PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this Glossary, 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.
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ABBREVIATIONS: A list of abbreviations used in the glossary can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME PAGE
Κ, κ, ϰ (KAPA) - The Greek letter KAPA is pronounced like the k in Kentucky or kiss. The convention on this website is to use the English letter k to represent KAPA in transliterated Greek words and not to use the English letter c.
Kabakes, Demetrius Raul - See Kavakes, Demetrios Raoul.
kærnos or kernos - Visit this page: KÆRNOS-ΚΈΡΝΟΣ.
kakia - (Gr. κακία, ΚΑΚΊΑ) Kakia is vice, moral badness. Kakia can be contrasted with arete, virtue.
kakon - (Gr. κακόν, ΚΑΚΌΝ) Kakon means evil. To define evil is a rather huge subject. This author is inclined to view evil as not so much "something" as the absence of something. Thus, kakon could be defined as mean-spirited action based on gross ignorance. This definition would follow the Socratic logic that no-one does wrong intentionally
Kallimachus (Callimachus) - (Greek: Καλλίμαχος) born and raised in Cyrene, Libya, a Greek colony, approx. 310 BCE, died 240 BCE. His mother's name was Mesatme and his father was Battus (a descendant of Battus I, the first King of Kyrene, from the noble family of the Battiadae).
Kallimachus, after having been educated at Athens, became a poet and scholar at the great Library of Alexandria under the patronage of Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Ptolemy III Euergetes, and the chief representative of the Alexandrian school. He assumed the post of curator of the library approx. 260 BCE and held the position until his death.
Kallimachus is well known for six beautiful and somewhat lengthy hymns: 1. To Zeus, 2. To Apollon, 3. to Artemis, 4. to Delos, 5. On the Bath of Pallas, and 6. to Demeter. These poems are dense with poetic imagery, requiring much knowledge of mythology and history for a complete understanding of their meaning. Also extent are sixty-four brief epigrams and fragments of other works. Kallimachus is known to have avoided epic-length poetry in favor of a learned, compressed, and shorter style of writing.
Among the pupils of Kallimachus was Apollonius of Rhodes, the author of of Argonautica, with whom he quarreled. Apollonius was in favor of the older Homeric style of epic poem which Kallimachus did not think able to be equaled or surpassed. The dispute became bitter and Apollonius withdrew from Alexandria to Rhodes.
Kallicarpos - son of Aristaios and Autonoë (the daughter of Kadmos)
Kalokagathia - (Ancient Greek: καλοκαγαθία; etymology: καλός [kalos] beautiful + και [kai] and + ἀγαθός [agathos] good ). Kalokagathia is sometimes written as two words, kalos kagathos (καλὸς κἀγαθός) or three words, kalos kai agathos (καλὸς και ἀγαθός). 1. Kalokagathia is the feminine personification of nobility and goodness. 2. Kalokagathia is an ideal, the harmonious joining of outward beauty with inward development, beauty of body and soul. 3. Kalokagathia is a word used to describe the attributes of a God, frequently Dionysos. 4. The term can also refer to a Platonic teaching regarding the synchronization of the body and mind in an ethical unity. 5. Aristotle says in Eudemian Ethics, 1249A18: "Kalokagathia is perfect arete (ed. virtue)."
Lexicon entry: κᾰλοκἀγᾰθ-ία, ἡ, the character and conduct of a καλὸς κἀγαθός (v. καλοκἀγαθός), nobleness, goodness. (L&S p. 869, right column, within the definitions of κᾰλοκἀγᾰθ-έω). (ed. a κἀγαθός is a basket carried procession in honor of Demetra [L&S p.865, left column] + καλὸς, beautiful, so a beautiful basket in honor of the great Goddess Demetra) (ed. καλοκἀγαθός is an adject. form, a perfect gentleman; but later in a moral sense, a perfect character. [:&S p.869, right column, within the definitions of κᾰλοκἀγᾰθ-έω] ).kalos - (Greek: κάλος, ΚΆΛΟΣ) beautiful, good.
- καλός, — beautiful, of outward form. 2. in Att. added to a name in token of love or admiration. 3. τὸ καλόν beauty. 2. of sacrifices, auspicious. III. in a moral sense, beautiful, noble, honourable. 2. τὸ κ. moral beauty, virtue, honour. (L&S p.870, left column)
kantharos - see cantharos
kara - (Gr. κάρα, ΚΆΡΑ) a tame goat. (Cret.), Hsch.; also, fig, Id. καραβαία· δίκρουν ξύλον, Id. (L&S p. 877, left column)
kardia - See karthia.
