P - An Illustrated Glossary of Hellenic Polytheism
BEING A DICTIONARY OR BRIEF ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HELLENISMOS, THE ANCIENT PAGAN GREEK RELIGION
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
Pæonian - surname of Apollon, his name in Pæonia, a country of Macedonia. (CM p.23)
Paeonios - 1) Paeonios was a dactyl who healed an arrow-wound of Hades. He was pursued by the jealous Asklepios but Hades protected the dactyl by transforming Paeonios into a flower, the peony. (According to Peter Bernhardt in his book Gods and Goddesses in the Garden, 2008, p. 109) 2) Paeonius was a late 5th century BCE sculptor from Thrace known for a statue of Nike found at Olympia.
Pæpromæno or Pepromeno - (Gr. Πεπρωμένο, ΠΕΠΡΩΜΈΝΟ) Pæpromæno is one of three words which are all translated as destiny, but each of these words has a distinct meaning. Pæpromæno refers to that which has already occurred and how it reflects on the present and the future. (Also personified: Πεπρωμένη, ΠΕΠΡΩΜΈΝΗ) Visit this page: DESTINY-ΜΟΊΡΑ-ΠΕΠΡΩΜΈΝΟ-ἘΙΜΑΡΜΈΝΗ.
Pæripnefma - (Peripneuma; Gr. Περιπνευμα, ΠΕΡΙΠΝΕΥΜΑ) The Pæripnefma is the Aithir and all the Khitohns which surround the soul. Within the Pæripnefma are the archives of everything that has occurred to that soul.
pærirrantirion or perirranterion - (Gr. περιρραντήριον, ΠΕΡΙΡΡΑΝΤΉΡΙΟΝ) A pærirrantirion is a whisk with which to sprinkle khernips, i.e. lustral water for purification before ritual. The word can also refer to the basin of khernips itself.
Lexicon entry: περιρραντἠριον, a utensil for besprinkling (ed. khernips), esp. whisk for sprinkling water at sacrifices, or a vessel for lustral water (ed. khernips) outside of the sanctuary. (L&S p.1385, column 1, under the heading of περἰρρανσις, perirransis, lustral besprinkling)
Pærsæphoni - Visit this page: PÆRSÆPHONI - ΠΕΡΣΕΦΌΝΗ.
pagan - a term meaning "not Christian." Sometimes used as a synonym for polytheist, the word is controversial and merits a more detailed discussion: PAGAN: a controversial term
Paian (numerous alternate spellings: Pæan, Paean, Paeëon, Paeon, Paeëon, Paiëon, Paion, Paian, Paihon, Paiwn) (Greek: παιῆον, ΠΑΙΗΟΝ, see below)
Pronunciation: pā-ahn'; Hië Paion is: ē-āy' pā-ahn' (Greek: ἱἡ παιῆον, ἹἩ ΠΑΙΗΟΝ)
Lexicon entry: Παιἀν, ᾶνος, ὁ, Ep. (ed. Epice, in the Epic dialect) Παιἠων, ονος, Attic, Ionic. Παιὠν, ῶνος (v. sub fin.), Aeolic. Πάων, ονος,—Paean or Paeon, the physician of the Gods. 2. title of Apollo. 3. physician, healer. b. saviour, deliverer. II. παιάν, Ep. παιήων, Attic, Ionic παιών, paean, i.e. choral song, addressed to Apollo or Artemis (the burden being ἰὴ or ἰὼ Παιάν, v. supr. 1.2), in thanksgiving for deliverance from evil. 2. song of triumph after victory. 3. any solemn song or chant, esp. on beginning an undertaking. 4. by oxymoron. III. in Prosody, paeon, a foot consisting of three short and one long syllable. (L&S p.1286)
There are various meanings of the word Paian. The association of this word with Apollo is very clear and it is in this relation by which it is usually understood, but not always. 1) Paian is the hymn which was sung in honor of Apollo after he sley the Python. (CM p.23) 2) Paian is the name for a type of song to a God, a hymn addressed to Apollon and Asklepios, but not necessarily restricted to those Gods. "Pæans: Hymns in honor of Apollo; pæan is also put for a joyful song in praise of any other God." (CM p.63) 3) The word Paian means simply 'healer.' 4) Both Apollon and also his son Asklepios are known as Paian, Healer, and can be addressed by this name. 5) There is a personage found in Homer named Paian, the physician to the Gods, who, although associated with Apollon and Asklepios, is a different individual. 6) The exclamation "Ie Paian!" (Hië, Paeëon) means simply "Hail Healer." 7) Iö Pæan: merely a note of triumph. (CM p.554)
In the beautiful hymn To Apollo by the Alexandrian poet Kallimachus, the author says, "As thou wert going down to Pytho, there met thee a beast unearthly, a dread snake. And him thou didst slay, shooting swift arrows one upon the other; and the folk cried 'Hie, Hie, Paian, shoot an arrow!' A helper from the first thy mother bare thee, and ever since that is thy praise." (Kallimachus' To Apollon, translated by A.W. Mair and G.R. Mair, 1921; found in the 1989 Loeb edition on pp.56-57)
Pairs of Gods, the - Visit this page: Divine Consorts in the Hellenic Tradition
Palatinus - (L) surname of Apollon, from the temple erected to him by the emperor Augustus on Mount Palatine. (CM p.23)
palingænæsía or palingenesía - (Gr. παλιγγενεσία, ΠΑΛΙΓΓΕΝΕΣΊΑ) rebirth, the transmigration of the soul, reincarnation
Lexicon entry: palingænæsía, παλιγγενεσία: 1) in philosophy: rebirth, regeneration, of the world, renewal of a race; of persons, beginning of a new life: hence of restoration after exile; transmigration, reincarnation of souls, 2) in Stoic philosophy, rebirth of the κὀσος, 3) in medicine: relapse; regrowth of a tumor. (L&S p.1291)
Palingænæsía is the primary Hellenic term for rebirth, the transmigration of the soul. Often the word mætæmpsykhohsis (metempsychōsis; Gr. μετεμψύχωσις, ΜΕΤΕΜΨΎΧΩΣΙΣ) will be used, but palingænæsía is the more ancient term (ref. Greek Philosophical Terms by F.E. Peters, 1967, p.151).
