Z - 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: 

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


Ζ, ζ  (ZITA) - (zeta; Gr. ζήτα, ΖΉΤΑ)  The Greek letter ZITA is pronounced either like the sd in wisdom or the z in zodiac.  We are using both sd and z as conventions on this website.  See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

Zæïbǽkiko - (Zeibekiko; Gr. Ζεϊμπέκικο) Zæïbǽkiko is a Greek dance-form still in practice, but perhaps having roots extending to ancient warriors of Anatolia. Zæïbǽkiko was known only on the Greek islands, but it migrated to the mainland during the forced migrations connected to the Greek genocide in Anatolia from 1914-1923. Originally, Zæïbǽkiko was performed with a pair of dancers both of the same sex, but it evolved into a primarily male solo dance which is highly improvisatory and passionate and emblematic of the Greek spirit. As the dancer expresses himself, all the others present get on their knees and form a circle, encouraging him, and no-one is to disturb him as he bares his soul. Often the dance expresses the great sorrows and difficulties of the dancer and is a means of working out and venting his pain and the pain of the people.

Zǽphyros - [Zephyrus; Gr. Ζέφυρος, ΖΕΦΥΡΟΣ] Zǽphyros is the West Wind. Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος), the historian, says that Zǽphyros is the son of Astraios (Astraeus; Gr. Ἀστραῖος) and Ióhs (Eos; Gr. Ἠώς, ἨΏΣ). He resided with his brother Vorǽas (Boreas; Gr. Βορέας) in their palace in Thráki (Thrace; Gr. Θράκη).

Zǽphyros is the gentle messenger of spring. This quality can be seen in a very beautiful description from the hymn to Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων) by the Alexandrian poet Kallímakhos (Callimachus; Gr. Καλλίμαχος): 

"Hië, Hië, Karneius! Lord of many prayers, - thine altars wear flowers in spring, even all the pied flowers which the Hours lead forth when Zǽphyros breathes dew, and in winter the sweet crocus." 
(trans. by A.W. Mair & G.R. Mair in Callimachus Hymns and Epigrams, 1921. We are using the 1989 Loeb edition, LCL 129, Harvard Univ. Press [Cambridge MA and London England], where this quotation may be found on pp. 55-57)

Nonetheless, there is the famous story of his love for the youth Yákinthos (Hyacinth; Gr. Ὑάκινθος). Apóllohn, who also loved Yákinthos, was playing a game of quoits (or discus) with the boy, but the jealous Zǽphyros blew the quoit off course-after the Apóllohn threw it and it struck Yákinthos and killed him, from which a flower emerged which was given the name hyacinth.

Zagréfs - (Zagreus; Gr. Ζαγρεὐς, ΖΑΓΡΕΥΣ. Etym. ζωγρέω, 'to capture alive.' Walter Otto calls him [Zagréfs] 'Great Hunter,' [Dionysus - Myth and Cult, Indiana Univ. Press, 1965 as trans. into English by Robert B. Palmer, p. 191.] which he takes to be derived from ἀγρεύων. M.L. West seems to disagree with this etymology: "The etymologist falsely explains Zagreus' name from za - 'very' and agreuein 'hunt.' " [M.L. West Greek Epic Fragments, Loeb LCL 497, Harvard Univ. Press, 2003, p. 61.])

The name Zagréfs is one of the many names of DionysosAs told in the mythology, Zagréfs is said to be the son of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) and Pærsæphóni (Persephone or Proserpina; Gr. Περσεφόνη). The Titanæs (Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες) tricked Zagréfs into putting aside his thunderbolts by giving him little presents. While gazing into one of the toys, a mirror, they cut him into seven pieces and ate of him. His heart was retrieved by Athiná (Athena; Gr. Ἀθηνᾶ) and Zefs sewed it into his thigh, giving him a second birth. This story is highly symbolic and is central to the Mysteries. For more detailed information about this mythology, as well as citations, visit this page: Diónysos.

Zefs - Please visit this page: Zefs.

Zefs (Zeus), The Three - Please visit this page: The Three Zefs.

Zephyrus - See Zǽphyros.

Zeus - Please visit this page: Zefs.

Zína - (Zena; Gr. Ζῆνα, ΖΗΝΑ; pronounced ZEE-nah) Zína is the poetical, accusative of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς).

Zodiac - See Zohdiakós.

Zodiacal Rulerships, Orphic - Please visit this page: Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar.

Zodiakos - See Zohdiakós.

Zohdiakós - (Zodiakos; Gr. ζῳδιᾰκός, ΖΩΔΙΑΚΟΣ) Zohdiakós is the ZodiacDam. Pr.131, 351.  (L&S p. 758, right column) Please visit this page: Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar.   

Zohdiakós Kýklos (Zodiacus Cyclus; Gr. ζδιακς Κύκλος) the Zodiac, the circle of the Zodiac.

Zohdiárkhis (Gr. Ζῳδιάρχης. Ety. ζῳδιᾰκός [the zodiac] + ἄρχων [ruler or lord]) =  Zohdiokrátohr. See Zohdiokrátohr.

Zohdiokrátohr - (Zodiocrator; Gr. Ζῳδιοκράτωρ. Plural: Zohdiokrátoræs; Gr. ζῳδιοκράτορες. Etymology: ζῳδιᾰκός [the zodiac] + κράτωρ [ruler or potentate]) Zohdiokrátohr is a divinity presiding over the zodiac. (L&S p. 758, right column). Please visit this page: Mystic Zodiacal Calendar.

Zóhdion - (Zodion; Gr. ζῴδιον. Plural is Zóhdia [Zodia; Gr. ζῴδια].) Zóhdion means astrological sign. Zóhdion is the diminution of ζῷον, a word meaning animal or statue. In iconography, most of the astrological signs are depicted as little animals, hence, the zodiac is sometimes called the Zohdiakós Kýklos (Zodiacus Cyclus; Gr. ζῳδιακὸς Κύκλος), the "circle of little animals," κύκλος meaning "circle."
 Lexicon entry: ζῴδιον, τό, Dim. of ζῷον, small figure, painted or carved; statuette. II. Astron., sign of the Zodiac:— also ζωΐδιον, τό. (L&S p. 758, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Zoï(Gr. Ζωή, ΖΩΗ. Etymology: from ζῶ, "I live"Zoï is Life, the second of the Natural Laws, under the dominion of mighty Aris (Ares; Gr. Ἄρης). Zoï in the divine realm (Gr. Ἥ ἐν τῷ θείῳ κόσμῳ ζωή) is ruled by Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς).

Zygós - (Gr. Ζυγός, ΖΥΓΌΣ) Zygós is the first month of the Mystery year, beginning on Sept. 21; it is the religious new year because this month is ruled by the Goddess Æstía (Hestia; Gr. Ἑστία) and all ritual begins with homage to her; this means that the entire year is to be viewed as a gigantic ritual. Zygós is the Greek equivalent of the zodiacal sign LibraZygós is a month of Great Energizing (Ǽntoni Ænæryitikótita; Gr. Έντονη Ενεργητικότητα).

- Zygos, the "yoke" or "balance," can be found in Liddell and Scott under the heading ζῠγὀν described as the constellation Libra. (L&S p. 757, right column at the top of the page)


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

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