Karkinos - (Gr. Καρκίνος, ΚΑΡΚΙΝΟΣ) Karkinos is the tenth month of the Mystery year beginning June 21. Karkinos is the Greek equivalent of the zodiacal month of Cancer. Karkinos is ruled by Mighty Ærmis (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς, ἙΡΜΗΣ). It is a month of Great Energizing (Æntoni ænærgitikotita - Gr. Εντονη ἐνεργητικὀτητα).
Karkinos is defined by Liddell & Scott: --crab. I. Cancer, as a sign in the Zodiac. III. 6. (Cf. Lat. cancer, Skt. karkatas 'crab'). (L&S p.878, right column)
Visit this page: Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar.
Karnian or Karneian Festival, the Karnia or Karneia - Visit this page: ΚΑΡΝΙΑ - ΚΆΡΝΕΙΑ.
Karniasion - (Karneiasion, Gr. Καρνειάσιον, ΚΑΡΝΕΙΆΣΙΟΝ) grove sacred to Apollo Karnios, IG 5(1).1390.54, al. (Andania, i B. C.): written Καρνάσιον in Paus.4.33.5, al. (L&S p.878, right column)Karnios, Carneus, Carneius, Karneos, or Karneios - (Gr. Κάρνειος, ΚΆΡΝΕΙΟΣ) a name of Apollo in many Dorian states such as Sparta, Thera, Cyrene; so-named either from Karneos, a Trojan, or from Karnos, an Acarnanian, who was instructed by Apollon in the art of divination, but was afterwards murdered by the Dorians (this explanation not accepted by this website. See KARNIA - ΚΆΡΝΕΙΑ.) (CM* pp.20-21)
Karnæonikis - (Gr. Καρνεονίκης, ΚΑΡΝΕΟΝΊΚΗΣ) victor in the Karnian games, IG 5(1).82, 209 (Sparta): in pl., Κ., οἱ, title of work by Hellanicus. (L&S p.879, left column)
Karnus - Karnus was a son of Zeus and Europa. He was raised by Leto and was an Acarnanian seer who taught Apollo the art of divination.
karthia or kardia - (Gr. καρδία, ΚΑΡΔΊΑ) Karthia is a Greek word meaning the heart.
Lexicon entry: καρδί-α.—heart, esp. as the seat of feeling and passion, as rage or anger, of sorrow or joy. 2. inclination, desire, purpose. 3. mind. II. cardiac orifice of the stomach. III. heart in wood, pith. IV. metaph. depths of the sea. 4. name of the star Regulus. (edited for clarity; L&S p.877, right column)
kathairein, kathairo - purify (L&S p.849)
Purification rites involve literal cleanliness, such as the use of khernips. (see khernips) "...if man is distinguished from other animals by anything, he is distinguished by this (ed. purity or cleanliness)...For since the Gods by their nature are pure and free from corruption, so far as men approach them by reason, so far do they cling to purity and to a habit of purity. But since it is impossible that man's nature can be altogether pure being composed of such materials, reason is applied, as far as it is possible, and reason endeavors to make human nature love purity." (The Discourses by Epictetus, About Purity; translated by George Long, 1877; found in a more recent edition, with no dates given, by Peter Pauper Press, pp.137-8)
The true purification is of the soul and any purification rite that leaves stain on the participant has not purified. For example, "...the Pythian God (ed. Apollo), who ejected from the temple him who did not assist his friend, when he was being murdered." ... in which case, any ritual bathing etc. was insufficient to purify the man. (quote from The Discourses of Epictetus, Encheiridion (Manual) XXXII, George Long - see above - p. 21)
"The first then and highest purity is that which is in the soul; and we say the same of impurity." (The Discourses by Epictetus, About Purity, George Long - see above - p.136)
katharevousa - the form of modern Greek language that conforms to Classical Greek usage
kathikon, or kathekon - (Gr. καθῆκον; plural: καθήκοντα, kathikonta) This term is associated with the ethics of Stoicism. From this view, man should live in accordance with ones nature. Kathikonta are the appropriate or fitting actions and duties of our lives, in accordance with our nature, such as being kind to one's parents, etc. When appropriate action is combined with genuine virtue and logic, such actions are viewed as perfect actions (singular: katorthoma, κατόρθωμα; plural: katorthomata, κατορθώματα), the action of a wise man. Thus, katorthomata, perfect actions, are the kathikonta, appropriate actions, in accordance with his nature, of the wise man. Rote performance of duty is the kathikon, appropriate action, of the ordinary human being, appropriate for his nature.
katorthomata - (singular: katorthoma, κατόρθωμα; plural: katorthomata, κατορθώματα) Katorthomata are the perfections, or perfect actions, actions which include virtues such as justice and wisdom. This term is associated with the ethics of Stoicism. See kathikon.
