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The Ancient Greek Path of Arætí

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Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός, ΕΛΛΗΝΙΣΜΟΣ) is defined as the ancient Greek religion.
We use this term, but in reality, there was no word in antiquity for the Greek religion until well into the Christian era, and then this word...
... became a vehicle to distinguish the older, Hellenic, i.e. Greek polytheistic traditions, from the new monotheistic religion. 

The Greek-English Lexicon by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott defines Ællinismόs as: "imitation of the GreeksHellenism, use of a pure Greek style and idiom." [1] Therefore, in the broadest meaning of the term, and also its strictest meaning, Ællinismόs is defined as anything Greek, even such things as the Greek Orthodox church, Greek cuisine, or Greek music could be called Ællinismόs. 

Nonetheless, in the framework of philosophy and religion, particularly outside of Greece, Ællinismόs is the word that has come to refer to the worship of the traditional Gods of ancient Greece, most notably, the Twelve Olympian Gods. Ællinismόs includes the vast stream of philosophical inquiry and practice, the thread of understanding running from  
Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς), the natural philosophers, through Pythagóras (Gr. Πυθαγόρας)Sohkrátis (Socrates; Gr. Σωκράτης), and all the schools of thought that blossomed from these.


So where does the word Ællinismόs actually come from? There is a story which explains. According to the mythology, Promithéfs (Prometheus; Gr. Προμηθεύς), the Titan friend of mankind, had a son by the name of Defkalíohn (Deucalion; Gr. Δευκαλίων).  

"There is a land encircled by lofty mountains, rich in sheep and in pasture, where Prometheus, son of Iapetus, begat goodly Deucalion, who first founded cities and reared temples to the immortal Gods, and first ruled over men."  [2]

According to the mythology, Defkalíohn and his wife Pýrra were the only human beings to survive a great deluge produced by Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς). The God had made the decision to destroy the corrupt bronze race. [3] Because of their uprightness and piety, Defkalíohn and Pýrra were spared, but after the flood, they grew despondent and could not endure their loneliness. They prayed to Zefs that he either destroy them or give them the company of other people. In response, they received an oracle in which the God told them to toss the bones of their mother behind them as they walked. After some thought, they understood the oracle to mean that they should throw stones behind them, for stones are the bones of their mother, Earth, and when they did so, the stones (Gr. λᾶος) transformed into people, and from these people, the Earth was repopulated. [4] This is the mythology.

Defkalíohn and Pýrra also had a son by the name of Ǽllin (Hellen; Gr. Ἕλλην). [5] The word Ællinismόs is derived from his name. Ǽllin is a man's name not to be confused with the woman's name Ælǽni (Helen, as in Helen of Troy; Gr. Ἑλένη). The Greek people are said to be the descendants of Ǽllin, because each one of Ǽllin's sons founded one of the major peoples of Greece, peoples such as the Ionians, the Dorians, etc. [6] It is also from his name that we get the word Ǽllinæs (Hellene; Gr. Ἕλληνες), the people of Greek, or Hellenic, heritage, and this is why, when we speak of Ællinismόs, we speak of the Greek tradition, the Greek religion, the Greek philosophies and science.


The term 
 is also associated with the last pagan Roman emperor [7], Julian (approx. 331 CE to 363), who endeavored to rule as a philosopher-king and attempted to revive the worship of the Gods after Christianity had been established in the empire by his immediate predecessors. 
Julian used the word and it is often identified with him because of his noble effort. Many people believe that Julian actually coined the term 
, but the word can be found in literature at least as early as the second century BCE, therefore long pre-dating the emperor. [8] 
But the term is connected with Julian, an association that is made not only by scholars, but also by those who admire him in the contemporary community of those who worship the Gods.
It could be said that the use of the term 
as specifically designating the Greek religion and philosophies (rather than meaning everything Greek) may be a direct result of the way in which Julian used it.


