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PRONOUNCING THE NAMES OF THE GODS OF HELLENISMOS, THE ANCIENT GREEK RELIGION

HellenicGods.org
"By Jupiter (ed. Ζεύς), Hermogenes (ed. Ἑρμογένης), if we are endued with intellect, we shall confess that the most beautiful mode of conduct, on this occasion, is to acknowledge that we know nothing either concerning the Gods, or the names by which they denominate themselves: for it is evident that they call themselves by true appellations.  But the second mode of rectitude consists, I think, in calling the Gods by those names which the law ordains us to invoke them by in prayer, whatever the names may be which they rejoice to hear; and that we should act thus, as knowing nothing more than this: for the method of invocation which the law appoints appears to me to be beautifully established.  If you are willing, therefore, let us enter on this speculation, previously, as it were, declaring to the Gods that we speculate nothing concerning their divinities, as we do not think ourselves equal to such an undertaking; but that we direct our attention to the opinion entertained by those men who first fabricated their names: for this will be the means of avoiding their indignation."  (Πλάτων Κρατύλος 400d-401a, trans. by Thomas Taylor, 1804.)


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INTRODUCTION:

While the author of this website was in Greece in the fall of 2008, there was discussion of American students learning some ancient Greek.  In particular, it was thought that at least some of the Orphic Hymns could be learned.  In the midst of our conversation, I became quite interested in a God whom a teacher kept calling "Airamees."  It took me some time to realize that he was actually correctly pronouncing "Hermes."  In any case, the Greeks do not use the pronunciation which the universities in England, Germany, and America use (where they use some form of the Erasmian method).  The Greeks pronounce the ancient words using what scholars call the Reuchlinian method, which is modern Greek.  The below list reflects the Reuchlinian pronunciation of some of the more prominent deities of our religion. 

For a more detailed discussion of the Reuchlinian method of pronunciation, with a listing of the alphabet and diphthongs: Pronunciation of Ancient Greek.

HellenicGods.org spells Greek words in a way which reflects the Greek pronunciation, utilizing a transliteration method unique to this website.  Although our system has limits, the student can approximate correct pronunciation by simply looking at the transliterated word, with a few exceptions.  This system is discussed at greater length on this page: Transliteration of Ancient Greek into English


PRONOUNCING THE NAMES OF THE GODS AND HEROES

Here follows a list of some of the most important deities in Hellenismos.  From time to time, more names will be added.  You can also check the Glossary for more names of Gods.


Ádohnis (Adonis; Gr. Ἄδωνις, ΑΔΩΝΙΣ) Pronounced: AH-doh-nees.

Ækáti - (Hecate or Hekate; Gr. Ἑκάτη, ΕΚΑΤΗ) Pronounced: æ-KAH-tee. or eh-KAH-tee.

Ærmís (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς, ΕΡΜΗΣ) Pronounced: ayr-MEES, the 'H' is silent; the 'R' is rolled slightly such that it almost sounds like the name has three syllables.

Ǽrohs (Eros; Gr. Ἔρως, ΕΡΩΣ) Pronounced: Ǽ-rohs or EH-rohs.

Æstía (Hestia; Gr. Ἑστία, ΕΣΤΙΑ) Pronounced: æs-TEE-ah.

Aphrodíti (Aphrodite; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη, ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗ) Pronunciation: ah-froh-DEE-tee, roll the 'r' slightly; the d (dǽlta) is pronounced like the soft th in this, not like the hard th in theory

Apóllohn - (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων, ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝ) Pronounced ah-POH-lohn.

Áris - (Ares; Gr. Άρης, ΑΡΗΣ) Pronunciation: AH-rees 

Aristaios - (Aristaeus; Gr. Ἀρισταῖος, ΑΡΙΣΤΑΙΟΣ)  Pronunciation: ah-rees-TAY-ohs.

Ártæmis (Artemis; Gr. Ἄρτεμις, ΑΡΤΕΜΙΣ) Pronunciation: AHR-tay-mees 

Asklipiós (Asclepius; Gr. Ἀσκληπιός, ΑΣΚΛΗΠΙΟΣPronounced: ahs-klee-pee-OHS, the accent on the final syllable.

Athiná (Athena; Gr. Ἀθηνᾶ, ΑΘΗΝΑ) Pronunciation: ah-thee-NAH, the accent on the final syllable, or not accenting any syllable.

Cronus - See Krónos.

Daimohn (Gr. δαίμων, ΔΑΙΜΩΝ) Pronounced: DAY-mohn, the D sounding like the th in thee (not like the th in thesis).

Dimiourgós - (Demiurgus or Demiurge; Gr. Δημιουργός, ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΟΣ). Pronunciation: dee-mee-oor-GOHS.

Dimítir (Demeter or Demetra; Gr. Δημήτηρ, ΔΗΜΗΤΗΡWhen enunciating the name Dimítir, the D (delta) is pronounced like the soft th in this, not like the hard th in theorydee-MEE-teer, with the accent on the second syllable.

Diónysos - (Dionysus; Gr. Διόνυσος, ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΣ) The D in Diónysos is pronounced like the th in thee (not like the th in thesis). Pronounceddee-OH-nee-sohs.

Dióskouri (Dioscuri; Gr. Διόσκουροι, ΔΙΟΣΚΟΥΡΟΙ) Pronounced: dee-OH-skoo-ree.

Dohdækáthæon (Dodecatheon; Gr. Δωδεκάθεον) Pronounced: doh-day-KAH-thay-ohn or doh-deh-KAH-theh-ohn, the d's sounding like the th in thee (not like the th in theory).