The word palingænæsía is also used by Christians for the state post-baptism (having been "born-again") and also to describe the resurrection. (source: Ancient Greek Philosophy by Anthony Preus, 2007, p.192)
See also: Deification of the Soul
Pallas - Pallas is an epithet of Athena.Πάν, ΠΆΝ) Pan is Nature. Pan is, also, a personal deity.
"They made Pan the symbol of the universe, and gave him his horns as symbols of sun and moon, and the fawn skin as emblem of the stars in heaven, or of the variety of the universe." (Porphyry On Images, Fragment 8, excerpt, translated by Edwin Hamilton Gifford)
Panaceia (Panakeia) - Daughter of Asklepios and Epione, Panaceia is the Goddess of Cures and the various substances (panaceas) used for healing such as ointments and various medicines.
pancarpia - Pancarpia is a religious offering containing all fruits. Compare to panspermia.
Pandemos Aphrodite - Said to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, Pandemos Aphrodite is she who blesses the physical unions between mortals. Compare to Ourania Aphrodite.
panentheism – Panentheism is the belief that God interpenetrates all of the cosmos, yet he transcends it.
panpolytheism - Panpolytheism is the belief in eclectic syncretism between all pantheons of deities.
panspermia - (Gr. πανσπερμία, ΠΑΝΣΠΕΡΜΊΑ) Panspermia is a religious offering containing all seeds. Compare to pancarpia.
Lexicon entry: πανσπερμία, ἡ, mixture of all seeds. (cf. πανοσπρία), Arist.GA769a29,b2, Sosib. 20, Luc.Herm.61, Alciphr.3.14, Gp.15.8.2: metaph., π. μύθων Plu.2.348a. II. of the mixture of elements, in the systems of Anaxagoras and the atomists, ὡς οὖσαν τὴν φύσιν οἷον π. πάντων τῶν στοιχείων Arist.Cael.303a16, cf. GC314a29, Ph.203a21; π. παντὶ θνητῷ γένει μηχανώμενος Pl.Ti.73c;παθῶν π. τις ὁ θυμός Plu.2.463a. (L&S)
pantheism – Pantheism is the belief that the universe and all phenomena is the manifestation of God. The term pantheism can also refer to a belief in all Gods.
The building has been in continual use since antiquity, albeit with much renovation, and, as such, is a marvel of preservation. The temple was eventually given to Pope Boniface IV by the emperor Phocis in 609, who then desecrated it by making it into a Christian cathedral.
Paposilenos - (Gr. Παπποσειληνός ΠΑΠΠΟΣΕΙΛΗΝΌΣ) Paposilenos means Grandpa Silenos, an affectionate title of Silenos on account of his earthy wisdom
Parca - (Latin) one of the Fates, in Greek, the Moirae.
Latin Dictionary entry: Parca, ae, f. [root πλεκ-; cf. πλέκω, πλοκή; Lat. plecto, plico], one of the Goddesses of Fate, whose Latin names are Nona, Decuma, and Morta. (their Greek names are Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos). (LD p.1302, left column)
parents - From Plato: "Next comes the honour of living parents, to whom, as is meet, we have to pay the first and greatest and oldest of all debts, considering that all which a man has belongs to those who gave him birth and brought him up, and that he must do all that he can to minister to them, first, in his property, secondly, in his person, and thirdly, in his soul, in return for the endless care and travail which they bestowed upon him of old, in the days of his infancy, and which he is now to pay back to them when they are old and in the extremity of their need. And all his life long he ought never to utter, or to have uttered, an unbecoming word to them; for of light and fleeting words the penalty is most severe; Nemesis, the messenger of justice, is appointed to watch over all such matters. When they are angry and want to satisfy their feelings in word or deed, he should give way to them; for a father who thinks that he has been wronged by his son may be reasonably expected to be very angry. At their death, the most moderate funeral is best, neither exceeding the customary expense, nor yet falling short of the honour which has been usually shown by the former generation to their parents. And let a man not forget to pay the yearly tribute of respect to the dead, honouring them chiefly by omitting nothing that conduces to a perpetual remembrance of them, and giving a reasonable portion of his fortune to the dead. Doing this, and living after this manner, we shall receive our reward from the Gods and those who are above us; and we shall spend our days for the most part in good hope." (Plato's Laws IV, 717-718, translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1892; found in The Dialogues of Plato Vol.II, Random House edition, 1937, on pp.488-489.)
Paris - (Gr. Πάρις) Also known as Alexandros, Paris was the son of Hecuba and Priam, king of Troy. At the marriage of Thetis and Peleus, it was Paris who gave the golden apple to Aphrodite, the golden apple thrown by Eris (Discord) inscribed "for the most beautiful," in exchange for the most beautiful woman in the world. She gave him Helen, who was already married to Menelaus of Sparta. Paris then abducted his prize, starting the Trojan War. It is usually told that Paris killed Achilles with an arrow to the heel, guided by Apollon. Paris was mortally wounded by Philoctetes and died in Troy.
Parnassus, Mount - A mountain in central Greece associated with the God Apollon, Dionysos, Orpheus, and the winged horse Pegasus. The Korykion (Corycian) Cave is located on the slopes of Parnassus, sacred to Korycian Nymphs, Pan, and the Muses.
Parnassus was named after Parnassos, the son of the nymph Kledora and the human Kleopompus. When threatened by flood, Parnassos led his people up Parnassus following the howling of wolves. When they founded a city there, they named it Lykoreia, "howling of wolves."