Ællinismόs is both a religion and more than a religion. Ællinismόs is a way of life which utilizes genuine philosophy and which has as its outward expression, thriskeia (Gr. θρησκεία). Thriskeia is the organized worship and ritual of the ancient Hellenic polytheistic tradition, especially the outward expression of belief in the Thæí (Theoi = the Gods; Gr. Θεοί). Thriskeia is translated as "religion" in the English language. When the belief system of Ællinismόs is put into practice and organized into temples and ritual, the outward expression of this is called thriskeia. To say that Ællinismόs is merely thriskeia would be misleading being that Ællinismόs is not merely concerned with outward forms (which should be viewed as superficial), and Ællinismόs is not creedal but philosophical, in the highest sense of the term. In other words, Ællinismόs is based more on the manner in which we live our lives rather than organized outward forms and beliefs. Thriskeia or religion is an aspect of Ællinismόs  but is not inclusive of its entire meaning. Religion, with its forms and rituals, is only an outward form; if one's way of life does not reflect into the religion, such thriskeia is an empty shell. You can say this of any religion but it is particularly important to the creator of this website and his teachers in Greece. Ællinismόs is more than thriskeia because it can exist independent of the outward forms; Ællinismόs beats in our heart, our soul. And the Gods exist independent of thriskeia, independent of religion, independent of our worship of them. So we say that Ællinismόs is both a religion and more than a religion because beyond the forms of thriskeia, we put our philosophy into action.


Although the term refers to the Greek tradition, it must be understood that Ællinismόs is the core of the European tradition, having exerted great influence from ancient times to this very day. Consequently, those who wish to foster Ællinismόs in one's own life are encouraged to become cultured and engaged people. In particular, the study of history, from ancient times to the present, is a profitable tool in one's understanding of the action of the Gods in human history. If those who saw to your education left this area lacking, one must make an effort to educate one's self. The Muses are present in the great works of art, music, dance, theatre, and writing. The bountiful richness of these traditions is permeated with the presence of Gods, regardless of the personal beliefs of those who created them, for the Gods are not one's beliefs or practices; they transcend religion and philosophy.

"...culture, on the other hand, which is the substance of felicity and the source of good counsel, can be found useful not merely to a family or a city or a nation, but to the whole human race." [9]


Sociologists say that groups which do not have distinct boundaries do not survive. Indeed, they point out that without some homogeneity, there actually is no group. This understanding is at the heart of a controversy which erupts from time to time in the various groups which practice Ællinismόs, and it is an important consideration since this religion is being introduced into the United States, Canada, South America and elsewhere. As Ællinismόs is introduced or reestablished (such as in Europe), a unique opportunity presents itself only once: the ground or foundation for everything which follows is the issue. 

The exact meaning of the term Ællinismόs in its contemporary context and what it includes or excludes has become somewhat controversial. 
A major concern is the tendency amongst some groups to develop a type of exclusivistic orthodoxy and pigeon-holing, concepts which are alien to the true spirit of 
This orthodoxy is usually associated with groups which identify themselves as "reconstructionists," i.e., those who are attempting to recreate the ancient traditions as closely as possible. On the opposite end of the spectrum are practitioners of the religion who would seem to be importing foreign ideas into the religion, principally from Neo-pagan groups such as Wicca. The issue is important and delicate because, on the one hand, if there is not a clear boundary as to what the religion includes, then, as the sociologists say, there really is no group and survival is impossible. Yet on the other hand, there is a quality of toleration which is well known in our religion which must be preserved.

On this website, Ællinismόs is used as a more inclusive term, inclusive of Dodækatheists, those who worship the Twelve Olympian Gods, as well as those who only worship parts o
f the Hellenic pantheon. It is exclusive of groups such as Wicca, who may claim cultus to some of our pantheon. This author sees it as a matter of allegiance. In other words, those who claim allegiance to the Hellenic Gods rather than another pantheon are 
 even though they may not worship the entire pantheon, or though they practice syncretism, or those who incorporate parts of other philosophies with the Greek tradition, or whether they follow ancient practices or have created modern practices. But this definition is not so broad as to be meaningless. Although an individual may have a relationship with a Hellenic deity such as 
Ækáti (
Hekate; Gr. 
Ἑκάτη), if their allegiance is to Wicca and its practices or some other tradition, that would not be viewed as 
Ællinismόs, nor would such a practitioner want to be identified as such. The principle point is to avoid been mean-spirited and divisive while retaining meaning to the word, and to acknowledge the many philosophical viewpoints and practices that have blossomed under the umbrella of Ællinismόs.

