Re: identifying greek characters in an old book

From: George W Gerrity (
Date: Tue Oct 18 2005 - 05:09:51 CST

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    Anent the speculation on why differing ligature and abbreviation
    forms were used in a single document, my suggestion is a shortage of
    cast type and no punches or dies for the font in use.

    The early printers didn't usually use different forms just for fun,
    but rather by accident, ignorance (in the case of a non-Roman font),
    or necessity. In any case, multiple forms were probably placed
    jumbled together in the same sort box, and it would be difficult to
    find a form in short supply. Later on, when a previous page had been
    printed, it would be broken up, the type from it would be re-sorted,
    and the compositor could pick up some additional pieces not available
    when he started making up the current page.


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