Athena Ruby

The files, tools, and documents below pertain to Athena Ruby, Dumbarton Oaks' font for publishing Byzantine inscriptions. Unofficial news, documentation, tools, and examples are provided here. This is also where the latest version of the font can be downloaded. As items on this page mature, they will be pushed to the official Dumbarton Oaks website.

You use the font, documentation, and ancillary tools at your own risk. At this early stage, users are assumed to understand how to install a font and how to use it with various software. You have a wonderful opportunity to help make Athena Ruby more useful to the community. Contribute to some of the documentation, tools, and examples below by forking this website in from its Github repository. Or create some new tools. If you have a comment or question, please send it to the group or the project manager, Joel Kalvesmaki (kalvesmakij (a)

Creative Commons License

Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C., holds all rights to Athena Ruby and its documentation and tools, and makes the font available to the public for free under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. We request that anyone using the font in a publication, print or digital, formal or informal, include the following acknowledgment (with the version number in parentheses, and if used in a digital publication a link to the Dumbarton Oaks website):

This publication uses the font Athena Ruby (ver. x.x), courtesy Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University, Washington, D.C.


Athena Ruby

Build 018 (20 November 2015)

Version for installing on your local PC or Mac (zipped).

Version for installing on your server, for online publications (zipped). Includes four versions: ttf (web-friendly), woff, svg, and eot. It is important to have all four, because there are wide differences in the way major browsers handle specialized typography. See the CSS code on the fourth tab in the demo page.


Athena Ruby manual

Comprehensive guide to the font and its use.

Database of Characters | XML (master) | XHTML

Comprehensive list of every glyph in Athena Ruby, documenting Unicode points, equivalences to glyphs from older DO fonts, published examples, etc. HTML version should be checked on different browsers.

Ancillary files: schema (RELAX-NG, compact syntax) | XSLT (used to generate html page)

Google group for Athena Ruby.

Ask a few questions, answer some, and offer tips and tricks.


Joel Kalvesmaki, Introducing Athena Ruby, Dumbarton Oaks’ New Font for Byzantine Inscriptions in Inscriptions in Byzantium and Beyond, ed. A. Rhoby, Veröffentlichungen zur Byzanzforschung 38, ISBN-13: 978-3-7001-7674-9 ISBN-13 Online: 978-3-7001-7806-4 (Vienna, 2015), pp. 121-28.


Athena Ruby palette

Webpage to allow a user to pick specific glyphs in Athena Ruby.

Conversion tool for legacy fonts (Athena > Athena Ruby)

Under development.

Ensemble of Athena Ruby characters

Basic HTML page with all the standard and nonstandard Unicode points supported. Includes experiments in advanced features, using CSS 3.

Adobe Acrobat or InDesign 5.5 file (zipped).

Word document (zipped).

Examples and Tests

Note: not every browser is programmed to handle advanced typographic features of CSS3 and Athena Ruby. It is recommended you review these pages with more than one browser.

Demo page of Athena Ruby

Note especially the fourth tab, which supplies the CSS code needed to make font display work with all the various major browsers. Generated by Font Squirrel, a very useful font utility.

Example of a Byzantine seal (local | Daggett)

Experimental display of a seal using Athena Ruby and character variants and discretionary ligatures.

Select character variant test (local | Daggett)

Select character variants, for use in testing browsers.

Comprehensive variant test

Comprehensive list of character variants, for use in testing browsers.