Ideally, the entire pantheon of deities should be honored, particularly the Twelve Olympian Gods (
Dodækathæism) and ultimately, such worship is the expression of 
Ællinismόs in its fullness. There are many individuals who have a relationship with one or more deities and ignore the rest. Such an approach has limits and should eventually lead to a relationship with the entire pantheon. Nevertheless, when a person worships in typical Hellenic style, such as offering libation and reading of hymns, and claims allegiance to the Hellenic tradition, this author takes the position that such an individual belongs under the umbrella of Ællinismόs and should not be somehow excluded and be made to feel inadequate.

Then there are those who claim that if one's various practices are not executed in the precise manner that is found in ancient literature, that such people are not truly 
This would be like saying that all the congregations that developed after Martin Luther are not Christian.
It would be a terrible mistake, in this author's opinion, if we develop the type of orthodoxy that, for instance, the early Christian church developed, far before Luther, whereby different beliefs were eventually condemned as heretical, causing immense havoc, even to the extent of being an excuse for religious genocide. This type of argument can go on and on, even to ancient times, dividing various time-periods by which ones are "more Hellenic" or "less Hellenic." Such pigeon-holing and divisiveness is contrary to the spirit of Ællinismόs.

Mean-spirited pigeon-holing violates the spirit of 
(Xenia; Gr. 
, Hospitality, which is sacred and is protected by Zefs 
(Zeus Protector of Hospitality; Gr. 
Ζεύς Ξένιος). The epithet of Zefs, Xǽnios
, comes from the word 
xǽnos (Gr. ξένος), which means "stranger," so Zefs is the God who protects strangers. Therefore, even though the practices of others may make them seem as strangers to us, this does not exclude them from Ællinismόsespecially when an individual has loyalty to Ællinismόs; we should treat them with great hospitality, even though we do not agree with their beliefs.

Those individuals who are connected with this website belong to a tradition that is purely Hellenic, taught to us by Greeks. In general, we do not mix different practices and beliefs. Yet we do not sit and point fingers and say who is or who is not 
We simply practice our tradition and attempt to mind our own business....
and we try to be welcoming and friendly, to the best of our ability.
It seems to this author that this approach would be the most fruitful to all parties, cultivating growth between people and warmth of heart. We can each have our traditions and philosophies and hold strong to them, while respecting the perceptions and traditions of others.  

A great foundation stone of 
(Eleutheria; Gr. λευθερία): FreedomThere is a famous statement concerning the Gods: All the blessed Gods are free; they desire freedom for all beings; they never violate our freedom and they never impose their will. It is best that we try to imitate this quality of the Gods, as Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων) suggests: 

"Now God ought to be to us the measure of all things, and not man, as men commonly say: the words are far more true of Him.  And he who would be dear to God must, as far as is possible, be like Him and such as He is." [10] 

Coupled with Ælefthæría is the mighty Kartæría (Gr. Καρτερία), Tolerance, which is a great hallmark of the genuine Ællinismόs, a quality which enthrones our religion in a haloed grove of which few others dwell. The Hellenic tolerance is a majestic beacon of sanity which has illuminated the world since time immemorial; may no man violate the precious jewel of our ancient traditions with petty and discriminating divisiveness.

"Yet he was jealous, though he did not show it,
For jealousy dislikes the world to know it."  [11]



The Outward Form consists of the rituals and superficial interpretation of myth, which is, simply, the adoption of common Hellenic beliefs concerning the Gods and doing rituals and making offerings in traditional ways. This is what is called thriskeia (Gr. θρησκεία) as outlined above, the religion, the external expression of Ællinismόs. It entails a type of knowledge: knowledge concerning Gods and their worship, whether that knowledge be rudimentary or extensive.  

