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Pictures

Polytonic Inscriptions Resisting to Monotony

Note: The small number of pictures on this page should not discourage the reader. Let us not forget than in older times most of the inscriptions were written in capital letters. And besides that, in cases like "Καθαρή Συμμαχία" or "Γρηγόρης - Μικρογεύματα" where all words are oxytone and start with a consonant, there is no difference between polytonic and monotonic. We also show inscriptions where the explicit use of polytonic system is obvious. Click on the image to see its real size.

Προσωπικὸ σχόλιο: Πορεύομαι στὴν Ἀθήνα (καὶ ἀλλοῦ) πρὸς ἄγραν φωτογραφιῶν. Κάθε ἐπιγραφὴ εἶναι καὶ μιὰ ἐλπίδα, ἕνα σημεῖο ἀναφορᾶς στὸν χῶρο καὶ στὸν χρόνο ὅπου ἡ γλώσσα ἐπιζεῖ (ἢ ξαναγεννιέται). Ἀπογοητεύομαι ἀπὸ τὶς μοντέρνες ἐπιγραφὲς «design» ποὺ μὲ τὸν πιὸ σύγχρονο γραφισμὸ κατακρεουργοῦν τὸ γλωσσικό μας περιβάλλον. Μά πιὸ πολὺ μὲ στενοχωροῦν κάποιες δῆθεν παραδοσιακὲς ἐπιγραφὲς ποὺ θέλουν νὰ ἀκολουθήσουν την παράδοση γιὰ νὰ τραβήξουν τὸν πελάτη ποὺ ζητᾶ τὸ παλιὸ καὶ αὐθεντικό, καὶ ξεχνοῦν τοὺς τόνους καὶ τὰ πνεύματα. Αὐτὸ μᾶς ἔφερε ὁ «γλωσσικὸς προοδευτισμός»: τὸ κὶτς καὶ τὴν ψευτιά. Ἀλλὰ ξαφνικὰ καὶ ἀναπάντεχα, μέσα στὴν μονοτονικὴ ἐξαθλίωση συναντῶ μιὰ νέα ἐπιγραφὴ ὅπου δειλὰ-δειλὰ καὶ ἀδέξια κάποιος προσπάθησε νὰ γράψει τὰ ἑλληνικά του σωστά. Ἢ κάπου ἀλλοῦ κάποιος ξεχάσθηκε καὶ τόνισε τὶς μονοσύλλαβες λέξεις ὅπως αὐτὸ γινόταν παλιά, πρὶν τὴν τονοκτονία. Αὐτὲς οἱ πρωτοβουλίες, αὐτὰ τὰ «λάθη» μοῦ δίνουν τὴν δύναμη νὰ συνεχίσω... (Γ.Χ.)