Esculapius - See Asklipiós.

Gaia - See Yaia.

Helios - See Ílios.

Hephaestus - See Íphaistos.

Hera - See Íra.

Hermes - :  See Ærmís. 

Hestia - See Æstía.

Hipta - See Ípta.

Iásohn (Jason; Gr. Ἰάσων, ΙΑΣΩΝ)  Pronunciation: ee-AH-sohn. Since words are pronounced quickly, it sounds like YAH-sohn.

Ílios - (HeliosGr. Ἥλιος, ΗΛΙΟΣ) Pronounced: EE-lee-ohs.

Íphaistos (HephaestusGr. Ἥφαιστος, ΗΦΑΙΣΤΟΣPronounced: EE-fays-tohs, with the accent on the first syllable; there is no 'H.'

Ippa - See Ípta.

Ípta - (Ippa or Hipta; Gr. Ἵπτα, ΙΠΤΑ. Pronounced: EEP-tah.

Íra (Hera; Gr. Ήρα, ΗΡΑPronounced: EE-rah.  The 'H' (Íta [Eta; Gr. ἦτα]) at the beginning of the name of the Goddess is a vowel.

Jason - See Iásohn.

Jupiter (Juppiter) - See Zefs.

Kourítæs - (Curetes; Gr. Κουρῆτες, ΚΟΥΡΗΤΕΣ) Pronounced: koo-REE-tays or koo-REE-tehs.

Krónos - (Cronus; Gr. Κρόνος, ΚΡΟΝΟΣ) PronouncedKROH-nohs.

Mercury - See Ærmís.

Mírai (Moirai or Moerae; Gr. Μοῖραι) Pronounced: MEE-ray.

Mnimosýni - (Mnemosyne; Gr. Mνημοσύνη, ΜΝΗΜΟΣΥΝΗ)  Pronounced: mnee-moh-SEE-nee. 

Moerae or Moirae - See Mírai.

Mousai (Muses; Gr. Μοῦσαι, ΜΟΥΣΑΙ) Pronounced: MOO-say.

Muses - See Mousai.

Nature (Natura) - See Phýsis.

Neptune - See Poseidóhn.

Nómos - (Gr. Νόμος, ΝΟΜΟΣ; not to be confused with νομός, spelled the same but the accent on the second syllable) Pronounced: NOH-mohs.

Nýmphai (Nymphs; Gr. Νύμφαι, ΝΥΜΦΑΙ) Pronounced: NEEM-fay.

Nymphs - See Nýmphai.

Nyx (Gr. Νύξ, ΝΥΞ) Pronounced: neeks.

Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς, ΟΡΦΕΥΣ) Pronounced: ohr-FEFS

Orpheus - See Orphéfs.

Ouranós - (Uranus; Gr. Οὐρανός, ΟΥΡΑΝΟΣ) Pronounced: oo-rah-NOHS, the accent on the last syllable.

Pærsæphóni - (Persephone; Gr. Περσεφόνη, ΠΕΡΣΕΦΟΝΗ) Pronouncedpayr-say-FOH-nee.

Phánis - (Phanes; Gr. Φάνης, ΦΑΝΗΣ)  Pronounced: FAH-nees.

Phýsis - (Nature; Gr. φύσις, ΦΥΣΙΣ) Pronounced: FEE-sees.

 - (Gr. Πλούτων, ΠΛΟΥΤΩΝ)  
Pronounced: PLOO-tohn.

Prohtogónos - (Protogonus; Gr. Πρωτογόνος, ΠΡΩΤΟΓΟΠΟΣ) Pronounced: proh-toh-GOH-nohs.

Poseidóhn  - (Poseidon; Gr. Ποσειδῶν, ΠΟΣΕΙΔΩΝ) Pronounced: poh-see-DOHN, accent on the last syllable; the d (delta) at the beginning of the last syllable is pronounced like a soft th as in this, not like the th in theory

Rǽa - (Rhea; Gr. Ῥέα, ΡΕΑ) Pronounced: RAY-ah, rolling the R just slightly.

Titánæs (Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες, ΤΙΤΑΝΕΣ) Pronounced: tee-TAH-nays or tee-TAH-nehs.

Titans - See Titánæs.

Uranus - See Ouranós.

Vasiléfs (Basileus; Gr. Βασιλεύς, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ) Pronounced: vah-see-LEFSVasiléfs means king and can be applied to a number of different deities, such as Diónysos or Zefs.

Yaia - (Gaia; Gr. Γαῖα, ΓΑΙΑ. Pronounced: YÆ-ah.

Yheia (Hygeia; Gr. Ὑγεία, ΥΓΕΙΑ) Pronounced: ee-HEE-ah, the h at the beginning of the second syllable is guttural, somewhat like a combination of g and h.

Zefs (Zeus; Gr.  Ζεύς, ΖΕΥΣ) Pronounced: zĕfs; the diphthong εύ is pronounced like the ef in left.


The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
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.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.


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 kozmogonic 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 website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

  
  

, 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 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.


The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
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: 

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek         

 

PHOTO COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: The many pages of this website incorporate images, some created by the author, but many obtained from outside sources. To find out more information about these images and why this website can use them, visit this link: Photo Copyright Information

DISCLAIMER: The inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) with the views of HellenicGods.org by the external sources from which they were obtained.

Further, the inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) by HellenicGods.org of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

For more information: Inquire.hellenicgods@gmail.com

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

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