The inferiority of mere external expression can be demonstrated in the story told by Aelian [12] of three friends who went to Dælphí (Delphi; Gr. Δελφοί) to consult the Oracle. While journeying to the sanctuary, they were overtaken by thieves. One of the friends fled; the other, while attempting to defend his companion, accidentally killed him. The one who fled, although ritually pure, was turned away from the sanctuary, while the friend who accidentally killed his companion was praised as being blessed for his noble effort to save his friend. Therefore, it can be seen that thriskeia is only valuable to the depth of wisdom and sincerity of the participants, and their purity of soul, a rather obvious statement that was true in ancient times as it is today. By pure logic, one can deduce that outward forms, while certainly not bad, are superficial. This outward form may also be practiced in the other two forms of Ællinismόs.

The Inner 
Ællinismόs is defined as the noble path that promotes the development of personal excellence known as Arætí (arete; Gr. 
ἀρετή), as well as the development of wisdom, and communication with deity. Although there are other definitions for the word, by Arætí we mean genuine virtue. This Arætí is not "merit;" it is the achievement of progress that surpasses the narrow confines of egoistic maneuvering.  It is a way of life, the genuine philosophy, working with the natural world by means of Natural Laws, and through the worship of the pantheon of Gods of ancient Greece, in particular, the Twelve  Olympians. Those who are involved with this inner, deeper Ællinismόs foster what is called Efsǽveia (eusebia; Gr. εὐσέβεια), a type of piety, a reverence towards Gods, parents, and the world. Therefore, the Inner Hellenismos is Efsǽveia by which one develops transcendent Arætí through committed noble action and the worship of the Gods. This definition of Ællinismόs, the Inner Hellenismos based on Arætí, is the deeper meaning of the word; it is the pure Ællinismόs. It is the pure Ællinismόs because it has a heart that beats and lives. The religion or thriskeia of Ællinismόs (the Outward Form) can exist without Arætíconsequently it is inferior because without Arætí and Efsǽveia it is an empty shell. The Inner Ællinismόs, the heart, involves putting philosophy into action; it has meat; it has meaning; it is significant.

Finally we come to the third category: the Vast Ællinismόs, an idea which is easily misunderstood.  In this meaning of the term, the manner in which someone conducts his or her life is the only critical factor, ritual observances and precise beliefs being superfluous. This is the path of genuine philosophy. This third category is the Inner Ællinismόs, as described above, but with no bounds whatsoever. We talk of the Hellenic soul, the soul of someone who is on a committed journey leading to great Arætí, great excellence, great virtue, and who works great good in the world. From this perspective, any person, regardless of what their personal religion or philosophy is, may be a true Hellenic soul, and the greatest of all these souls may not even be practicing the outward forms of Ællinismόs or any religion at all. This is the vast Ællinismόs that destroys the artificial boundaries of categorization. The Gods do not actually care what you believe, only insomuch as these beliefs either further or hinder the progress of your soul and the souls of others whom you affect. Beliefs (pístis; Gr. πίστις; English: belief, faith), in general, are human constructs on the path to knowledge. You see, if Ællinismόs is only concerned with truth (and Arætí), and if the understanding of truth is evolutionary, then Ællinismόs is free of doctrine, and is, ultimately, only concerned with Progress. As Plátohn implores in the Myth of Er, giving instruction to the wise on how to choose a life:


Let each one of us leave every other kind of knowledge and seek and follow one thing only, if peradventure he may be able to learn and find some one who will make him able to learn and discern between good and evil, and so to choose always and everywhere the better life as he has opportunity." [13]

So does this mean that Ællinismόs is eclectic? That it can be almost anything? No, Ællinismόs is the worship of the ancient Greek Gods, the Olympians, and all the rest. Period. But when we talk of the Vast Ællinismόs, we are acknowledging that ultimately only truth, only reality matters, and that there are great souls beyond our tradition, who live in truth and reality so broadly as to be the embodiment of the heart of Ællinismόs. To say this another way: Ællinismόs is not exclusivistic. We, as practitioners of our religion, believe that our practices are the most efficacious method for ourselves to bring progress to fruition. Nonetheless, it is important to understand that the deepest, genuine path of Ællinismόs is concerned only with Arætí of the progress of the soul and stands in contrast to the superficial path of outward ritual as a goal and the divisive and petty pursuit of exclusivistic categorization.