Kavakes (Kabakes), Demetrios Raoul - (1397-1487? CE) Demetrios Raoul Kavakes was an aristocrat from the Peloponnese. He was of Norman descent, his family residing at Monemvasia an later at Mistra. Kavakes greatly admired the works of Gæorgios Gæmistos Plithon (of whom he possibly was a pupil), remnants of which he salvaged in the last years of his life after escaping from the Turks to Italy. It is known that Kavakes was pagan and familiar with the writings of Flavius Claudius Julianus (Julian the Apostate), the neoplatonist emperor of the Roman Empire from 361-363 CE. (Source: George Gemistos Plethon: The Last of the Hellenes by C.M. Woodhouse, 1986, Clarendon Press, Oxford, p. 34.)
Keltini - a daughter of a king of Great Britain, a nymph who bore a son to Herakles named Keltos. Keltos went on to be the father of the Celts. Please visit this page: KELTS - ΚΕΛΤΟΊ
Keltos - (Latin: Celtus) - (Greek: Κέλτος) Keltos was the son of Herakles and the nymph Keltini. He is known as the father of the Celts. Please visit this page: KELTS - ΚΕΛΤΟΊ
Kelts, the (Celts) - (Keltoi, Gr. Κελτοί, ΚΕΛΤΟΊ) There are connections between Keltish religion and Hellenismos. Please visit this page: KELTS - ΚΕΛΤΟΊ
kentauros - Greek word for centaur
Ker - violent death
Keres or Kires - (Gr. Κήρες, ΚΉΡΕΣ) According to Hesiod (Theogonia 211ff), the Keres are the daughters of Nyx. They are usually seen as daimons seeking violent death, such as in accidents or battle or even disease. More to the point, Keres are the souls who seek Justice for great wrongs that have been committed; they are agents of a rightful vengeance.
kernos - Visit this page: KÆRNOS-ΚΈΡΝΟΣ.
Kerykeion - See Kirykeion
Kerykes - one of two families of priests who resided over the Eleusinian Mysteries. The other family was the Eumolpidae.
Χ, χ (CHI) - The Greek letter CHI (pronounced khree) sounds like a more guttural k as the Ch in Christus, from the upper part of the mouth. There is no exact equivalent for CHI in the English language. We are representing CHI as kh in the transliteration of Greek words. See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.
khærnivion or khernibeion - (Gr. χερνῐβεῖον) A kærnivion is a vessel of water to wash hands before ritual (L&S p.1988, column 2).
khærnips, khernips, or chernips - (Gr. χέρνιψ, ΧΈΡΝΙΨ) Khærnips is pure water from which to wash ones hands before ritual, traditionally spring water or ocean water. Ocean water contains salt which symbolizes the Fire-Aither. In practice, use the purest water you can obtain (bottled spring water is appropriate or even tap water if that is the best you can afford); you may, if you so desire, add a pinch of sea-salt. Take fire from the Hestia Lamp and extinguish it into the water.
The etymology: nipto (Gr. νίπτω), nivo (nibo; Gr. νίβω), or nisdo (Gr. νιζω) meaning "I wash" + khir (kheir; Gr. χεἰρ) "the hand."
Lexicon: χἐρνιψ, --water for washing the hands, esp. of holy water used before sacrifices. (L&S p.1988, column 2).
In antiquity, khærnips was placed in a vessel near the altar called a kærnivion (khernibeion; Gr. χερνῐβεῖον). A vessel called a loutirion (Gr. λουτήριον, ΛΟΥΤΉΡΙΟΝ = λουτήρ; Latin: luter) was used as a kærnivion. Sometimes khærnips was sprinkled with a wisp which was called a pærirrantirion (perirranterion; term, apparently, for both the basin and the wisp; Gr. περιρραντήριον, ΠΕΡΙΡΡΑΝΤΉΡΙΟΝ).
