for most of the Latin-based European languages (Esperanto, English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Croatian, Slovak, Czech, Welsh, Gaelic, Catalan and  Portuguese), Modern Greek, most of the Cyrillic-based languages (Russian, Byelorussian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Moldavian, Ukrainian, Azerbaijani/Azeri, Abkazh, Kazakh etc) and most of the Devanagari-based languages (Hindi, Nepali, Marathi, Bihari etc) most of the Bengali-based languages  (Bangla, Assamese, Manipuri etc), Hiragana , Katakana and Bopomofo. It also includes all IPA symbols, phonetic modifiers and tone letters.   



pdf  More font samples  in  different languages and IPA (PDF file, 6 pages, 283 kb)

   NEW IN VERSION 12.00 (March 2017)
This is a major update. The main changes compared to version 11.25 (released June 2014) are the following:
Added 814 new characters belonging to different Unicode blocks.
Hieroglyphic Meroitic - full coverage.
Cursive Meroitic - full coverage.
Old Turkic (Orkhon and Yenisei variants) - full coverage.
Old Hungarian (rovásírás) - full coverage.
Byzantine Musical Symbols - full coverage.
Letterlike Symbols - full coverage.
Combining Diacritical Marks Supplement - full coverage.
Combining Diacritical Marks for Symbols - full coverage.
Many additions in the Latin part not available in standard fonts (especially for transliteration purposes)

NEW IN VERSION 11.25 (June 2014)
This is a major update. The main changes compared to version 10.25 (released October 2012) are the following:
Added 282 new characters belonging to different Unicode blocks.
Imperial Aramaic - full coverage.
Inscriptional Parthian - full coverage.
Inscriptional Pahlavi - full coverage.
Phaistos Disc - full coverage.
Latin Extended D - full coverage.
Full set of diacritics - combining (for use with any base character) or spacing (for display by themselves).
Many additions in the Latin part not available in standard fonts (especially for transliteration purposes).
All characters from MUFI recommendation v. 1.0 is included in ALPHABETUM, and also many from v. 2.0 and 3.0 (but not complete coverage yet).
Added the following OpenType features: old style numbers, small capitals, standard ligatures (fi, fl, ffl etc), discretionary ligatures (ct, st, ae, oe, ob, ot), historical forms (long s), stylistic alternates (dotless i).

   If you wish to see all characters the ALPHABETUM Unicode font contains (7,470 signs in version 12.00) click on the following link:  ALPHABETUM character set  (PDF document, 34 pages, 4,27 MB).

ADVICE: The font uses many slots in the Private Use Area block (PUA) of Unicode (code points E000-F8FF), so it is entirely possibly, that the same slots are used by other fonts for other purposes. In general, the PUA contains A)- signs not included by Unicode in its standard and B)- some alternate glyphs.


    For more details on the font and information about Unicode, characters present in ALPHABETUM, description and examples of languages which this font supports, different input methods, font samples, customized services I offer and other technical issues of interest, please read the ALPHABETUM user's Manual (104 pages, PDF format, 2,13 MB).

  Only a Windows version of ALPHABETUM is currently available, however this font should be usable on Macintosh running OSX. This is not a problem, since MacOSX recognizes PC Unicode fonts without complaint. (Note that you will need to restart the computer to fully install the font).
   For Unix/Linux systems: I have had reports of people using ALPHABETUM successfully under these systems, however, I have only tested myself the font under Debian. In any case, you need to configure your Xfree server to recognize and to use TrueType/OpenType fonts in Unix/Linux.

   You also need a word processor which supports a Unicode font.

   Mac users . There is a great variety of Unicode-aware text processors on MacOSX.
   You can use SUE, Pepper, Mellel, Nisus Writer, NeoOffice, Pages, Papyrus, AbiWord or even TextEdit, which comes with the Mac, for rendering Unicode. Among them, probably Mellel is the best and with a reasonable price.
   At the time of writing, Word 2004 is AT LAST Unicode compatible; however, does not support RTL direction of writing. See Alan Wood's site for further details.

