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Qoppa uc lc.svg
Greek alphabet
Αα Alpha Νν Nu
Ββ Beta Ξξ Xi
Γγ Gamma Οο Omicron
Δδ Delta Ππ Pi
Εε Epsilon Ρρ Rho
Ζζ Zeta Σσς Sigma
Ηη Eta Ττ Tau
Θθ Theta Υυ Upsilon
Ιι Iota Φφ Phi
Κκ Kappa Χχ Chi
Λλ Lambda Ψψ Psi
Μμ Mu Ωω Omega
Obsolete letters
Ϝϝ Digamma Ϙϙ Qoppa
Ϻϻ San Ϡϡ Sampi
Other characters
Ϛϛ Stigma Ϸϸ Sho
Ͱͱ Heta

Greek diacritics

Qoppa or Koppa (Ϙ) is a letter that was used in early forms of the Greek alphabet, derived from Phoenician qoph. In Phoenician, qoph was pronounced as a uvular stop (IPA: [q]); in Greek, which lacked such a sound, it was instead used for /k/ before back vowels (Ο, Υ and Ω). As the sound /k/ then had two redundant spellings, qoppa was eventually replaced by kappa (Κ). Qoppa remained in use as a letter in some Doric regions into the 5th century BC.[1]


History and use

Like all Greek letters, qoppa was also used as a numeral, and had the value of 90. It has continued to be used in this function into modern times, though its shape has changed over time from a Q-like one (inline) one to a Z-like one (inline)

The Qoppa was used as a symbol for the city of Corinth, which had the early spelling of Ϙόρινθος. Qoppa is also the source of the Latin letter Q and the archaic Cyrillic numeral koppa (Ҁ).

In the Unicode computer encoding standard, there are two pairs of codepoints to represent Qoppa: U+03D8/U+03D9 ("Greek Letter Archaic Koppa" and "Greek Small Letter Archaic Koppa", Ϙϙ), intended for representing the epigraphic Q-like glyph, and U+03DE/U+03DF ("Greek Letter Koppa" and "Greek Small Letter Koppa", Ϟϟ), intended for the numeric Z-like glyphs.[2]

Corinthian stater. Obverse: Pegasus with qoppa beneath, for Corinth. Reverse: Athena wearing Corinthian helmet.

See also

The letter qoppa as it appears in three basic fonts: Times New Roman, Arial, and Lucida Grande.


  1. ^ Woodard, Roger D. (1997). Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195105206.  
  2. ^ Note that computer fonts used in browsers may show these codepoints differently.

Further reading

  • Powell, Barry B. (1991). Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521371570.  
  • Threatte, Leslie (1980). The Grammar of Attic Inscriptions. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3110073447.  
  • Woodard, Roger D. (1997). Greek Writing from Knossos to Homer. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195105206.  

External links


Simple English

Common letters
ΑaA ΜmEm
ΒbBe ΝnEn
GgGe ΟοO
ΔdDe ΠpPe
hHa ЖжZhe
ΕɛE RrAr
ΖzZe SsEs
ΗeEe ΤtTe
ΘөEth UuU
ΙiI FfEf
JjJe WwWa
ΚkKa ΧxXa
LlEl ОWоwWe
Uncommon letters
Digamma Qoppa
San Sampi
Other letters
Stigma Sho

Greek alphabet

Koppa or Qoppa (Ϙ or ϟ) was a letter of the Greek alphabet that was used in some Greek cities before the alphabet got its classic standard form. It is no longer used in normal writing today. It was pronounced as "k", just like Kappa (Κ). In the 5th century BC people stopped using it and only wrote Kappa. In the order of the letters in the alphabet, it came between Pi and Rho, just like in the Latin alphabet the letter Q comes between P and R. However, they kept Koppa as a sign for the number "90" in the system of Greek numerals. People still sometimes use it in this way, even though they do not use it as a letter to write words.

The letter Koppa at first looked like a circle with a small bar under it. Later it was written more like a pointed S.

The letter Q in the Latin alphabet and the letter Ҁ in the Cyrillic alphabet come from Koppa.

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