Using khærnips is a purification rite, symbolic of Aither or Hydor washing away miasma, impurity. The washing ritual is a beautiful formality but if it is not accompanied by a change in attitude, then it is useless; the use of khærnips is symbolic of a change of mind, as expounded in the oft-quoted phrase engraved over the entrance to the sanctuary of Asklipios (Asklepios; Gr. Ἀσκληπιός, ἈΣΚΛΗΠΙΌΣ) at Æpithavros (Epidaurus; Gr. Επίδαυρος):
Into an odorous temple, he who goesShould pure and holy be; but to be wiseIn what to sanctity pertains, is to be pure.(quoted by Porphyry in On Abstinence, Book II, Section 19, trans.Thomas Taylor, 1823)
At the very least, we try even if we cannot quite accomplish this change; we attempt to guide our intention. "For the impure are not permitted to approach the pure." (Socrates speaking in Phaedo 67; translated by Benjamin Jowett 1892; found in the 1937 Random House edition of The Dialogues of Plato, Vol. I; on p.450)
See also khærnivion, loutirion, pærirrantirion, salt-water.
khaire (chaire) - Greek salutation meaning: "be happy" or "greetings." This word is in common usage in the contemporary Hellenic community, both in Greece and elsewhere. It is pronounced hah' - rae, with the kh almost like an h but more guttural, from the roof of the mouth. Khaire is a more ancient word than yasou, another salutation used frequently.
Khalkefsa or Chalkeus - (Gr. Χαλκεὺςα, ΧΑΛΚΕΥΣΑ) Khalkefsa is a smith who works in copper (or iron). Khalkefsa is the epithet of Iphaistos (Hephaistos; Gr. ), the God of Forms.
Kharis - 1) one of the three Graces, also known as Algaea, 2) the worship of the Gods, 3) reciprocal giving, 4) giving with delight.
Kharon (Charon) - the ferryman who receives the souls of the dead from Hermes Psychopompos.
Kheiron - See Khiron.
khernibeion - See khærnivion.
khernips - See khærnips.Zefs [Zeus] ), who had taken the form of a horse and consorted with the nymph Philyra (Gr. Φιλύρα, ΦΙΛΎΡΑ). He was the eldest of the half-man, half-horse Centaurs, and unlike his kinsmen, he was immortal, having come from a different lineage than they.
Also unlike his Centaur relatives, who were not known for good manners, Khiron was sophisticated and wise. He lived on Mount Pelion where he was famous as a superlative teacher. Many of the greatest heroes of antiquity were placed in his care. Khiron was the mentor of Achilles, Aristaios, Asklipios, Iason (Jason; Gr. Ἰάσων, ἸΆΣΩΝ), Iraklis (Herakles; Ἡρακλῆς, ΉΡΑΚΛΗΣ), Pilefs (Peleus; Gr. Πηλεύς, ΠΗΛΕΎΣ), and others. Khiron relinquished his immortality when he was accidentally struck by an arrow of Herakles. This arrow had been dipped into the blood of the Ithra (Hydra; Gr. Ὕδρα, ὝΔΡΑ) and produced an incurable and painful wound. Khiron lives on as the constellation of Sagittarius.
Khitohn - (Chiton; Gr. Χιτών, ΧΙΤΏΝ) There are two meanings to the word khitohn, one mundane and the other mystical. In ordinary usage, a khitohn is a type of garment worn next to the skin, a tunic. In the Mystiria (Mysteries; Gr. Μυστήρια), the Khitohns are the Seven Tunics of the Soul, the adornments or decorations of the Soul.
"...the body is a garment with which the soul is invested, a thing wonderful to the sight, whether this refers to the composition of the soul, or contributes to the colligation (ed. a binding together) of the soul [to the whole of a visible essence]. Thus, also, Proserpine (ed. Pærsæphoni), who is the inspective guardian of everything produced from seed, is represented by Orpheus (ed. Orphefs) as weaving a web; and the heavens are called by the ancients a veil, in consequence of being, as it were, the vestment of the celestial Gods." (Porphyrios On the Cave of the Nymphs 6, translated by Thomas Taylor in Select Works of Porphyry, Thomas Rodd, London England, 1823, pp. 180-181)
khoe (choe, choai) - (Gr. χοή, χοἁς, χοαί) a drinking jug from which libations to chthonic deities, or the dead, are made. Khoe is also a verb meaning the act of making such libations. "The choe involves the complete tipping and emptying of a larger vessel which may be held or may stand on the ground." (Walter Burkert, Greek Religion, p. 70). Compare to the entry "libation." This can be compared to the sponde where the libation is made in a controlled fashion, slowly pouring to the ground from a bowl or jug.