The genuine 
is concerned with the development of 
Arætí, as outlined above
This Arætí is not merely a personal development, but such progress has a pragmatic purpose for the world. Ællinismόs is the way of life that makes a difference, the way of life that effects change for the better of society. The development of Arætí is what is required for society to produce people with strength of character, people who have the ability to prioritize their endeavors to further good government and create beneficial social institutions, and, in times of great need, to make enormous heroic sacrifice to effect progress in the world.

How do we practice Ællinismόs?  Please visit this page: Living the Hellenic Tradition.

FAQ concerning the path of Hellenismos:  


[1] Greek-English Lexicon (L&S) by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott, 1843. We are using the 1996 Clarendon Press edition, where this quotation may be found on p. 536, right column, within the entries beginning with Ἕλλην, edited for simplicity.

[2] Apollóhnios Rhódios (Apollonius Rhodius; Gr. Ἀπολλώνιος ῬόδιοςArgonaftiká (Argonautica; Gr. ἈργοναυτικάBook III, 1085-1089, trans. R. C. Seaton, 1912; found here in the 2003 edition, published by Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA and London England), Loeb LCL 1, p. 269.

[3] Apollodóhros o Athinaios (Apollodorus of Athens; Gr. Ἀπολλόδωρος ὁ Ἀθηναῖος) Library Book I.VII.2:

"And Prometheus had a son Deucalion.  He reigning in the regions about Phthia, married Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora, the first woman fashioned by the Gods.  And when Zeus would destroy the men of the Bronze Age, Deucalion by the advice of Prometheus constructed a chest, and having stored i with provisions he embarked in it with Pyrrha.  But Zeus by pouring heavy rain from heaven flooded the greater part of Greece, so that all men were destroyed, except a few who fled to the high mountains in the neighbourhood.  It was then that the mountains in Thessaly parted, and that all the world outside the Isthmus and Peloponnese was overwhelmed.  But Deucalion, floating in the chest over the sea for nine days and as many nights, drifted to Parnassus, and there, when the rain ceased, he landed and sacrificed to Zeus, the God of Escape.  And Zeus sent Hermes to him and allowed him to choose what he would, and he chose to get men.  And at the bidding of Zeus he took up stones and threw them over his head, and the stones which Deucalion threw became men, and the stones which Pyrrha threw became women.  Hence people were called metaphorically people (laos; ed. Gr. λαοί) from laas (ed. Gr. λᾶας), 'a stone.' "

(Apollodorus The Library Vol. I, trans. J. G. Frazer, 1921; found here in the 1990 edition published by Harvard Univ. Press [Cambridge MA USA and London England], on pp. 53-55.)

[4] Hyginus Fabulae 153:

"When the cataclysmus occurred, which we would call 'a deluge' or 'a flood,' the entire human race perished except for Deucalion and Pyrrha, who took refuge on Mount Aetna, which is said to be the highest mountain on Sicily.  When they could no longer bear to live because of loneliness, they asked Jupiter (ed. Zefs, Zeus) either to give them some more people or to kill them off with a similar catastrophe.  Then Jupiter ordered them to toss stones behind them.  Jupiter ordered the stones Deucalion threw to become men and those Pyrrha threw to become women.  From this comes the word laos {Greek 'people'}, since the Greek word for 'stone' is laas."  
(Hyginus Fabulae 153. Deucalion And Pyrrha, trans. R. Scott Smith and Stephen M. Trzaskoma in Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae, Hackett Publishing Co. [Indianapolis, IN USA and Cambridge, MA USA], p. 150.)

[5] "That Deucalion was the son of Prometheus and Pronoea, Hesiod states in the first Catalogue, as also that Hellen was the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha." 
(Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius Arg. iii. 1086, Hesiod: Catalogues of Women and Eoiae 1.; trans. by Hugh G. Evelyn-White in Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica, 1914; found here in the 1936 edition, Harvard (Cambridge, MA)-Heinemann (London, England), pp. 154-155.)

