Re: TLG and Beta code

From: Raymond Mercier (
Date: Wed Aug 27 2003 - 06:49:25 EDT

  • Next message: Nick Nicholas: "Re: TLG and Beta code"

    > In a Greek text, shouldn't you be using omicron and a combining macron
    > rather than Latin o with macron? If omicron plus combining macron is an
    > adequate representation of the glpyh, then maybe there is no need to a
    > new character.
    > --
    > Peter Kirk
    > (personal)
    > (work)

    Well, it is just simpler to use the Latin, since the combination is a single
    codepoint. The real point is that it would be nice to have an appropriate
    Greek form. The TLG assumption is that the Greek texts used omicron for
    zero, but that is not what you find in the MSS. Against that assumtion, I
    have just written to the TLG as follows:

    I know that you will find support in Heath, whose Greek Mathematics, Vol.1,
    p. 45, is surprisingly misleading in just saying that they used omicron.
    Also in his ed. of Ptolemy's Hypotheses Heiberg has rather perversely put a
    macron on all the letters except omicron ! (Opera Minora 78.29, for

    This does not adequately represent the Byzantine MSS. I don't have Heiberg's
    Syntaxis in front of me, but Halma's edition of the Syntaxis is closer to
    the MSS, and uses, o+macron. Elsewhere in the MSS one finds a variety of
    forms, according to the age etc. In the ninth century MSS zero is
    represented by a rather small o with a long overline with serifs at either
    end, much bigger than our macron. In late Byzantine mathematics one finds
    sometimes a form like the Cyrillic che (U+0447). Certainly the form varies
    a good deal, but I have not seen a simple omicron, whatever the editors may
    have put.

    In the texts edited in Georges Gémiste Pléthon (by Anne Tihon and myself),
    which I see you include in the TLG, we use a macron on the o, and are doing
    the same in our edition of Ptolemy's Handy Tables. If we had something
    closer to the forms used in ninth century MSS we would use it.


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