"Choai were usually poured at the grave, either on to the steps supporting the stêlê or possibly over the shaft. The liquid could be in either mixed or unmixed form, but whichever the case the ingredients were always the same: honey, milk, water, wine and oil. ........ Before pouring out the choai, the celebrant commended both himself and his gift to the dead, thereby issuing the latter with an invitation to attend the rite being enacted in his honour. Assistance was sought in contacting the ghost of the deceased through the mediation of Hermes, Gaia and the other Gods and Daimones. There followed a prayer to the dead which took the form of a general request that they be kindly disposed (preumeneis) towards their family and dispatch bounty (esthla or agatha) to the world above in requital for the offering being made." (The Greek Way of Death by Robert Garland, 1985, p. 115)
See also libation.
khoephoros - (Gr. χοηφόρος, ΧΟΗΦΌΡΟΣ) Khoephoros is offering khoe to the dead.Lexicon entry: χοηφόρος, ον, offering χοαί to the dead; Χοηφόροι, a Tragedy by A(eschylus, ed.), in which the Chorus pours χοαί to the shade (ed. ghost) of Agamemnon (ed. the second play of the trilogy Oresteia). (L&S p.1996, left column)
Khrysopteron - epithet of Iris meaning 'golden-winged'. Etymology: khrysos - 'golden', and pteron - 'winged'.
khthonios - (chthonios, khthonic, chthonic; Gr. χθόνιος, ΧΘΌΝΙΟΣ) Khthonios refers to the surface of the earth, terrestrial, not below the soil but of the surface and the superficial layer of soil. Khthonios is often confused with ypokhthonios (Gr. ὑποχθόνιος), which refers to that which is under the earth (See ypokhthonios).
A better translation of the word would be"earthy" or terrestrial, the word used by Thomas Taylor, for instance, in the title for the Orphic hymn to Ærmis Khthonios which Taylor calls Terrestrial Hermes. In some contexts the word can mean beneath the earth, but in the context of Gods, khthonic deities are deities of the earth, not below it.
Liddell & Scott gives various meanings:Lexicon entry: χθόνιος, α, ον, also ος, ον in, under, or beneath the earth; χθόνιος θεοί Gods of the nether world. II.sprung from the earth; χθονίως in an earthly manner. 2. in or of the country; native. III. of things, of the earth. (L&S p.1991, left column)
Kifissos (Cephisos - English) - a special river in Athens connected with the Eleusinian Mysteries, of particular importance being the bridge of Kifissos.
killing in Hellenic mythology - Hellenic mythology is rich with hidden meaning, sometimes deliberately hidden. Because of this, these stories can be easily misunderstood. This is one of the reasons why Plato comes out against the poets in Republic, and his point was driven home when the myths and plays were used as easy targets by the early Christian fathers to humiliate the beliefs of Hellenismos. A perfect example of this can be found in the myths whereby a God will kill a mortal. Killing in mythology conceals something deeper. When a God kills, this is deification and transformation. Always. The individual being killed usually has a relationship with the deity who kills him, such as in the slaying of Marsyas by Apollo, Marsyas being a musician; Apollo is known to love music. This is because the individual who is being deified has a relationship to the Olympian pair who are involved with the deification. Similarly, when a God 'rapes' or has intercourse with a mortal, this is transformation.
Kinisi - (Gr. Κίνηση, ΚΙΝΗΣΗ. Etymology: from κινώ "to move") Kinisi is Movement, the first of the Natural Laws, ruled by the Goddess ÆSTIA. Kinisi in the divine world (Gr. Ἥ ἐν τῷ θείῳ κόσμῳ κίνησις) is ruled by ÆRMIS.
Kings (Vasilis), The Six - The Six Kings represent the evolution of Zeus from Æther. They are a progression: Phanes, Nyx (Night), Ouranos, Kronos, Zeus, and Dionysos. In a similar manner, there is an evolution from Earth, but just three: Gaia, Rhea, and Hera.