   Pc users . Recent versions of MS Word (MS Word 97, Ms Word 2000 /2002/2003/2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016) support Unicode (not MS Word 95 and earlier versions). OpenOffice for Windows supports Unicode very nicely.
Word Perfect 14 (WP Office X7) for Windows does not support Unicode however.

  Unix/Linux users. StarOffice, OpenOffice and KWord support Unicode. However, the Unicode editor Yudit (only plain text) is one of the best in contemporary Unicode support under Unix/Linux system.

   All recent web browsers (Internet Explorer, Nestcape, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Opera on Windows; OmniWeb, Chimera, Camino, Safari and Mozilla on Macintosh) support Unicode.                                                


   First of all, please note that the fonts do not come with any keyboard drivers to access all the many charactes in it! Please use the native tools or keyboard drivers of your computing platform.
   ALPHABETUM is a large font which contains thousands of characters.
   This means that ALPHABETUM (like all Unicode fonts) operates slightly differently to normal fonts: for example, the Unicode Greek fonts tend to contain a Roman font as well as a Greek font, and indeed, the Greek cannot be accessed directly from the keyboard at all. Pressing 'l' on the keyboard will produce a 'l' on the screen, non the Greek letter lambda, so some kind of utility is required to produce a Greek letter of any kind.
   Naturally you can use the Symbol/Insert command to enter characters, however this is a hard, tedious and laborious task. This is fine for rarely used characters but too slow for things you use all the time.
   Windows contains various keyboard drivers to type the most common languages including polytonic Greek, however, unfortunately Windows does not currently offer an input method for many ancient scripts (Gothic, Runic, Ogham, Ugaritic, Linear B, Cypriot, Old Italic, Glagolitic, Avestan, Brahmi, Aramaic, Pahlavi etc).
   Therefore, users need to use additional input methods to enter these signs.
   There are very good alternatives available, however.
   At the time of this writing, the most important utilities for inputting ancient scripts are the following (both for free):
MULTIKEY by  Stefan Hagel (with support for many scripts including polytonic Greek, Gothic, Coptic, Ogham, classical Latin, Old Italic and Ugaritic, currently from my point of view perhaps the most complete keyboard utility as far as ancient scripts is concerned) and KEYMAN by Tavultesoft Software.
   There are  few keyboards designed for ancient scripts to run under Keyman, furthermore, you can create your own keyboard to fit your special needs.
   The main advantage of Keyman is that this application allows users to enter Unicode text in all Windows applications (PowerPoint, Access and Excell) as well.
   For those interested in polytonic Greek, there is also a manual (in Spanish, 30 pages) describing the ANTIOCH utility, including screenshots and guiding users step by step.
   There is also a guide for Multikey 5.00 (again in Spanish, 24 pages).
   These guides can be downloaded from the ALPHABETUM Spanish page.

   I have also written a manual in Spanish about configuration and use of Sibylla. It is available on request.
   Character maps such as BABELMAP (only Windows version) and POPCHAR (Windows and Mac versions) are very helpful to insert Unicode signs in any application as well.


  Fully aware of the difficulty to enter Unicode text and in order to facilitate the insertion of special signs (metrical symbols, Old English characters etc) I have created different templates (macros) to use under Word which provides an easy and suitable way to access directly to Old English characters (including Saxon typefaces variants) and metrical signs present in the ALPHABETUM font by using shortcut keys.
   I also provide a document in pdf format with information on how to install and use the templates (*.dot files) and the list of keystroke combinations (shortcut keys) required to get the aforementioned specific characters on your PC.
   If you are interested in these templates, please click on the following link to download them.
Templates for WORD 278 kb.
   However, note that they are only fully operative with the full version of the ALPHABETUM font, these templates only work partially with ALPHA-Demo and evidently they won't function at all in case you try to use them with other fonts.


  A trial version of ALPHABETUM, named ALPHA-Test is available from this site.
  The download also includes an extensive manual in English (104 pages in PDF format) which contains information about how to type ancient languages with a computer. The manual includes the description of several ancient scripts showing samples written with the font as well.

  download Font package  ZIP file 3.35 MB (ALPHABETUM user's manual pdf 104 pages + demo font ttf )
  This is a large file; therefore, please be patient!

