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Beta code is a standard way of describing Greek letters and accents using basic ASCII characters. Accents are indicated by special code characters which immediately follow the letter they are accenting in the original Greek. Beta code includes extensive notation for many types of punctuation, scansion, and papyrological keys. However, for contributing to (and optionally for reading results from) the SOL, the following summary of the most commonly used characters should suffice:

betacode layout

Here is the first section of Homer as viewed in Beta code:

homeric betacode layout

  • Advantages:
    • You do not need a special Greek font.
    • Accents and breathing marks are clearly represented. Each Greek letter is represented by one and only one letter in the Roman alphabet (alpha is "a"; eta is "h").
  • Disadvantages:
    • You may not be familiar with the scheme used.
    • Reading the combination of breathing marks, accents, etc. takes some practice.

Greek Transliteration Beta Code
Alpha a a
Beta b b
Gamma g g
Delta d d
Epsilon e e
Zeta z z
Eta e h
Theta th q
Iota i i
Kappa k k
Lambda l l
Mu m m
Nu n n
Xi x c
Omicron o o
Pi p p
Rho r r
Sigma s s
Tau t t
Upsilon y u
Chi kh x
Phi ph f
Psi ps y
Omega o w
Rough aspirate h (
Smooth aspirate   )
Acute   /
Grave   \
Circumflex   =
Capitalize   *
Digamma w v

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This document was last updated Thursday July 24, 2014.


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