"...from Proclus, in Tim. p. 191. as follows. 'Orpheus delivers the kings of the Gods, who preside over the universe according to a perfect number; Phanes, Night (ed. Nyx), Heaven (ed. Ouranos), Saturn (ed. Kronos), Jupiter (ed. Zeus), Bacchus (ed. Dionysos). For Phanes is first adorned with a scepter, is the first king, and the celebrated Ericapæus. But the second king is Night, who receives the sceptre from the father Phanes. The third is Heaven, invested with government from Night. The fourth Saturn, the oppressor as they say of his father. The fifth is Jupiter, the ruler of his father. And the sixth of these is Bacchus." (The Hymns of Orpheus trans. by Thomas Taylor, 1792; found in a footnote to hymn V. To Protogonus, on p. 119.)
kirykas - (Gr. κήρυκας, ΚΉΡΥΚΑΣ) A kirykas is a herald.
kithara (Latin: cithara) - (Gr. κιθάρα, ΚΙΘΆΡΑ) The kithara is the 7-stringed lyre of Apollohn (Apollon; Gr. Ἀπόλλων) created by his brother Ærmis (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς) from the shell of a turtle, who gave it to the God after he had stolen his cattle. The seven strings of the kithara represent the seven centers of the soul, similar to the chakras of the Hindus. The word kithara the etymological root of guitar.
The phorminx (Gr. φόρμιγξ) looks markedly like the kithara but had straighter, more elaborately carved arms and a curved bottom, where the kithara often had a flat bottom, the bottom here being that part of the instrument opposite to the arms. The kithara and the phorminx had strings up to seven in number. Another ancient instrument, the varvitos (barbitos; Gr. βάρβιτος), had longer arms than either the phorminx or the kithara and, therefore, must have been more of a bass instrument.
Kitharoedus (Citharoedus) - epithet of Apollohn "lyre playing." The Apollo Citharoedus is the title given to a famous colossal statue of Apollo by an unknown Roman sculptor.
Kleisthenes (Cleisthenes) - sometimes called the "Father of Democracy." In the years 508-507 BC, Kleisthenes reformed the Athenian constitution, and in so doing, along with the achievements of the lawgiver Solon in 594 BC, became a major figure in the formation of early democracy.
See also the article on Kouros.
kleos - glory through heroic deed and action.Kleovis and Viton - Please visit this page: KLÆOVIS AND VITON - ΚΛΈΟΒΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΒΊΤΟΝ. Also visit this page: KOUROS - ΚΟΎΡΟΣ.
Klotho (sometimes spelled Clotho) - (Latin: Nona) one of the Fates (Moirae), she who spins the thread of life.
Klymene - 1) Klymene is an Okeanid nymph, the daughter of Okeanos and Tethys. Loved by the sun-God Ælios (Helios), Klymene bore him a son, Phaeton, and the seven Heliad nymphs. 2) another daughter of Okeanos (despite having the same name as her sister) and the wife of the Titan Iapetos.
Klytie - 1) Klytie is an Okeanid nymph, the daughter of Okeanos and Tethys. Klytie should not be confused with her sister Klymene. She is mentioned in Hesiod. 2) There is another personage with the name Klytie who is the sister of Leucothoë as recounted in Ovid's Metamorphoses. (see Leucothoë) In this story, Klytie is turned into a heliotrope (or a sunflower, flowers which follow the movement of the sun) by Apollo (or Sol: Ælios).
Because the God Ælios is involved in the stories of both the mortal Klytie and the Okeanid nymph Klymene, and because of the similarity between their names, the two are sometimes equated. There is also a similar situation equating the two Klyties because they have identical names. Sometimes all these three are equated or confused with each other. Both names (Klytie and Klymene) have the same meaning: "the famous one."
Knuckle-bone - See Astragalos.
Koios (Coeus) [Polos] - (Greek: Κοῖος, "questioning") Koios is the Titan son of Ouranos (Sky) and Ge (Earth), brother of Hyperion, Iapetos, and Krios. The God of the axis of heaven with the constellations revolving around him, he presides over heavenly oracles, being the prophetic voice of his father the Sky. Koios and Phoibe are the parents of Asteria and Leto.
Koios was one of the conspirators against his father when Kronos castrated Ouranos.
