R - An Illustrated Glossary of Hellenic Polytheism



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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.

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: 

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.

ABBREVIATIONS:  A list of abbreviations used in the glossary can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME PAGE


Ρ, ρ (ROH or RHO; Gr. ρω, ΡΩ) - The Greek letter ROH sounds like the r in run or risky, but usually rolling the R/r slightly.  Consequently, we are using the letter R/r to represent ROHSee Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

Ramnous (Gr. Ραμνούς, ΡΑΜΝΟΎΣ) Ramnous was an ancient city (8 miles NNE of Marathon and 24 miles NE of Athens), now in ruins, which contained two temples, the Temple of Næmæsis (Nemesis; Gr. Νέμεσις, ΝΈΜΕΣΙΣ), the most important temple dedicated to her in antiquity, and the Temple of Thæmis (Themis; Gr. Θέμις, ΘΈΜΙΣ).

rationalism - [L. rationalis, ratio(n-)] Rationalism is a philosophical term indicating an epistemological position a priori, that is, that true knowledge is obtained using reason, independent of the senses.  Rationalism stands in contrast to empiricism.

raven - The raven is sacred to Apollon.  According to Aristotle, ravens were capable of distinguishing barren land from fertile land.

reasons - See logi.

Reconstructionism - Reconstructionism, in the context of religion, is the recreation of an ancient religion.  Practitioners of reconstructionism usually assume that the lineage of such religions was broken in antiquity and that the tradition in question has become extinct.  They tend to heavily rely on texts and the research of scholars in their religious practices.  In the case of Hellenismos, the general idea outside of Greece is that the religion died out centuries ago, but there are many practitioners of Hellenismos in Greece who say otherwise.

Compare to Successionism, DodekatheismHellenismos.

Reincarnation - See palingænæsía.

relativism, ethical or moral - Ethical relativism is the position that moral values are dependent on one's personal perspective and relation to society, and do not reflect absolute truth. 

religion - See thriskeia.

Religio Romana - In ancient times, the Italian peninsula and Sicily had many Greek colonies. this is one of the reasons why Greek religion penetrated into Italy.  Consequently, Religio Romana, the polytheistic religion of ancient Rome, while not identical to Hellenismos, bears similarity.  It's major pantheon is virtually identical to the Greek.  The Olympian Gods and Goddesses were viewed as the same deities by the Romans and this is obvious from the iconography of sculpture and paintings. In some cases, these deities were worshipped with different names, but believed to be the same Gods.  The Orphic teachings are also found in ancient Italy.

The Roman names for the Olympians are as follows, followed by the Greek equivalents:

Vesta (ÆSTIA or Hestia)

Mars (ARIS or Ares)

Diana (ARTÆMIS or Artemis)

Vulcan (IPHAISTOS or Hephaestus)

Juno (IRA or Hera)

Neptune (POSEITHOHN or Poseidon)

Minerva (ATHINA or Athena)

Venus (APHROTHITI or Aphrodite)

Apollo (APOLLO

Mercury (ÆRMIS or Hermes)

Jupiter (ZEFS or Zeus)

Ceres (DIMITIR or Demeter)

Reuchlin, Johann - Born: 1455, Died: 1522.  Johann Reuchlin was a German humanist and the most significant scholar of Greek and Hebrew in Germany during his lifetime.  He is known, primarily, for his role during the Roman Catholic Inquisition in protecting the rights of Jews to have access to Hebrew texts, a role which put his own career and personal welfare at considerable risk.

Reuchlin is also known for his position on the pronunciation of the ancient Greek language.  He advocated the use of contemporary Greek pronunciation, the way in which Greek academics speak the ancient language.  Scholars call this approach the Reuchlinian method.  Reuchlin's technique of pronunciation stands in contrast to the ideas of Desiderius Erasmus.  The pronunciation used at the present time in English and American universities reflects many of Eramus' ideas.  On this website, we use the contemporary Greek pronunciation, almost identical to that advocated by Reuchlin; this is the pronunciation preferred by the Greeks teachers themselves, those who hold the traditions from which these words come.

Reuchlinian Method of Pronouncing Ancient Greek - The Reuchlinian Method of pronouncing ancient Greek is, primarily, to use the contemporary pronunciation used in Greece.  It is this method that we are incorporating into this website.  You can learn more by visiting the following two pages:

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek


reversion - See æpistrophí.

Rhodopeius - See Rothopeios.

Rhombus - See Romvos.

Rhyton - See Rytón.

Ritual - Please visit this page: Thæouryía.

Rómvos - (Rhombus; Gr. Ρόμβος, ΡΌΜΒΟΣ) The Rómvos, the top (the teetotum or whirligig), is one of the Toys of Diónysos and also one of the great symbols of the Ælefsínia Mystíria (Eleusinian Mysteries; Gr. Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια).

 - (rothon or rhodon; Gr. 
ρόδον, ΡΌΔΟΝ)  The rose (and myrtle) are sacred to Aphrodíti (Aphrodite; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη, ἈΦΡΟΔΊΤΗ) [Pausanias, Guide to Greece 6.24.6]  According to Ovid (Metamorphoses 10.522 & 705), when
Ádohnis  (Adonis; Gr. Ἄδωνις) died, Aphrodíti sprinkled nectar on his blood on the ground, causing a blood-red rose to  emerge. In another story for which I cannot find her source, Marina Heilmeyer states that:  "All roses, according to legend, were originally white. They turned red only from the blood of Aphrodite, Goddess of love, who was pricked by a rose thorn as she rushed to save the dying Adonis.  Drops of her blood fell and dyed the rose red; the red rose thereby became the symbol of enduring love, a symbolism still attributed to the rose throughout the world today."  (Ancient Herbs by Marina Heilmeyer, 2007; Getty Publications, Los Angeles CA USA, p. 84)

Pærsæphoni (Persephone or Proserpina; Gr. Περσεφόνη), before being abducted by Plouton, was "gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and crocuses and beautiful violets, irises also and hyacinths and the narcissus, which Gaia made to grow at the will of Zeus and to please Polydektor (the Host of Many), to be a snare for the bloom-like girl - a marvellous, radiant flower."  (Homeric Hymn II,  To Demetra, 7-12, translated by H.G. Evelyn-White, 1936 edition, p. 289)

Rulerships, Zodiacal - Visit this page: The Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar and Olympian Zodiacal Rulerships.

- (rhyton; Gr. ῥῠτόν, ΡΥΤΟΝ. Plural is ῥυτά.) The rytón is drinking horn often in the shape of an animal-head. Rytá frequently have a small hole at the thin end in addition to the large hole; this small hole is held with the finger and can be the spout for drinking or released to the ground to make libations.


ABBREVIATIONS:  A list of abbreviations used in the glossary can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME PAGE

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