[6]  Apollodóhros o Athinaios Library Book I.VII.2-3:

"And Deucalion had children by Pyrrha, first Hellen, whose father some say was Zeus, and second Amphictyon, who reigned over Attica after Cranaus; and third a daughter Protogenia, who became the mother of Aethlius by Zeus.  Hellen had Dorus, Xuthus, and Aeolus by a nymph Orseis.  Those who were called Greeks he named Hellenes after himself, and divided the country among his sons.  Xuthus received Peloponnese and begat Achaeus and Ion by Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus, and from Achaeus and Ion the Achaeans and Ionians derive their names.  Dorus received the country over against Peloponnese and called the settlers Dorians after himself.  Aeolus reigned over the regions about Thessaly and named the inhabitants Aeolians."
(Apollodorus The Library Vol. I, J. G. Frazer, pp. 55-57.)  According to the Parian Chronicle (as said in Frazer p. 57 of Vol. I, in note 3), "the change of the national name from Greeks (Graikoi) to Hellenes took place in 1521 B.C."

Also, Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος): Catalogues of Women and Eoiae 3-5, Evelyn-White p. 157.

Lexicon entry:

Ἕλλην, ηνος, , Hellen, son of Deucalion, Hes.Fr.7.1. II. Ἕλληνες, οἱ, the Thessalian tribe of which Hellen was the reputed chief, Il.2.684. 2. of all Greeks. 3. Gentiles, whether heathens or Christians, opp. Jews. 4. non-Egyptian (incl. Persians, etc.). 5. pagan. III. as Adj.,= Ἑλληνικός. IV. those who spoke or wrote Hellenistic Greek, opp. Ἀττικοί.
(L&S p. 536, left column, edited for simplicity.)

[7] Julian may not have been the last pagan emperor of the (Western) Roman empire; it is quite possible that Anthemius (Procopius Anthemius Augustus), emperor from 467-472 CE, holds this honor.  Anthemius studied at the Neoplatonic school of Proklos and was in the company, thereby, of many prominent pagans:  

"Of the others who attended Proclus' school we might note the following men of distinction: Rufinus, described as a
high-ranking Athenian official (Marinus, Vit. Procl. 23); Severianus, who, seeking a political career, became a provincial
governor, but showed excessive judicial severity and inflexibility as regards his superiors, turning to teaching and
refusing the emperor Zeno's offer of an important post; Pamprepius, who went to Constantinople in 476, impressed
Zeno's magister officiorum Illus with a lecture on the soul, became a prominent pagan leader in Illus' revolt, and was
executed for treason in 484; Marcellinus, who became magister militum, patrician, and ruler of Dalmatia; Anthemius, consul in 455 and emperor in the West (467–72); 70 Flavius Illustrius Pusaeus, praetorian prefect of the East (465) and consul (467); Flavius Messius Phoebus Severus, consul in 470, prefect of Rome and patrician."  
Source: Platonopolis by Dominic J. O'Meara, 2003, Clarendon Press/Oxford, p. 21.

"Some scholars even believe that the emperor Anthemius was planning a 'final' pagan revival in the West as late as the 470s, on the strength of a statement by the neoplatonist Damascius that he was hellenophorōn."  
Source: The Last Pagans of Rome by Alan Cameron, 2011, Oxford Univ. Press, p.192.

Nonetheless, Anthemius does not appear to have played a public role in promoting the older religion, where Julian obviously did.

[8] The word can be found: Diog.Bab.Stoic 3:214. (Diogenes of Babylon) This is a Liddell & Scott abbreviation for: Stoicus [Diog.Bab.Stoic.ii B.C. Ed. H. von Arnim, SVF iii p. 210.

[9] Ploutarkhos (Plutarch; Gr. Πλούταρχος) Ithiká (Moralia or Morals; Gr. Ἠθικά) Pærí Mousikís
 (On Music; Gr. Περί Μουσικής) Section 1, trans. Benedict Einarson and Phillip H. De Lacy, 1967. As found in the volume entitled Plutarch's Moralia XIV, LCL 428, Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge, MA USA) and William Heinemann (London, England UK), where this quotation may be found on p. 353.