Korais, Adamantios - (Gr. Αδαμάντιος Κοραής) (born: April 27, 1748 in Smyrna; died: April 6, 1833 in Paris) Adamantios Korais was a major figure in the Greek Enlightenment of the 18th century. He was a scholar with great interest in classicism, literacy, and the Greek language. He was a humanist who witnessed the French Revolution. Korais knew Thomas Jefferson and they shared both inspiration and friendship. His work provided impetus to the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman empire. Korais translated ancient texts and contributed literary works including a 17 volume Library of Greek Literature. He created the Katharevousa form of the Greek language, purging foreign elements and conforming to ancient Greek, finding a midpoint between contemporary and ancient usage.
Kore (Core or Cora) - (Gr. Κόρη, ΚΌΡΗ) Persephone, the maiden or daughter.Lexicon entry for Kore: κόρη, ἡ, orig. κόρϝα ; κόρα :—fem.of κόρος, κοῦρος (ed. Kouros). 1. girl ; with reference to virginity, maiden ; of Nymphs ; of maiden-Goddesses, however old, as the Eumenides ; the Sphinx ; the Fates. 2. of a bride ; or concubine, as Briseis. 3. with gen. of a pr. n. added, daughter. 4 metaph., of a colony ; of newly-launched ships. II. puppet, doll, as a child's plaything ; small votive image. III. pupil of the eye, because a little image appears therein. IV. long sleeve reaching over the hand, V. the Attic drachma, because it bore a head of Athena. VI. = ὑπέρεικον. VII. Archit., female figures as supports. B. Κόρη, Dor. Κόρα (Cret. Κώρα GDI5047), Ion. Κούρη, Arc.(?) Κόρϝα, ἡ:—the Daughter (of Demeter), Persephone. (L&S pp.980-981)
Korykion Cave (Corycian Cave)- a cave on Mount Parnassus, the dwelling of Python, sacred to nymphs, Pan, and the Muses. Alternately, the Orphic Hymn to Hermes refers to Korykos (Corycus or Corycos). If you are using the Taylor translation he says at line 14 "Corucian, blessed, profitable God." Korykos was an ancient city in Anatolia, the Southern promontory of the Erythraean peninsula opposite Chios, with a rich history. It is now in modern Turkey, occupied by the town Kizkalesi. There is a cave near this place, the Corycian or Cilician Cave, the dwelling-place of Typhon and Echidna. Pan and Hermes were worshiped in this cave, and there is also a temple to Zeus Korykios.
Please note: This entry is incomplete and under construction.
kotyle (cotyle) - see skyphos
Kouragia - Ritual of Courage - (Gr. Κουραγια, ΚΟΥΡΑΓΙΑ) The Kouragia, the Ritual of Courage, is a great rite that is used to invoke the Kore in times of great need. The etymology of Kouragia is: Κόρη ("Kore") + αγο ("I bring").Zeus from his father Kronos' ears by means of their loud dancing. In the Kallimachus Hymn to Zeus it is written: "And lustily round thee danced the Curetes a war-dance, beating their armour, that Cronus might hear with his ears the din of the shield, but not thine infant noise."
The Kouretes are Gods of the mountainside, shepherds, and beekeeping.
In the Hymns of Orpheus, there are two separate poems to the Kouretes and there is no mention of the story with the infant Zeus. In the first of these, they are described as "leaping Kouretes, stepping to the sound of arms." In the second hymn, they are said to nurture the earth but also destroy. Here they are identified with the Dioskouroi and the Korybantes, dwellers of and masters of Samothrace, an island in the Aegean Sea. Samothrace was the home of The Sanctuary of the Great Gods, an important shrine in antiquity visited by many famous personages including King Lysander of Sparta and the Emperor Hadrian. The Great Gods are chthonic deities, Kabeiroi, such as The Great Mother (Phrygian Cybele or Demeter), Hekate, Kadmos and Harmonia. It was from this shrine that great Mysteries were taught, on a par with the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Kouros - Please visit this page: KOUROS - ΚΟΎΡΟΣ.
krater - see crater
krineus (crineus) - word meaning "judge." It is the etymological root of the English word "crises." In the Orphic Hymn to Apollon, there is a line which reads krineus viothremonna fylla. It means "you judge the races of the mortal men."