Mt. Parnassus streams up above Delphi, the sacred sanctuary of Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi. It is also famous for the Castalian Spring, a holy spring which was used to purify before consulting the Oracle. Parnassus is a place of surpassing beauty where can be found lovely pines and olive. Laurel trees, sacred to Apollon can be found there in abundance.
Parnopius - (Gr) surname of Apollon, from the word meaning grasshopper, he having delivered Athens from a swarm of those inserts. (source: CM* p.23)
Parrhasia - (Greek: Παρρασία) one of the six sub-divisions of Arkadia, in southern Arkadia.
Parrhasius- surname of Apollon at Parrhasia in Arcadia. (CM p.23)
Parthenon - The great temple to Athena Parthenos in ancient Athens, the Parthenon is still significantly standing and is undergoing reconstruction. At one time it housed the massive chryselephantine statue of Athena created by the great sculptor Pheidias. It is thought of as one of the most elegant pieces of architecture from the ancient world. Further, it is seen as a great symbol of Democracy. In antiquity, the Doric temple was painted in brilliant colors. Some of the magnificent pediments and friezes still exist.
The Parthenon sits on top of a mountain amidst the Acropolis of Athens and can be seen from a considerable distance. One of the most memorable things to experience when visiting Athens is to view the beautifully lit temple at night.
Parthenos - (Greek: Παρθένος, ΠΑΡΘἘΝΟΣ) the twelfth month of the Mystery year, beginning August 21. Parthenos is the Greek equivalent of the zodiacal sign of Wheat-Ear or Virgo. Parthenos is ruled by the Goddess Demetra. It is a month of Changing (Metabolæ - Greek: Μεταϐολἠ). (see also: Stachys)
Lexicon entry: Parthenos, Παρθένος 1) maiden, girl. 2) unmarried women. 3) the Virgin Goddess, as a title of Athena at Athens. 4) the constellation Virgo. (L&S p.1339, right column)
Partholan (Partholón) - Called the first king of Ireland, Partholan was the son of Sera of Calydon in Hellas (Greece) who fled his country after killing his parents and arrived in Ireland seven years later. Perhaps thirty years after his arrival, Partholan died followed by his many followers who all perished from plague. Only one person survived: Tuan, the son of Partholan's brother Starn. Tuan underwent a series of animal transformations and was eventually reborn as the son of Cairell in the sixth century CE. He then told the story of Partholan
There is controversy concerning the story of Partholan, even the date of his reign ranges between 2680 BCE to 1150 BCE. By other accounts, Partholan was a descendant of the Biblical Noah.
See KELTS - ΚΕΛΤΟΊ.
Pasiphaë - [Greek: Πασιφάη] - Pasiphaë is the daughter of Ælios and the nymph Perseis (Perse). Her brother is Aeëtes, king of Kolkhis, thereby making Medea her niece. Her sister is Circe. She was the wife of King Minos of Crete by whom she is the mother of Androgeus, Ariadne, Catreus, Deucalion, Glaucus, and Phaedra. Having been cursed by Poseidon, the God caused her to develop lust for a white bull that he had sent. She gave birth to Asterion, the Minotaur, after coupling with the bull.
Pasiphaë was worshiped as a Goddess at Thalamae in Sparta.
Patareus - surname of Apollon, from Patara, a town of Lycia, where Apollo had a temple and an oracle. (CM p.23)
Pater - (Gr. Ράτερ, ΠΆΤΕΡ; Πατήρ, ΠΑΤΉΡ) = Patrius or Patroos. Pater is an ancient epithet meaning father, such as Apollon Pater.
Pathos - (Gr. πάθος, ΠΆΘΟΣ) - Pathos is one's experience, that which happens to someone or something. Pathos is an experience, emotion/feeling.
Lexicon entry: πάθος [ᾰ], εος, τό, (πάσχω) that which happens to a person or thing. 2. what one has experienced, good or bad, experience. b. in bad sense, misfortune, calamity. c. = πάθημα. II. of the soul, emotion, passion. III. state, condition 2. incidents of things, changes or happenings occurring in them. 3. properties, qualities of things. IV. Gramm., modification in form of words (esp. dialectal). 2 in Syntax, modified construction, of omission or redundancy. b. passivity. c. in writing, signs other than accents and breathings. V. Rhet., emotional style or treatment. (L&S p.1285, right column)
1) All Athenians claimed Apollo as father. The archons, before entering office, were questioned whether they were related to Apollo Patrius (Patroos), i.e. whether they were free-born Athenian citizens. (CM p.23)
2) Patroos means father and Apollon can be worshiped thus by any person. Apollo Patroos is the Father for all those who practice Hellenic religion.
2) Apollo is the father of Ion by Kreousa and as such he is considered the father of the Ionian race. There are the ruins of a temple in the Agora of Athens near the Stoa of Zeus dedicated to Apollon Patroos, father of the Ionians (Ἴωνες) and protector of families. The sanctuary was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BCE. The temple housed the colossal statue of Apollo Patroos by Euphranor. All that remains of the gigantic sculpture are the heavily draped legs and chest.Πάτροκλος “glory of the father”) - son of Menoetius, beloved friend of Achilles.
In his childhood, while playing dice, Patroclus killed his friend Clysonymus, driving him and his father into exile. They found refuge in the kingdom of Peleus. It is here, at Phthia, that he met Achilles, Peleus' son. The king sent the two boys to Kheiron, the wise centaur, to be educated.
In the siege of Troy Achilles refused to fight due to his anger at Agamemnon, but Patroclus convinced Achilles to allow him to wear his armor and enter the combat. He did so and after killing many Trojans, was defeated by Hector, arousing Achilles back into battle. To avenge the death of his friend, Achilles then slew Hector.
