Interesting Omega and Phi Inscription

Lukas Horn
Lukas Horn Posts: 15
edited February 2020 in History of Typography

I visited the Pergamon Museum in Berlin and I found this inscription, which shows an interesting form variant of the Ω and also of the Φ (it has a long ascender and long descender):

Does anyone know something about it, especially the playful omega?
Also the O looks a bit lowercase.


  • Andreas Stötzner
    Omega always had a hard life, especially when Greek gets trimmed by a Latin style of tailoring, which is clearly the matter in this case. Apart from the initial archaic style (view ancient Greek ceramic vessels!) it is actually an impossible shape to cope with. Even in present-day handwriting – it usually ends up as a simple circle with a single understroke.
    The diminished O and the enhanced Phi may be seen as a remnant from the old days, when not a base line and a head line ruled the forms but a centre line. – View old ceramics or earlier inscriptions! (wonderful subject, endless …)
  • Vassilis Georgiou

    @Lukas Horn As Andreas Stötzner mentioned, this inscription probably comes from the Greco-Roman period. I have seen this form for Omega in a couple of modern day typefaces. Mantinia Greek by Matthew Carter is one of them. Carter also calls it “Imperial” on the publication the picture bellow comes from:

     The other is Monumenta Pro by Parachute fonts. You can see a sample on the screenshot below:

    Here’s another funny looking Omega, found on an inscription at the Roman Agora in Athens:

    I must say these forms are rather extravagant