Krios - (Gr. Κριός, ΚΡΙΟΣ) Krios is the seventh month of the Mystery year, beginning March 21. Krios is the Greek equivalent of the zodiacal sign of Aries. Krios is ruled by the Goddess Athina (Athena; Gr. Ἀθηνᾶ, ἈΘΗΝΑ). It is a month of Great Energizing (Æntoni ænærgitikotita - Gr. Εντονη ἐνεργητικὀτητα).
Liddell & Scott define Krios: ram, 3) the constellation Aries. (L&S p.996, right column)
Visit this page: Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar.
Krios Khrysomallos (Crius Chrysomallus) - the golden, flying ram sent by the Nemphale the cloud nymph to rescue her children Phrixos and Helle when they were about to be offered up as a sacrifice to the Gods. While they were fleeing through the air, Helle fell into the sea (called from then on the Hellespont). The ram, a gift of Hermes, took Phrixos to Kholkhis where he told the boy to sacrifice him (Krios) to Zeus Phyxios. The boy then gave his fleece to King Aeetes, who nailed it to an oak tree in the holy grove of Ares. This fleece is the Golden Fleece of the Argonautica and is a great mystic symbol.
Kronidæ - The Kronidæ are the progeny of Kronos: Hestia, Demetra, Hera, Poseidon, Zeus, and Ploutōn.
Kronos or Cronus - Visit this page: KRONOS - ΚΡΌΝΟΣ
Kydonia (Cydonia) - Kydonia was a city-state in Crete, on the northwest coast of the island. This city is the location of modern-day Khana. It was founded by Kydon, its first king. Kydonia is referenced in the Orphic hymn to Artemis (Diana) because it was center of the cult of Artemis Diktynna, also known as Britomartis.
Kykæown - (Kykeon; Gr. Κυκεών, ΚΥΚΕΏΝ) Kykæown is a beverage made water, barley, and herbs, a common refreshment of the ancient Greek peasants. But Kykæown has another connection: it is the sacred drink of the Ælefsinian Mysteries, for in the Homeric hymn To Dimitir (206-211), Mætaneira (Metaneira; Gr. Μετάνειρα) offers the Goddess wine which she refuses, but she accepts this grain-beverage flavored with mint. The initiates of the Ælefsinia partake of Kykæown in honor of this.
Kykeon - See Kykæown.
kyklos - (Greek: κύκλος) Kyklos is a ring or a circle.
Kyklou lixai - (ΚΥΚΛΟΥ ΛΗΞΑΙ) the end of the circle, deification by the Gods. It is called the final death because Orpheus taught palingenesía, the transmigration of the soul or reincarnation; when the initiate is deified by the Gods, his mortal body dies but he is now immortal and the circle of painful lives has ended.
Kypris - a name for Aphrodite, the Lady of Cyprus. Aphrodite is said to have risen from the sea onto the island of Cyprus.
1) Kyrene was the huntress daughter of King Hypseus of the Lapiths, by some accounts a nymph. While she was wrestling a lion that had been killing the cattle of Eurypylos, Apollon became enamored of her and abducted her to Myrtoessa, the Hill of Myrtles in Libyan North Africa. A son was born to Apollon and Kyrene, Aristaios, who was the rustic Demi-God who invented bee-keeping.
2) The city of Kyrene (named after the nymph of the same name, see above) was located in Libya on the coast of the African continent. It was a colony of Thera (Santorini); Thera was a colony of Sparta. Kyrene became the most important of five Greek cities in that region.
Kyrene was the birthplace of Kallimachus, the great poet and scholar of Alexandria, and the city is spoken of prominently in his Hymn to Apollo. The poem outlines the establishment of the colony from the island of Thera, led by Battus I (Aristoteles).
Aristippus, a student of Socrates, founded a school of philosophy named the Kyrenaics (Cyrenaics), in the 3rd century BCE, a school which may be viewed as a forerunner of Epicureanism. It was named after Kyrene because Aristippus was born in the city. Kyrene was also the birthplace of the great mathematician, poet, astronomer, and the third chief librarian of the Library of Alexandria, Eratosthenes.
Kyrene was also quite famous as the exporter of the important and very expensive spice and medicinal herb of the ancient world, silphium, used in Mediterranean cooking. Unfortunately, the gourmet plant was harvested to extinction, forcing cooks to substitute the similar but by all accounts inferior asofoetida. The very last pieces of silphium are said to have been given as a gift to the emperor Nero.
ABBREVIATIONS: A list of abbreviations used in the glossary can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME PAGE
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