Patron Deity - A patron or tutelary deity refers to a special relationship between an individual or locality with a particular deity. This brief article will discuss only that of the relationship with individuals, because there are conflicting opinions about this in the Hellenic community.
Many Hellenic reconstructionists are opposed to the idea of having a patron deity. They state that such a relationship diminishes the importance of the entire pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, even challenging the validity of such a person legitimately claiming to practice Hellenismos, a type of exclusivistic judgment. It has also be been pointed out that if one worships only one of the Gods, that this is actually a form of monotheism. Yet many people who claim to have a patron deity are also Dodekatheists or may worship all or some other deities in the pantheon, yet they feel particularly close to one or more of the Gods. It may be that the underlying prejudice against having a patron deity is a desire to distance Hellenismos from the neo-pagan community, which is seen to accept the practice.
Patroos, Apollo - See PatriusΠήγασος) Pegasus is the winged horse, the thundering horse of Zeus, that was the offspring of Poseidon and the Gorgon Medousa. Poseidon had assumed the shape of a horse (or a bird) and coupled with her before Perseus slew the Gorgon. When he struck off her head, Chrysaor and Pegasus were born. Pegasus then flew to the heavens to the palace of Zeus. The horse carried thunder and lightning for the God.
The great hero Bellerophon needed Pegasus in his battle with the Chimaera, but after tremendous effort, he had failed to capture the horse. He consulted Polyidus, a seer from Corinth. Polyidus told Bellerophon to sleep in the temple of Athena. The Goddess appeared to him in a dream. She gave him a golden bridle and told him to offer sacrifice to Poseidon. By following the Goddesses instructions, Bellerophon was able to capture Pegasus.
When Pegasus died, Zeus honored the horse by transforming him into a constellation in the heavens.
Peninus - surname of Apollon, according to some, among the Gauls. (CM p.23)
Pepromeno - See Pæpromæno.
Peras - Pythagorean term for Ether identifying the formative forces of the Orphic Water (Hydor).
Perikles (Pericles) - (495 - 429 BCE) the great statesman of Athens associated with the city in its golden era. Perikles lived during the period between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. He was a major influence in Athens becoming an empire, developing Democracy, and beautifying the city with the magnificent buildings of the Acropolis. Perikles died of the plague that infested Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War.
Peripneuma - See Pæripnefma.
perirranterion - See pærirrantirion.
Persephone - Visit this page: PÆRSÆPHONI - ΠΕΡΣΕΦΌΝΗ.
Perses - the magician-king son of Ælios and Perseis (Perse). He was the ruler of Persia. Perses' daughter by Asterie is Hekate and his niece is Medea.
Petelia tablet - visit this page: Petelia Tablet
See also the Eleuthernae tablet.
Φ, φ, ϕ (PHI) - The Greek letter PHI (pronounced phee) sounds like the ph in philosophy or Philadelphia. Of course this sound is identical to the sound of the English letter f, but we have chosen to use ph rather than f to represent PHI on this website, except in rare instances where using the English letter f is more advantageous (example: Φθινοπωρινή, Fthinopohrini). See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.
Phanæus - (Gr) surname of Apollon, from the promontory Phanæum (signifying "appearing") in Chios, from where Latona had first observed the island of Delos. (CM p.23)
pharmakoi - see Thargelia
Philællin - (Philhellene; Gr. Φιλέλλην, ΦΙΛΈΛΛΗΝ. Etymology: φίλος "friend" + Έλλην "the Greeks") Philællin is a term meaning friend of the Greeks. The word was used in antiquity for those who loved the Greek culture, but it is particularly associated with those of the Romantic movement, such as Lord Byron, who loved the Greeks. Byron laid his life on the line for their benefit and died in the country while trying to fight for their independence from the Turks. For this, he is regarded in Greece as a great hero.
Philhellene - See Philællin.
Philalexandrus - (Gr) surname of Apollon meaning friend of Alexander, in consequence of a statue of Apollon released from the chains of gold with which it had been bound, prior to the taking of Tyre by Alexander (the Great). (source: CM p.23)
Philesius - surname of Apollon meaning amicable, affectionate. (CM p.23)
Philia - (Gr. φιλία, ΦΙΛΊΑ) In very ancient times, the term philia meant love; in later times, philia conveyed the idea of friendship and also to like or love. Of the ten books of the Ithica Nikomakhia (Nicomachean Ethics; Gr. Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια), Aristotle devotes two to philia, which he considers to be on a high plane, the true form of which is an unselfish devotion to another.
Philius - surname of Apollo meaning amicable, affectionate. (CM p.23)
Philopolæmikos - (Gr. Φιλοπολεμικος, ΦΙΛΟΠΟΛΕΜΙΚΟΣ) Philopolæmikos, or rendered into English Philopolemic, is "An epithet of Minerva (ed. Athina), signifying that she is a lover of war; just as she is also called philosophic, as being a lover of wisdom." (TTS XV p. 10)
Philosophia - (Gr. φιλοσοφία, ΦΙΛΟΣΟΦΊΑ) Philosophia, or philosophy is defined as the love of wisdom or the love of beautiful or noble things.
"The ancients, who under the leadership of Pythagoras first made science systematic, defined philosophy as the love of wisdom." (Introduction to Arithmetic, by Nicomachus of Gerasa (ca. 100 AD), trans. by Martin Luther D'Ooge, Macmillan, 1926, p. 181.)