[10] Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων)
Nómi (
Laws; Gr. 
 IV, 716, translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1892; found in The Dialogues of Plato Vol.II, Random House edition, 1937, on p. 488.

[11] Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto the First, LXV.

[12] Claudius Aelianus Varia Historia (also known as Historical Miscellany) Book 3, Chapter 44.

Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων) Politeia (The Republic; Gr. Πολιτεία), 617, translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1892, volume 1 of the 1937 Random House edition of The Dialogues of Plato, p. 875)

"...it is an age since I had a look at Attica. I have hardly been there since philosophy and argument came into fashion; indeed, with their shouting-matches going on, prayers are quite inaudible. One must sit with one's ears plugged, if one does not want the drums of them cracked; such long vociferous rigmaroles about Incorporeal Things, or something they call Virtue!"  Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) to Ærmís (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς) in Timon the Misanthrope by Loukianós o Samosatéfs (Lucian of Samosata; Gr. Λουκιανὸς ὁ Σαμοσατεύς), translated by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 1905.

"...Virtue is manifested, of course, in action, in doing what is just and wise and manly; but you--and when I say you, I mean the most advanced philosophers--you do not seek these things and ensue them, but spend the greater part of your life conning over miserable sentences and demonstrations and problems"  Loukianós to Ærmótimos (Hermotimos; Gr. Ερμότιμος, a philosopher 6th century BCE) in Ærmótimos or The Rival Philosophies by Loukianós o Samosatéfs (Lucian of Samosata; Gr. Λουκιανὸς ὁ Σαμοσατεύς), translated by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 1905


    There is a common-place book argument,
      Which glibly glides from every tongue;
    When any dare a new light to present,
      "If you are right, then everybody's wrong"!
    Suppose the converse of this precedent
      So often urged, so loudly and so long;
    "If you are wrong, then everybody's right"!
    Was ever everybody yet so quite?


    Therefore I would solicit free discussion
      Upon all points--no matter what, or whose--
    Because as Ages upon Ages push on,
      The last is apt the former to accuse
    Of pillowing its head on a pin-cushion,
      Heedless of pricks because it was obtuse:
    What was a paradox becomes a truth or
    A something like it --- witness Luther!


    The Sacraments have been reduced to two,
      And Witches unto none, though somewhat late
    Since burning aged women (save a few ---
      Not witches only b--ches--who create
    Mischief in families, as some know or knew,
      Should still be singed, but lightly, let me state,)
    Has been declared an act of inurbanity,
    Malgré Sir Matthew Hales's great humanity.


    Great Galileo was debarred the Sun,
      Because he fixed it; and, to stop his talking,
    How Earth could round the solar orbit run,
      Found his own legs embargoed from mere walking:
    The man was well-nigh dead, ere men begun
      To think his skull had not some need of caulking;
    But now, it seems, he's right--his notion just:
    No doubt a consolation to his dust.


    Pythagoras, Locke, Socrates --- but pages
      Might be filled up, as vainly as before,
    With the sad usage of all sorts of sages,
      Who in his life-time, each, was deemed a Bore!
    The loftiest minds outrun their tardy ages:
      This they must bear with and, perhaps, much more;
    The wise man's sure when he no more can share it, he
    Will have a firm Post Obit on posterity.


    If such doom waits each intellectual Giant,
      We little people in our lesser way,
    In Life's small rubs should surely be more pliant,
      And so for one will I --- as well I may --- 
    Would that I were less bilious --- but, oh, fie on 't!
        Just as I make my mind up every day,
    To be a "totus, teres," Stoic, Sage,
    The wind shifts and I fly into a rage.

(Lord Byron Don Juan Canto the Seventeenth, V-X)

The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The 
Pætilía (Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kosmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς).

PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this HellenicGods.org, you will find fascinating stories. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally; a literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is often concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.

We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology 
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING:  HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself.  An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website.  For more information, visit these three pages: 

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