Male and female ancient Greek names. The meaning and origin of ancient Greek names

Male and female ancient Greek names. The meaning and origin of ancient Greek names
Male and female ancient Greek names. The meaning and origin of ancient Greek names

The ancient world did not know the holy calendar, and the people of that time knew nothing about guardian angels and intercessors. But this does not mean at all that they did not believe in heavenly patrons. Newborn boys and girls were entrusted to the care of the gods living on Olympus. On the other hand, like our Slavic pagan ancestors, the ancient Greeks endowed their children with nicknames that reflected actual or desired qualities. For example, Aoid - "singing", or Aniketos, which means "invincible".

As in many cultures of antiquity, ancient Greek names glorify the forces of nature or compare a person with a flower, plant, animal. Examples can be given: Astreya (Star), Iolanta (purple flower), Leonidas (son of Leo). Some names smoothly "migrated" in our time, took root in the modern Greek culture and among us, those Slavs who fell under the influence of Christianity of the Eastern rite.

It should be said that the ancient Romans borrowed their Pantheon from the Greeks, giving their gods their names. Therefore, in Western Europe and in the Slavic lands, where the Catholicreligion, there are ancient Greek names derived from the same pagan gods, only with a Latin name. For example, Marsilius (god of war), Diana (goddess of the moon and hunting).

Ancient Greek names

Old-new names

Do you love the culture of Ancient Greece, but would not like to break ties with Christianity? Then we can advise you on the names that have passed into the Orthodox calendar. And then your child can be named sonorously and beautifully. His name will be rooted in the distant past. He can celebrate birthdays and will be protected by a heavenly patron.

And this is not surprising. After all, the first apostles, among whom were the Hellenes, bore ancient Greek male names. Let us recall, for example, Philippos. The beautiful name of this apostle means "lover of horses." The girl, named Helen, will grow up, perhaps as beautiful as the ancient Greek wife of King Menelaus, abducted by Paris. What does Ἑλένη (Helene) mean? "Light-bearing", "torch". The male counterpart of this ancient Greek name is Helen. In addition to Elena, Philip and the already mentioned Leonid, a dozen more names passed from the ancient world to the modern one: Vasily, Dmitry, Hippolyte, Zenon, Eirena (later turned into Irina) and others.

Ancient Greek female names

To lovers of the Olympic cult

And why not, in fact, give the child a beautiful and original name, giving him as patrons not some saints and apostolic equals, but one of the gods? Moreover, in the Greek Pantheon theirso much. Now, in the cultural elite of the world, the fashion for ancient Greek female names, as well as for male ones, has gone. Recall at least Eros Ramazzotti or Penelope Cruz. The famous singer has the name of the god of love, the companion of Aphrodite.

The girlfriend of the young wizard Harry Potter from J. Rowling's book also has an old name. This girl is clearly patronized by Hermes - the son of Zeus and Maya, the patron of artisans, merchants, thieves and wanderers. Hermione is also mentioned in Homer's poem "The Iliad": she is the daughter of the beautiful Helen and Menelaus.

There are many more names whose bearers are "dedicated" to some Olympic god: Apollo ("art", "sun"), Nike ("victory"), Irida ("rainbow"). However, be careful. The names of the ancient Greek gods are beautiful, but the inhabitants of Olympus themselves have never been famous for their soft and complaisant disposition. In this they differ from the Christian god of love. Along with the positive qualities of his patron, a child can inherit his negative traits: vindictiveness, deceit, jealousy.

Ancient Greek male names

For connoisseurs of the culture of Ancient Greece

Those who are in love with the tragedies of Aeschylus and Euripides, in the comedies of Aristophanes, who are read by Homer, will easily find beautiful and sonorous names in these works. Of these, you can choose those about which the language of the Russian-speaking environment will not break. For example, Aeneas - "praised", "approved". A good name is Phoenix, which means "purple" - a color that was allowed to be worn only by aristocrats. Boy Odysseuswill inherit from his famous namesake, sung by Homer, courage, ingenuity and passion for travel.

In the myths and works of that civilization, you can also find very beautiful ancient Greek names of women. For example, Electra - which means "bright", "shining". Or the muse of astronomy Urania - her name means "heavenly". You can simply call the girl Muse or dedicate her to one of them, for example, Thalia or Calliope. In the myths of Ancient Greece, there are many beautiful nymphs whose beauty captivated even the gods: Maya, Adrastea, Daphne and others.

Names of ancient Greek gods

Love saves the world

The ancient Greek names that begin or end with a fragment of “phylo” fit very well on the tongue and caress the ear. This prefix means "Love". It can be applied not only to the passion for horses, like Philip, but also to singing - Philomena. The Greeks greatly appreciated this quality - to be able to love. They also wanted everyone around to appreciate their son or daughter. Therefore, the names of Philo, Theophilus, Philemon ("gentle") and others like them were common in the same way as we have with the prefix "glory" and "peace".