The term was first used by Pythagoras:
"It is also said that Pythagoras was the first to call himself a philosopher. He introduced not only a new word, but taught before hand the reality corresponding to it in a useful manner." (Iamblichus De Vita Pythagorica 58 Chapt. 12; trans. by John Dillon and Jackson Hershbell in Iamblichus: On the Pythagorean Way of Life, Society of Biblical Literature, 199, p.83)
Pythagoras defined philosophy as the contemplation of the most beautiful things:
"...the purest and most genuine character is that of the man who devotes himself of the contemplation of the most beautiful things, and he may properly be called a philosopher." (De Vita Pythagorica 59 Chapt. 12; trans. by Thomas Taylor, 1818)
Philosophy is defined further in this same text:
"Now veritable wisdom is a science conversant with the first beautiful objects which subsist in invariable sameness, being undecaying and divine, by the participation in which other things also may well be called beautiful. The desire for something like this is philosophy. Similarly beautiful is devotion to erudition, and this notion Pythagoras extended, in order to effect the improvement of the human race." (Ibid. Taylor)
Philotes - friendship
Phocis - Phocis is a region of central Greece. Its boundaries in ancient times were the Gulf of Corinth to the south, Boeotia (modern day Voiotía) to the east, Locris Opuntia to the northeast, Locris Epicnemidia directly north, Doris to the northwest, and Locris Ozolis to the west. Most notably it included the holy district of Delphi (which it held before 590 BCE) and Mount Parnassus. Map of Phocis and Northern Greece
Phocis lost and regained Delphi in a series of wars known as the First (590 BCE), Second, and Third Sacred Wars, eventually losing control with the victory of Philip II of Macedon.
Phocis was named for the hero Phocus, known by two very different stories. In one, he is said to be the son of Ornytus and grandson to Sisyphus the king of Corinth. His father Ornytus won the kingdom in a war with the Locrians and gave it to him.
In a different story, Phocus is said to be the son of Æacus, king of Salamis, and of the Nereid Psamathe. Phocus left the island of Salamis and conquered the area now known as Phocis.
Phoebe (Phoibe) - 1) name meaning the bright one, the feminine form of the word. 2) Phoebe is an epithet of Artemis. 3) Phoebe is the Titan daughter of Ouranos and Gaia. She is the wife of Koios, by whom she gave birth to the Goddess Leto, mother of Apollo, and Asteria. Phoebe was the third to hold the Oracle at Delphi, after Gaia, and then Themis. She gave the oracle to her grandson Apollo as a birthday present.
Phoebus (Phœbus, Phoibos) - 1) Phoebus means the bright one, the masculine form of the word. This is the major epithet of Apollon. Apollo received the oracle at Delphi as a birthday present from the Titan Goddess Phoebe, after which he is known as Phoebus Apollon. Furthermore, and actually foremost, Apollo is light and is by nature bright. 2) surname of Apollon expressive of splendor and brightness (CM p.23)
phorminx - (Gr. φόρμιγξ, ΦΌΡΜΙΓΞ) The phorminx is an ancient Greek stringed musical instrument. It looks markedly like the kithara (Gr. κιθάρα) 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. It is also said to have had eye designs on its face. The phorminx, like the kithara, 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.
Phosphoros - Apollo Phosphoros (Greek: ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝ ΦΑΕΣΦΟΡΟΣ) - an epithet of Apollon meaning light-bearer. Phos means 'light'; phoros means 'the bearer of.'
Phthonus - the spirit of envy and jealously
Phylleus - surname of Apollon, from Phyllos, a town in Arcadia. (CM p.23)
Physis - Visit this page: NATURE - ΦΎΣΙΣ.
Phyxius - (Gr) surname of Apollon from a word expressive of flight; because he protected fugitives. (CM p.23)
pietas - (Greek: εὐσέβεια, eusebeia; also ὁσι-ότης, osiotes) - Pietas is the Latin equivalent word for efsævia (eusebeia; Gr. εὐσέβεια, ΕΥΣΈΒΕΙΑ) or osiotis (hosiotes; Gr. ὁσιότης, ὉΣΙΌΤΗΣ), usually translated as piety and sometimes personified as a Goddess. The English word piety does not express the complete meaning of pietas, which not only incorporates respect and reverence for the Gods, but also involves the obligation, duty, and respect for one's country and family, a sense of duty.
Dictionary entry: pietas, dutiful conduct towards the Gods, one's parents, relatives, benefactors, country, etc., sense of duty. I. Lit. A. With respect to the Gods, piety. 2. Conscientiousness, scrupulousness. --So of love and duty towards God. B. With respect to one's parents, children, relatives, country, benefactors, etc. duty, dutifulness, affection, love, loyalty patriotism, gratitude, etc. II. Transf. in gen. (mostly poet. and in post-Aug. prose). A. Justice. B. Gentleness, kindness, tenderness, pity, compassion. III. Pietas, personified, a Goddess, Piety, who had two temples at Rome. (LD pp. 1374-1375)
pig - In ancient times, the pig was viewed as an erotic animal and, therefore, is the Mystical symbolic of Ærohs (Eros; Gr. Ἔρως, ἜΡΩΣ). It is for this reason that the pig was used at sacrifices at Ælefsis (Eleusis; Gr. Ἐλευσίς).
Pisces - see Ichtheis.
pistis - (Gr. πίστις; English: belief , faith) The most general definition of pistis is belief or faith, subjective conviction. I. Pistis is derived from the verb πείθω, peitho, "to persuade" (L&S p.1353, right column, first definition) and πείθεσθαί, peithæsthai, "to believe, to trust in." (L&S p.1354, left column; sub-heading under πείθω, B.II.) Therefore, pistis is A. the subjective state whereby one is persuaded, B. that proof which enables one to believe. II. In the Republic of Platohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων), as described in the analogy of the divided line, pistis is not categorized as true knowledge (Gr. ἐπιστήμη, æpistimi or episteme), but is one of two defined mental states which are, rather, opinion. These two states of opinion are 1) eikasia (Gr. εἰκᾰσία; from εἰκών, image), the apprehension of, or by means of eikones (eikonæs; Gr. εικόνες, images), images or shadows of sensible (of the senses) things, and 2) pistis, the (actual) perception of sensible things, eikasia being considered illusion. (Platohn's Republic 509e-511e)
Compare to the entry for doxa. Pistis can be a synonym to doxa, depending on how it is used in a sentence. Pistis and doxa can both refer to "belief," but only pistis can mean faith, not doxa.