ADVICES: Note that around 500 characters of this demo font bear the watermark "DEMO" which appears under or above the glyphs. Nevertheless, the trial version of the font (ALPHA-Test) has the same amount of signs than the full version (ALPHABETUM Unicode) which, obviously, does not show the watermarks.

   ALPHABETUM is the result of long hours of investigation and hard work.
   Font development is a painstaking, time-consuming task and ALPHABETUM is a single person's work.
   This font is not free. Nevertheless, it has the lowest possible price*. Please see different options and licenses below.
*ADVICE: Due to the current fluctuation in the exchange rate among different currencies, only prices in Euro can be guaranteed. The prices in US$ and other currencies depend on the actual exchange rate (at the date of this writing, March 2017, 1 euro is equivalent to 1,07 US dollars).
Do not worry about converting the Euro price into your currency, PayPal will do this when you make your payment.

   If you like to have ALPHABETUM and the different templates I have created (Metrics, Old English and Gothic) to use under Word which provide an easy and convenient way to access directly to many characters present in ALPHABETUM by using shortcut  keys, with their corresponding user's guides, plus other additional programs (keyboard controlers for Windows, Mac and Linux, Unicode editors, character maps etc) mailed to your address on a CDRom, there is extra cost, please see information given below.
    Disclaimer: The aforementioned software bundled with the font on the CDRom is evidently freesoftware or shared programs which can be freely distributed and all documentations which the different authors provide remain intact. The original programs have not been altered at all. I do not charge users a fee for these programs. I only charge users for shipping and handling.

   The full version of the font is available on request. Please read the manual (chapter 54) for further information about the different methods of acquiring ALPHABETUM.

   If you own a credit or debit card (Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover®, Maestro
® and American Express®, you can pay online, which means purchase can be made in a matter of clicks.
   This payment is being backed by PayPal
®, a global leader in online payment solutions. To make payments with PapyPal is easy, fast, free and secure for buyers. Naturally, your transaction will be confidential and the information you give will not be used for any reason other than the use intended. PayPal protects your security. (Note: You are not required to have a Paypal account. By following the instructions on the Paypal page, you may make your payment by credit card or bank transfer.)
                payments by PAYPAL

   Depending on your choice, click on the corresponding button below to purchase ALPHABETUM online. In order to avoid errors, please read carefully the information given below before clicking on the PayPal button to order ALPHABETUM. Please be careful with your choice since depending on it you will get one item or other.

Option 1) - Restricted individual license. ALPHABETUM (€15, approximately US $16 or £12, please read ADVICE above*). The font will be sent as attachment to your email account. Note that the font contains PDF restriction, (i.d. embedding is disabled). This means that you won't be able to generate PDF files running Adobe Acrobat, for instance. An error message will appear on your screen if you try to produce a PDF document. Print and preview is allowed, however. You also are not entitled to use the font in printed books nor to publish electronic documents in the web. If you wish a version of the font with unrestricted embedding, choose below option Full operative individual license 2.

Option  2) - Full operative individual license. Single user license. ALPHABETUM (€30, approximately US $33 or £24, please read ADVICE above*). The font will be sent as attachment to your email account. The font has not restrictions at all. All features are enabled. Even embedding is allowed: this means that the font may be embedded in documents to produce PDF documents running Adobe Acrobat. You also are entitled to use the font in a printed book (however, the typesetter or publisher may not use the font for other purposes without acquiring an appropriate license) or to produce electronic documents which can be uploaded into your web page and distributed in the internet, but you are obliged to send me a copy of the book or electronic document in which the font is used.

Option 3) - Multiple computer license and publishing license. ALPHABETUM (€45, approximately US $49 or £38, please read ADVICE above*). The font will be sent as attachment to your email account. The font has not restrictions at all. All features are enabled. Even embedding is allowed: this means that the font may be embedded in documents to produce PDF documents running Adobe Acrobat.
For that moderate price, ALPHABETUM can be installed on up to three computers used primarily by the purchaser as an individual (e.g. desktop computer in office, desktop computer in home, and laptop). If you need to install the font on more computers, please contact me for information.
Publishing houses are entitled to use the font in printed books or to produce electronic documents which can be sold in their web pages. The publishing house and individuals are not required to send me a copy of the book in which the font is used.
This type of license is also appropriate for software developers who wish to use the font in free or commercial applications.