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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Ernestine Haralambous)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2010 (Y.H.)
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Ancona 2010 (Y.H.)
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2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Andristaina 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Aigina 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Athens 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Galatsi 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Galatsi 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Ithaca 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Ithaca 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Ithaca 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Ithaca 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Ithaca 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Ithaca 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Ithaca 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Ithaca 2010 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Kallithea 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Kefalonia 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Kerameikos 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Kifisia 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Kifisia 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Koufonisi 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Neo Herakleio 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Oropos 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Palaio Faliro 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Patmos2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Patra 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Plaka 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Serres 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Thission 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Halandri 2009 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Kerkyra 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Drama 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Kavala 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Kavala 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Kavala 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Nafplio 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Nafplio 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Nafplio 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Nafplio 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Nafplio 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Nafplio 2009 (Eirini Palaiologou)
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Tsepelovo (Zagorochoria) 2009 (Kostas Mizezas)
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Kerameikos 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Marathia Fokidos 2008 (Anonymous)
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Banitsa Florinis 2008 (Anonymous)
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Florina 2008 (Anonymous)
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Kerkyra 2008 (Anonymous)
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Bouniatades Kerkyras 2008 (Anonymous)
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Kerkyra 2008 (Anonymous)
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Makrades Kerkyras 2008 (Anonymous)
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Athens 2008 (Anonymous)
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Galaxeidi 2008 (Anonymous)
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Kastoria 2008 (Anonymous)
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Karditsa 2008 (Anonymous)
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Arta 2008 (Anonymous)
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Trikala Fortress 2008 (Anonymous)
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Trikala Fortress 2008 (Anonymous)
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Andros 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Andros 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Andros 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Label of Helios bicarbonate soda 2008 (Y.H.)
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Hêlioupolis 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Hêlioupolis 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Moschato 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Hymêttos 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Pasalimani 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Charaugê-Daphnê 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Label of traditional ouzo from Chios 2008 (Y.H.)
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Label of traditional ouzo from Lesvos 2008 (Y.H.)
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Label of bio wine, Sikinos 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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A rough breathing that says a lot... Folegandros, Paralia Agkalê 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Without subscript iota! Aigion 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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The most beautiful “thank you” from a location which respects its name! Grammata Syrou 2008 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens (National Garden) 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2008 (Y.H.)
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A circumflex accent on the antipenultimate and no breathing! Loutraki 2008 (Y.H.)
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Loutraki 2008 (Y.H.)
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A grocery store respecting Greek language! Thessaloniki 2008 (Evmenios Kozyrakis)
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“Patriots”, lacking knowledge of Greek language: ἑνωθεῖτε takes a rough breathing!... Athens 2008 (from the Web)
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A breathing on Εὐριπίδης but the wrong accent on βιβλιοπωλεῖα Athens 2007 (Y.H.)
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The rough breathing on eta wasn't enough, so the carpenter added an acute accent to make it even more polytonic... Athens 2007 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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Hagios Nikolaos (Crete) 2007 (Nikos Papadopoulos)
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Hagios Nikolaos (Crete) 2007 (Nikos Papadopoulos)
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Hagios Nikolaos (Crete) 2007 (Nikos Papadopoulos)
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Melissia (Attiki) 2007 (Fotios Platanidis)
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Melissia (Attiki) 2007 (unfortunately the word «ὣς» is written «ὠς») (Fotios Platanidis)
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Nicosia 2007 (Riana Lagarde)
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Once again the “Pitta of pappous”, this time illuminated and in more modern style, Piraeus 2007 (Nektarios Mamalougkos)
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«Ἐν ἀρχῇ» with acute accent and without subscript iota, «ἧν» with a rough breathing... 2007 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2007 (Pheidias Bourlas)
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Athens 2007 (Pheidias Bourlas)
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Athens 2007 (Stelios Pavlidis)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007. Another example of wrong accentuation showing the need of its author to place accents on all words. (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Étienne Cazin)
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Thessaloniki 2007. Besides of the accent on “Μπλέ”, notice the final nu of word “Ψιλικατζίδικον”. (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007. The inscription is not polytonic but the word “Φῶς” has nevertheless been accentuated. (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007 (Y.H.)
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Thessaloniki 2007. Nice wooden inscription. (Y.H.)
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Athens 2007. A monotonic inscription, but why should the word “τί” take an accent? And why a Latin question mark? (Y.H.)
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Athens 2007. Graffiti on the wall of Kerameikos. The poor graffitist knew that ἐν takes a smooth breathing but was probably unsure about the other accents and breathings... (Y.H.)
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Athens 2007 (Y.H.)
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Olympic Airlines, Flight 206 Paris-Athens, 2007. Probably the Dutch graphist did not knew that Greece is trying for 25 years now to destroy its language; he/she has opened a dictionary and found the word “ἁλάτι” in its normal state; and finally he/she has tried to represent it as closely as possible with a crippled (= monotonic) typeface. (Y.H.)
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Paris 2007. On the board of announcements of the Greek consulate in Paris, a beautiful smooth breathing before the Α of Ἀνακοινώσεων (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. White letters on the glass: «βιβλιοθήκη τοῦ ναυτίλου» (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. An acute accent which happens to be vertical but is quite beautiful and dynamical (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. A smooth breathing instead of actute and circumflex accent... (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. The rough breathing on the o is so small that it looks like a mirrored Vietnamese ơ. (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. Impressive calligraphy, typical of the sixties. (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. The smooth breathing has become a little star. (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. Beneath the Parlament, 100 m from the place where the dreadful law has been voted... (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. The circumflex accent of Μεζεδοπωλεῖο has become as acute one... (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. The dative "τῷ" is followed by a nominative... (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. What would be this "Mam" without its acute accent? (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. Letters 2 m heigh. (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. Circonflex accent is a grandfather issue... (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. The inscription is too recent to be polytonic. Why then does Μέτς take an accent? Mystery (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006. A small spot on τὸ is enough to show that the inscription is polytonique (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2006 (Y.H.)
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Kythira 2006 (Y.H.)
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Kythira 2006 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2005 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2005 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2005 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2005. The difference of size between the breathing and the acute accent contributes to the dynamics of this calligraphy. (Y.H.)
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Athens 2005 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2005 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2005 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2004 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2004 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2004 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2004 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2004. This inscription is not polytonic, but one can see traces of the smooth breathing and acute accent which the shop owner probably riped away to protest against the monotonic system... (Y.H.)
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Athens 2004 (Y.H.)
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Athens 2004 (Y.H.)
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Brest (France) 2003. The barber liked Athens a lot... (Y.H.)
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Athens, in the past (Y.H.)

Send us your pictures of polytonic inscriptions (in JPEG with the largest dimension equal at least to 1280 pixels) by adding your name, the place and year you took them.

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