Lexicon entry: πιστις, trust in others, faith. (L&S p.1408, left column)
Pithigia or Pithoijia - (Gr. Πιθοίγια, ΠΙΘΟΊΓΙΑ) The Pithigia is the festival of the opening of the casks (pithos) of new wine on the first day of Anthesteria.
pithos - (Gr. πίθος, ΠΊΘΟΣ) A pithos is a large, earthenware wine jar.
Platanistius - (Gr) surname of Apollon because his temple at Elis, in the Peloponnese, was surrounded withplane trees. (CM p.23)
Platohn - (Plato; Gr Πλάτων, ΠΛΆΤΩΝ. 428? - 348? BCE)
NOTES TO PLATO:
 Neoplatonism by Pauliina Remes, 2008, University of California Press, p.30.
Pleiades, the - the seven mountain-nymph daughters of the titan Atlas and Pleione: Alkyone, Merope, Kelaino, Elektra, Sterope, Taygete, and Maia, who is their leader.
Pleione - a daughter of Okeanos and wife of the Titan Atlas.
Plenitude or Completeness - See pliroma.
Plethon, Georgius Gemistus - Visit this page: YÆORYIOS YÆMISTOS PLITHOHN - ΓΕΏΡΓΙΟΣ ΓΕΜΙΣΤΌΣ ΠΛΉΘΩΝ.
plirohma - See plirohma.
plirohma - (pliroma; Gr. πλήρωμα, ΠΛΉΡΩΜΑ) Pliroma is "Plenitude, or Completeness, a whole which gives completion to the universe." (TTS XV p. 10)
Plithohn, Yæorgios Yæmistos (Georgius Gemistus Plethon) - Visit this page: YÆORYIOS YÆMISTOS PLITHOHN - ΓΕΏΡΓΙΟΣ ΓΕΜΙΣΤΌΣ ΠΛΉΘΩΝ
Pluto, Ploutōn - (Gr. Πλούτων, ΠΛΟΎΤΩΝ) Ploutōn is called the Third Zeus. He is the God of the terrestrial world. HellenicGods.org has a page dedicated to Ploutōn: PLOUTŌN
Plutoneion - At Eleusis, following the Sacred Way through the Sanctuary, on your right at the right side of a cave is the remains of the retaining wall of the Plutoneion, the Temple of Pluto.
pneumata - a spirit or soul
Podênemos ôkea- epithet of Iris meaning wind-swift-footed.
Pokos - (Gr. πόκος, ΠΌΚΟΣ) The Pokos is one of the Toys of Dionysos and also one of the great symbols of the Ælefsinian Mystiria. Pokos is, literally, a tuft of wool.Poliris - (Gr) surname of Apollo meaning gray; he was represented in Thebes as (ed. uncharacteristically) having gray hairs. (CM p.23)
polis - town or city-state
polydynamos - See polythynamos.
Polyhymnia - (Gr. Πολυύμνια, ΡΟΛΥΎΜΝΙΑ; ety. poly - "many," hymnos - "praise") One of the nine Mousai (Muses), daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne; she of the many hymns, one of the Muses; later, the Muse of Lyric Poetry; of learning. (L&S)
polyonymos - (Gr. πολῠώνῠμὁς, ΠΟΛῨΏΝῨΜὉΣ) having many names or epithets. 2. of divinities, worshipped under many names. II. of great name, i.e. famous (L&S)
Polytropos - an epithet of Odysseus meaning much traveled, man of many turnings, or wily and crafty.
pomegranate - The pomegranate is connected with Pluto. Persephone, who was abducted by the God, was permitted to return to her mother, but being made to eat some pomegranate by Pluto before leaving, forcing her to come back to him each year. This is all symbolic language. Pluto is a chthonic deity. There is misunderstanding regarding this word. Chthonic means terrestrial, i.e. of the surface of the earth. He is not under the earth (hypo-chthonic). Pluto and the pomegranate represent the wealth of the earth. Consequently, the pomegranate is used in ritual, symbolic of a prayer for prosperity. For instance, at the blessing of a home it is traditional to break a pomegranate at the entrance.
The Christian apologist Clement of Alexandria, in his treatise against our religion, says that it was believed that the pomegranate sprung from the blood of Dionysos:
"The women who celebrate the Thesmophoria are careful not to eat any pomegranate seeds which fall to the ground, being of opinion that pomegranates spring from the drops of Dionysos' blood." (Clement of Alexandria Exhortation to the Heathen, Chapter 2.)
Pontos - the sea
Poseidon (Roman: Neptune) - [Greek: Ποσειδῶν] Visit this page: Poseidon
praxis - (Gr. πρᾶξις, ΠΡΑΞΙΣ) Praxis means action. Praxis can be rational, i.e. based on reasoning, because it is something we do deliberately based on choices. The term is used in the study of ethics because when action (praxis) is based on deliberate choice (proairæsis), it can be judged as moral, immoral, or neutral. Praxis can be compared to doxa, i.e. action vs opinion/theory.