This license permits that ALPHABETUM can be used as a web-font (WOFF, EOT or SVG formats) in a webpage as well.
An experimental italic version of the font which contains 1,371 glyphs is also supplied with this type of license if the user has interest in testing it and requests me to include the font in the attachment.

Option 4) - Multiple-user license or colective license (Department license). ALPHABETUM (€100, approximately US $110 or £85, please read ADVICE above*). The font will be sent as attachment to your email account. The font has not restrictions at all. All features are enabled. Even embedding is allowed: this means that the font may be embedded in documents to produce PDF documents running Adobe Acrobat.
This license permits installations on up to 10 computers in the department's principal campus locations (i.e., departmental offices, departmental seminar and research rooms, departmental library suites), faculty home computers may be included in the total of permitted installations.
If you need to install the font on more computers, please contact me for information.
The department and its members may use the fonts in all scholarly and teaching activities, in printing documents and in preparing PDF's for distribution to others. However, the department and its members may not alter or redistribute the font to students and others.

Option 5) - Full operative individual license. All features enabled. Enhanced version shipped on a CDRom. ALPHABETUM+OTHER UTILITIES (€60, approximately US $66 or £51, please read ADVICE above*). You will receive ALPHABETUM on a CDRom mailed to your postal address. ALPHABETUM comes without restrictions to produce PDF files or to use it as a dynamic font in your web site, since the font can be embedded in your documents. You also will entitled to use the font in a printed book or to publish electronic documents in the web.
A complete package which contains the ALPHABETUM font + Word templates for Greek and Latin metrics, Old English and Gothic + user guides + keyboard controllers (Greek, Coptic, Hebrew, Runic, Sanskrit, Gothic, Old Italic, Esperanto, Avestan, IPA etc) for Windows, Mac and Linux + Unicode text editors + Unicode viewers + character maps + PDF generator programs + Unicode converters + other useful font utilities will be shipped on a CD to your postal address. Concerning the different programs included in the CDRom, please read disclaimer above.
An experimental italic version of the font which contains 1,371 glyphs is also supplied.

Option 6) - Upgrade to the newest version of ALPHABETUM (v 12.00 March 2017). Only for registered users of previous versions of the font. If you are a registered user of ALPHABETUM, update to version 11.00 for only €8 (approximately US $9 or  £6, please read ADVICE above*). The font will be sent as attachment to your email account.



1.- Whatever option you choose, please send me a message after making the payment to confirm that you are really who ordered the font.

2.- In most cases I will reply to your message in due time (normally within a day or so), unless I was on holydays, then it will take a little more time, since I only will be able to check my emails from time to time, (usually every three days, more or less or even a little more during the summer) so be patient, however, be sure that you will receive my response. Sorry for this inconvenience.

3.- The delivery period of a CDRom mailed to your postal address will take several days, obviously depending on your country. In most cases the CDRom will arrive at your home in approximately six days.

4.- Obviously, any modification or public distribution of ALPHABETUM is not permited under any circumstance.


   If you acquire the full version of ALPHABETUM Unicode font you will get:
  • Technical support: Registered users get free technical support. I will try to resolve problems that are reported to me.
  • Finding what you need: ALPHABETUM contains all the regular characters for the languages mentioned above in precomposed characters or combining diacritical marks. I have taken much care over this piece of work and I have read many documents relating to different languages, but, clearly, I don't know all these languages, and, perhaps some important character that you need may be missing or badly drawn. If this occurs, please send me a message detailing exactly what you need and I shall include it, free of any additional charge, of course. For other more important corrections or additions, consult me.
   For more information, please read the User's Manual.

  Just in case you are wondering who is Juan-José Marcos, click here and you will find some information about the author of  the ALPHABETUM Unicode font and this website.

