Eusebius of Caesarea: Ecclesiasticae historiae, Paris, Robert Estienne, 1544, detail of the title page (École Estienne)Eusebius of Caesarea: Ecclesiasticae historiae, Paris, Robert Estienne, 1544, detail of the title page (École Estienne)

The Greek typefaces

The punches for three different sizes were cut between 1543 and 1550: the so-called gros romain, a medium font of 16 points, a small 9-point cicero font, and a large 20-point font known as the gros parangon, which was completed in 1550.

The design of the punches were a faithful reproduction of Angelo Vergezio's handwritting with its many ligatures; the capitals were influenced by roman letters that Garamont had already cut. One of the particularities of these fonts was the introduction of accents and breathing marks, made with the use of kerned letters. Garamont's skill can clearly be seen in the ligatures and the treatment of the abbreviations.

Garamont's skill can clearly be seen in the ligatures and the treatment of the abbreviations.

The first book printed with Garamont's Greek fonts was a Greek alphabet published in 1543; it was a veritable promotional sheet that included all of the letters and ligatures from the first font created, the 16-point gros romain. For each new font, Robert Estienne published an alphabet: one in 1548 for the cicero, and another in 1550 for the gros parangon.

Display timeline