"In self-restrained and unrestrained people (ed. these terms explained in beginning section of Aristotle's Nich. Ethics Book VII) we approve their principle, or the rational part of their souls, because it urges them in the right way and exhorts them to the best course; but their nature seems also to contain another element beside that of rational principle, which combats and resists that principle. ...in the soul also there is an element beside that of principle, which opposes and runs counter to principle... But this second element also seems, as we said, to participate in rational principle; at least in the self-restrained man it obeys the behest of principle--and no doubt in the temperate and brave man it is still more amenable, for all parts of his nature are in harmony with principle." (Aristotle Nichomachean Ethics, I, xiii. 15-17; trans. H. Rackham, 1926, Harvard Univ. Press/Heinemann, 1939 edition pp.65-67)Prayer - This website has devoted a page to this important subject: Prayer In Hellenismos
Priam is thought of as a pious and good king. His eldest son Hector was killed in the siege of Troy. Achilles would not give up the body because Hector had killed the beloved of Achilles, Patroclus. Priam stole into the camp of Achilles, led by Hermes, and humbly begged for the body of his son. The two men wept together and Achilles allowed Priam to take the body. After the Achaeans took Troy, one version of the story tells of Achilles' son Neoptolemus (Pyrrhus), who murdered Priam over the altar of Zeus Herkeios. It is interesting to note that Priam's family lineage can be traced to the union of Zeus and Electra (Zeus - Dardanus - Erichthonius - Tros - Ilus - Laomedon - Priam).
priests and priestesses - Although there is considerable evidence of formal priests in the ancient Hellenic religion, the concept in Hellenismos is not the same as in Christian churches. He or she who officiates at ritual is the priest or priestess. There is no requirement for an ordination. Nonetheless, there were formal positions in the ancient world, one of the most famous being the Hierophant of Eleusis, a hereditary priesthood held by two families. Plutarch was a formal priest of Apollon at Delphi for a period of time. In contemporary Hellenic religion, there are still formal priests and priestesses; nonetheless, whoever conducts a ritual is a priest.
Primordial Mixture, the - The Primordial Mixture is the Unuttered Principle, as named by Orpheus himself, from which the two cosmogonic material substances, Earth (Ge) and Water (Hydor), can be found. See Mystic Materialism.proairæsis, proairesis, or prohairesis - (Gr. προαίρεσις, ΠΡΟΑΊΡΕΣΙΣ) Proairæsis is choice or, particularly after Aristotle, conscious choice, the volition of choice. Proairæsis is a term, in the field of Ethics, which indicates deliberate choice which, in certain circumstances, determines whether an action (praxis) is moral or immoral (ed. or neutral). Proairæsis is the result of deliberation (voulefsis). In the Stoicism of Epictetus, proairæsis is the result of a deliberation between what is perceived to be within one's power to change or effect, and that which is not in one's power to change or effect, and assenting only to the former by which only can one make a free choice. Proairæsis (choice) is deliberative desire (oræxis) [Aristotle].
Lexicon entry: προαίρ-εσις, εως, ἡ, choosing one thing before another, Pl. Prm. 143c; purpose, resolution, π. καὶ πρᾶξις Id.Def.413a, cf. Arist.EN1094a2; opp. ἀνάγκη, Isoc.1.10; ἐκ π. καὶ βουλήσεως D.44.57, cf. Arist. PA 657b1; ἡ κατὰ π. κίνησις Id.Metaph.1015a33; τὰ κατὰ π. ἀδικήματα wrongs done from malice prepense, Lycurg.148; ζῆν κατὰ π., as a test of freedom. Arist.Pol.1280a34; παρὰ τὴν π. contrary to one's purpose, Id.Metaph.1015a27; as characteristic of moral action, ἡ π. βουλευτικὴ ὄρεξις τῶν ἐφ' ἡμῖν Id.EN1113a10, cf. 1139a23; inclination, χρῶ ὡς βούλει τῇ σεαυτοῦ π.Epicur.Sent.V at.51; motive, κατὰ προαίρεσιν δακρύειν Hp.Aph.4.52. (L&S p.1466 right column, first entry only)
prohsgeia pnefmata (Gr. πρωσγεια πνευματα) The prohsgeia pnefmata are the landed souls of those who have died but who are at a low level, those souls who have not progressed, who may have committed crimes, and who, by their own actions are attached and bound to the terrestrial earth and what is called the lower sky. Ploutohn has dominion over these, the souls of the lower sky, but he is not the "god of the dead," as they say, as their are many other souls of "dead" mortals who are under the dominion of Poseithohn and Iphaistos (Hephaistos) and others. See the brief essay entitled Ploutohn and the Dead on this page: PLOUTOHN.
pronia or pronoia - (Pronia is the better spelling as the dipthong οι is pronounced ee: Gr. πρόνοια, ΠΡΌΝΟΙΑ) Pronia is providence, foresight. Human pronia is ordinary forethought. On a higher level, pronia is Divine Providence, the intelligent purpose operating in the Kosmos.
"Thus, then, in accordance with the likely account, we must declare that this Cosmos has verily come into existence as a Living Creature endowed with soul and reason owing to the providence of God." (Plato's Timaeus 30C, trans. R. G. Bury, 1924; Plato IX, Loeb (LCB 234), found here in the 2005 edition on p.55)
Lexicon entry: πρόνοια, Ion. προν-οίη, ἡ, (πρόνοος) perceiving beforehand, foresight, foreknowledge. 2. = πρόγνωσις. II. foresight, forethought. 2. providence. 4. office of προνοητής. III. Πρόνοια Ἀθηνᾶ Athena as Goddess of Forethought, under which name she was worshipped at Delphi. (L&S p.1491, left column)
pronunciation of Hellenic words - Like the Anglicized spelling of Greek words, the pronunciation also varies from one scholar to another and is controversial. Pronunciation of Greek Words
Pröothos - (Pröodos; Gr. Πρόοδος, ΠΡΟΟΔΟΣ; pronounced; PROH-oh-thohs, the th being a soft th as in the word this, not like the hard th in the word theory)
The word Pröothos has many definitions. For our purposes, Pröothos is progress, moving forward, or evolution, and in particular but not only this: the evolution of the soul to deification. Pröothos is a Natural Law and is under the dominion of Poseithon (Poseidon; Gr. Ποσειδῶν, ΠΟΣΕΙΔΩΝ). It is this fundamental meaning which is meant when the word Pröothos is used on this website. Where other religions fight with the scientific concept of evolution, Pröothos, a similar idea, is fundamental to the Mysteries. Nonetheless, the specific meaning we are using for the word evolution or Pröothos is not quite the same as the Darwinian idea. Darwin defined evolution as "survival of the fittest," but Pröothos is an evolution of the soul, a true progress to something superior, not merely a soul better fit to survive, but a soul which has greater wisdom and enlightenment.