   I have taken care to see that ALPHABETUM works as well as possible, but this font is the work of only one person, any errors or faults which it contains are mine, so if you find any wrong code or any “bug” in the font, feel free to email me.
   Although you do not purchase the font, please, send me comments, suggestions for improvements or anything else regarding ALPHABETUM. I would like to know your opinion about the font.
    I really would appreciate having users' feedback.
   Such reaction from users will be the deciding factor in my decision of carrying on with the development of ALPHABETUM.
   Do not hesitate to contact me. Thanks.

   If ALPHABETUM is well received, it will be expanded in the near future (basic Aegyptian hieroglyphics, Meroitic, Linear A, Byzantine musical notation, more kerning pairs, more characters, more “Open Type” features and so forth).


NOTICE: If you wish to imitate more accurately in your electronic documents the Latin handwriting as it appears in medieval manuscripts, please visit the page entitled “Palaeographic fonts for Latin script” which I have created; there you will find information about the different Latin handwriting models and a collections of fonts (namely Capitalis Rustica, Capitalis Elegans, Uncialis, Insularis minuscula, Semiuncialis, Carolingia minuscula, Gothic Textura Quadrata, Humanistica antiqua etc) which try to reproduce properly the characteristics of their corresponding ancient lettering: Capital Rustic, Uncial, Insular minuscule, Half-uncial, Caroline or Carolingian, Gothic and Humanistic.
These fonts are based on hand-drawn renderings of medieval handwriting styles, genuine calligraphy and they include specialty characters, abbreviations, ligatures and alternate forms for some letters.
For further information and visual samples, please visit the Palaeographic fonts page devoted to my fonts for Latin palaeography.

Paleographic Latin fonts. Samples:

                      font samples 

   A similar font package for Greek Palaeography I have recently created (ANGULAR UNCIAL, BIBLICAL UNCIAL, COPTIC UNCIAL, PAPYRUS UNCIAL, ROUND UNCIAL, SLAVONIC UNCIAL, SLOPING UNCIAL, MINUSCULE IX, MINUSCULE XI and MINUSCULE XV ) is also available. For more detailed information press here or click on the image below.

Samples in different Greek hands

   Those readers interested in reading a true treatise on Greek Paleography can find useful my book entitled "Manual ilustrado de PALEOGRAFÍA GRIEGA" (in Spanish), 558 pages containing more than 100 images, some of them in colour, published by DYKINSON, Madrid 2017. Information here
   You can have a look inside this book (PDF hosted on server) by clicking on the following link or on the image below:


       Those readers interested in knowing about the origin and development of Greek typefaces will find useful to read my e-book entitled “History of Greek Typography: from the invention of printing to the Digital Age” (440 pages profusely illustrated with lots of images of Greek books printed by Demetrius Damilas, Bonus Acursius, Aldus Manutius, Zacharias Callierges, Janus Lascaris, Froben, Guilles de Gourmont, Simon de Colines, Plantin, Robert Estienne, the Elzevirs, the Foulis brothers, Savile, Caslon, Baskerville, Didot, Bodoni, Goeschen, Richard Porson, Watts, Hibbert, Selwyn Image, etc.).

   “History of Greek Typography: from the invention of printing to the Digital Age” follows the history and development of Greek printing types and their role in the history of the printed word and civilization.
   The book explores every major development in the design of Greek type and includes some lesser-known designers whose type designs made significant contributions to the craft. The material is divided into sections by historical period for easy reference.
   The text of the book provides an excellent historical background to the study of Greek printing types.
   History of Greek Typography stands a step above other books on the history of Greek printing types because of the number of its reproductions -some of them extremely rare- and its straightforward and clear exposition.
   This work, profusely illustrated, not only addresses the Hellenic scholar, but also the modern writer, typographer, historian, graphic designer, printer, publisher and font developer. For more detailed information click here or the image below.

Greek typography

   A paperback copy can be ordered from CreateSpace (printed on demand), Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.

Plasencia (Cáceres) Spain.

This page last updated on March 2017.

Please revisit this page from time to time for updates.

Online since 2002.