The Greeks were a very pious people. In the Hellenistic period, names appeared that meant the patronage of God, without specifying which one. Timothy is "one who honors God." Theodora - "His gift". There are also names pointing to the king of the gods - Zeus. Zenobia is life from Jupiter the Thunderer, and Zeophania is his manifestation on earth. Zeno means "dedicated", "belonging toZeus".

ancient greek boy names


These ancient Greek names are the most numerous. After conducting their scientific analysis, one can understand what qualities were valued in this civilization. After all, the parents called the name Atreus ("fearless") or Aella ("quick as a whirlwind") of a baby who had not yet stood on his feet. One thing is clear: as in all cultures of the ancient world, the ancient Greeks wished their sons to grow up brave (Adrastos), strong (Menander), steadfast (Menelaus), defenders of the weak (Alexei, Alexander), courageous (Alkinoi).

Oddly enough, in women the Greeks valued not so much beauty as the quality of the hostess guarding the hearth. Therefore, the parents called the newborn a protector (Alexa), a spinner (Klaso), a calmer (Amalzeya), a good one (Agatha) and simply a housewife (Despoin). Motherhood was also valued, the ability to give birth to children (Metrofanes).

State of Warriors

The ancient Greek names of boys indicate that their parents would like them to become owners of large livestock. Archippos means "having horses" and Archilaos means "slave owner". A rich harvest in life was promised to Athamus and Eustachis.

Male names give reason to believe that the Greeks often fought, and all the young men had to take part in the campaigns. Wanting to save the offspring from death, their mothers called them Amon ("hidden from danger"), Andreas ("good warrior"), Ambrosios ("immortal") and Azarias ("having help from God"). However,the boy could also be called the name Apollonios, which means "destroyer".

Ancient Greek names and their meanings

Ancient Greek male names symbolizing the forces of nature

This is the most ancient group, originating from the totemic society. Men were hunters, and therefore they needed accuracy, skill and strength in the fight against the beast. To provide their sons with these qualities necessary for life, the parents called them Zopyros ("flaming", "aspiring"), Gregorios ("cautious"), Achilleus ("painful"), Andronikos ("victor of people") and Jerazimos (" living to old age"). And in order for the son to return safely home alive and unharmed, he was called the name Nestor.

Ancient people inspired the forces of nature. Aeolus was patronized by the winds, Anatolaios by the east and dawn, Alcmene by the moon, Kyros by the sun, and Castor by the beaver. There are many names in which the word "lion" is present: Panteleon, Leonidas, and so on. Another totemic symbol was the horse: so Hippocrates means "power of the horse." Parents gave their sons under the patronage of the mountains (Origen), the ocean (Okinos) and even the night (Orpheus).

Gynoceum recluses

Ancient Greek society was deeply sexist. The supremacy of men was never questioned. Women were deprived of all political and civil rights and, having married, they moved from their father's house to their husband's house as the property of the latter. The whole life of the so-called "decent woman"took place in the gynaecium - the female half of the house. Only hetaeras appeared freely on the streets of cities.

Naturally, mothers wished their daughters happiness. The way they understood it: to marry an accommodating spouse, give birth to him more children and not die from childbirth. Therefore, the ancient Greek names for girls fully reflected the aspirations of their mothers. Amaranthos means "not disappearing", Altea - "quick healing", Ageip and Agapayos - "impossible to stop loving." And Zozima is just a "survivor". The Arcadians wanted to live among peaceful bucolics. Glyceria is the "sweetest" (of course, it meant joy for the husband). And Aspasia meant "greeting".

ancient greek names for women

Ancient Greek female names symbolizing the elements, flowers and animals

At the same time, parents devoted their newborn daughters to the forces of nature. Arethus - the water element, Anemone - the wind in general, and Zephyr - the western trade wind, Iris - the rainbow. The animals, after which the girls were named, are very graceful and beautiful. For example, Holcyon is a small kingfisher bird, Dorsia is a gazelle, and Dapna is a laurel. There are a lot of names that mean flowers (Anzeya, Anthus): purple (Iolanta), gold (Chryseida), dark (Melanta). But, of course, among the female sex, such a quality as beauty has always been valued. The name Aglaya corresponds to her.

Choose wisely

If you want to name your child by an ancient name, you need to think carefully and analyze the ancient Greek names and their meanings. After all, it may turn out that behind the beautiful name Apolloniahides the unseemly meaning of "destructive". But the word "kind" in the language of the ancient Hellenes does not sound very pleasant - Akakaios. You also need to remember that now Glaucus is not a name at all, but a position. The names of the ancient Greeks were sometimes very tricky - Agazangelos, for example. So don't break your tongue.

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