The Greek English Lexicon by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott gives the metaphorical definition of Pröothos as progress, citing Plotinus 5.2.I; other definitions being: 1) going on, advance, 2) procession, 3) proceeding forth, emanation, 4) musical progression, and 5) mathematical progression. (L&S p.1492)
From the perspective of Neoplatonism, Pröothos has a specific and different meanings: " ....'progression' (pröothos) is later Platonism's attempt to solve the Parmenidean difficulties of unity and plurality. If the One (hen) is, and is transcendent..., whence the subsequent plurality of the kosmos?" (Greek Philosophical Terms by F.E. Peters, 1967, p.165) Pröothos is a word meaning "procession, used by neoplatonists as a noun correlative with proienai" and quoting Simplicius (Physics 1133.9): "who is so uninformed as not to know that in the procession from the one created substance proceeds from the everlasting?" (The Greek Philosophical Vocabulary by J.O. Urmson, 1990; found here in the 2001 Duckworth edition on p.143)
Proöpsius - surname of Apollon meaning foreseeing. (CM p.23)
Proserpina (Lat.) or Proserpine (Anglicized) - Proserpina is the Roman name for Pærsæphoni (Persephone). Visit this page: PÆRSÆPHONI - ΠΕΡΣΕΦΌΝΗ
prosgeia pneumata - See prohsgeia pnefmata.
proskynisis - (proskynesis or proskunesis; Gr. προσκύνησις, ΠΡΟΣΚΎΝΗΣΙΣ) Proskynisis, literally "blowing a kiss," means obeisance or veneration. The term is usually associated with non-Hellenic obeisance such as prostration to a king or by a slave to his/her master. Those not in our religion also use the term as a criticism for the worship of images, statues etc. Historically, within Hellenismos, prostration was viewed as a custom of foreigners, such as the practice of prostrating to the Persian kings, and a practice unworthy of free citizens. When Alæxanthros (Alexander the Great; Gr. Ἀλέξανδρος, ἈΛΈΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ) demanded prostration from his subjects, his soldiers were greatly dismayed. Therefore, in Hellenismos, we do honor and venerate our Gods, but we do not kneel or prostrate as in other religions, because we are free and our Gods wish us to be free.
Prostaterius - (Gr) surname of Apollon as he who presides over and protects houses. (CM p.23)
Proteus - Pythagorean term for Æther, indicating the infinite variety of forms that it can produce.
Protogenoi - (Gr. Πρωτογενοι) the first generation of Gods: Earth, Water, Chronos, Phanes, Nyx, Ouranos, etc. (according to the Orphic theogonia)
Protogonos (Gr. Πρωτογόνος, ΠΡΩΤΟΓΌΝΟΣ) Protogonos is the First-born, firstling, first-created. Protogonos is Phanes.
Psellos, Michael - (Gr. Μιχαήλ Ψελλός) (Note: this article concerns Psellos the philosopher, not Michael II the emperor) Born approx. 1017, died 1096. Psellos was a Christian monastic from Nicomedia who became an advisor to several emperors. He wrote a famous history of the Byzantine emperors called the Chronographia. Michael Psellos tried to reconcile paganism with Christianity, was influenced by Plato and his successors, and wrote a commentary on the Chaldaean Oracles. (source: George Gemistos Plethon: The Last of the Hellenes by C.M. Woodhouse, 1986, Clarendon Press, Oxford, p.69-70.)
Psyche - See Psykhi.
psyche, the three parts of the - As outlined in Plato's Republic, the three parts of the psyche are: 1. reason (gold) , 2. spirit (silver), and 3) desire (bronze). This is known as Plato's tripartite psychology. When these three parts are in harmony, like the similar parts of a republic, each doing its own business, a man is said to be just. (see Plato's Republic Book IV from about 435)
Psychopompos - Hermes, the soul-guide. Psychopompos is the function of Hermes whereby he guides the dead safely to Tartaros. He leads them to the banks of the river Akheron and puts them into the care of Kharon, the ferryman of Hades.
Ptoüs - surname of Apollon from his oracle at Ptoüs, a mountain in Bœotia. (CM p.23)
Purification - see kathairein
Pyanæpsia or Pyanepsia - Visit this page: PYANPSIA - ΠΥΑΝΈΨΙΑ.
Pyctes - (Gr) pugilist; surname of Apollon, as having overcome the robber Phorbas. (CM p.23)
(Greek: Ὁ Πυθαγόρας ὁ Σάμιος) Pythagoras was born approximately 570 BCE, died approx. 490 BCE.
Pythagoras is a critical limb in the lineage which blossoms from the teachings of Orpheus.
Pythia, the - The Pythia was the priestess of Apollo at Delphi in antiquity. She would sit on a holy tripod over a crack in the earth, go into a trance, and speak the oracles of the God Apollo. The words she spoke were in answer to questions from visitors. In matters of great importance, the great city-states, such as Athens, would inquire of the Oracle. In view of the fact that her pronouncements changed history, there is frequent reference made to the oracle even in modern times.
Pythios or Pythius - an epithet of Apollon, either as the slayer of the Python; from having overcome a man of that name, noted for his cruelty; from a Greek word, to putrefy (because the carcass of Pytho was suffered to putrefy); form a Greek word, to inquire; or fromPytho, another name of Delphi. (CM p.23)Apollon when he took possession of the place. Previously Themis gave oracles at Delphi and Pytho protected her. When Apollon slew the Python, he became the oracle at that place. It was to the Python that Hera gave Typhaon
ABBREVIATIONS: A list of abbreviations used in the glossary can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME PAGE
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