I - An Illustrated Glossary of Hellenic Polytheism




A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U and V W, X, and Y Z

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

Ι, ι (IOTA) - The Greek letter IOTA sounds like a long e, like the double e in fee, knee, or see; not like the short i in bin or sin. The convention of this website is that this sound of the long e is represented in transliterated Greek words by the letter i (with the exceptions noted below for UPSILON and the digraph EPSILON-IOTA). Consequently, we are using the letter i to represent ETA, and IOTA , and also the grapheme OMICRON-IOTA (οι) despite some confusion, since they all have the identical pronunciation.

UPSILON (Υ, υ) is also pronounced like the long e; but for UPSILON we are using the letter y in transliterated words, simply because in most English words the y tends to be pronounced like the long e.

The digraph EPSILON-IOTA is also pronounced like the long e, but we are using ei in transliterated words, again, because ei is usually pronounced like a long e.

There is an exception concerning the pronunciation of the letter i: when a transliterated word has the diphthong if or iv, i.e. an i followed by either an f or a v, the i is a short i, like the i in tin or sit.

We are using various different spellings to enable the student to more easily reconstruct the ancient Greek words from which these letters were derived, as is practical, while still allowing for an easy pronunciation by non-scholars.

See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

Iæréfs - (hiereus; Gr. Ἱερεύς, ἹΕΡΕΎΣ. Feminine is ἱέρεια.) Iæréfs means priest, sacrificer, diviner. (L&S p. 821, left column) In our community, anyone who recites hymns during ritual is a priest or priestess, but when the ritual is finished, they are no longer priests but they become laity again. Cf. Iǽreia.

Iǽreia - (hiereia; Gr. ἱέρεια, ΙΕΡΕΙΑ) Iǽreia is a priestess, the feminine of Iæréfs. (L&S p. 821, left column) Cf. Iæréfs.

Iæreia (iereia; Gr. ἱερεία, ΙΕΡΕΙΑ) Iæreia is a festival for the worship of the Gods; the word can also refer to a sacrifice, such as was performed in antiquity, but the sacrifice of animals is unnecessary and inappropriate in modern times.

Iærómantis - (Hieromantis; Gr. Ἱερόμαντις, ΙΕΡΟΜΑΝΤΙΣ), εως, ὁ, holy seer, Cat. Cod. Astr.8(4).148. (L&S p. 821, right column within the definitions beginning with ίερό-ληπτος)

Iærominia, Ierominia or Hieromenia - (Gr. Ίερομηνία, ΊΕΡΟΜΗΝΊΑ) , ἡ, (μήν) Sacred Month, during which the great festivals were held and hostilities suspended, ἱ. Νεμεάς, of the Nemean games, Pi.N.3.2; ἱ. ἁ Πυθιάς IG22.1126.44 (Amphict.); ἐν σπονδαῖς καὶ προσέτι ἱερομηνία Th.3.56; ἐν σπονδαῖς καὶ ἱερομηνίαις ib.65 (s. v.l.); ἱ. ἄγειν D.24.29: in pl., sacrifices offered during the sacred month, IG11(2).154.11 (Delos, iii B.C.); = Lat. supplicatio, App.BC5.130: pl., D.C.39.53 (ἱερο-μήνια, τά, of the Κάρνεια (q.v.), is prob. f.l. in Th.5.54). (L&S p. 821, right column within the definitions beginning with ίερό-ληπτος)

Iærophántis - (Hierophant; Gr. Ίεροφάντης, ΙΕΡΟΦΑΝΤΗΣ. Etymology: τα ιερά - "the holy" + φαίνω - "to show.") The Iærophántis was the high priest of the Ælefsínia.

- Lexicon entry: one who teaches rites of sacrifice and worship; of the initiating priest at Eleusis (Roman: pontifex, of the pontifex maximus); of the Jewish High Priest; later, mystical expounder. (L&S p.823 as a sub-division of ἱεροϕαντ-έω)

Iærós Lógos - (Hieros Logos; Gr. Ἱερός Λόγος, ἹΕΡΌΣ ΛΌΓΟΣ) Iærós Lógos means Sacred Story, often used in reference to the Orphic Rhapsodies and the stories of the Gods as understood in Orphismós.

iærourgitheis, ierourgetheis, or hierourgetheis - (Gr. ἱερουργηθεἰς , ΙΕΡΟΥΡΓΗΘΕΙΣ) a male human sacrificial victim whose entrails are examined for augury. ("...sacrificial victim whose entrails would be searched and interpreted by magicians and priests for omens..." Excerpt found in Beloved and God by Royston Lambert, 1984, p.133. The quotation concerns the use of the word ierourgetheis by Dio Cassius, who uses it in reference to Antinous, the favorite of the emperor Hadrian, to describe his {Dio's} view on how Antinous died) The word for an animal sacrificial offering is iæerourgithæn (Gr. ΙΕΡΟΥΡΓΗΘΕΝ).

Orpheus put an end to human sacrifice in Hellas, and attempted to end all blood sacrifice. "Again, the practice of men sacrificing one another still exists among many nations; while, on the other hand, we hear of other human beings who did not even venture to taste the flesh of a cow and had no burnt offerings, but only cakes and fruits dipped in honey, and similar pure offerings, but no flesh of animals; from these they abstained under the idea that they ought not to eat them, and might not stain the altars of the Gods with blood. For in those days men are said to have lived a sort of Orphic life, having the use of all lifeless things, but abstaining from all living things." (Plato Laws VI, 782, from the translation of B. Jowett, 1892, found in the 1920 edition, Oxford University Press, p.541.)

iærourgithænta, ierourgethenta, or hierourgethenta - (Gr. ἱερουργηθέντα, ἹΕΡΟΥΡΓΗΘΈΝΤΑ) victims offered (L&S p.823, within the entries beginning with ἱερουργ-έω)

Iærourgithænta are sacrificial animals, offered in ancient times to the Gods. The practice of animal sacrifice is forbidden in contemporary times, and was also forbidden in ancient times by the followers of Orpheus. For more detailed information on the subject, follow this link: Burnt Offerings

Ichnæus - surname of Apollon, from his oracle at Ichnæa, in Macedonia. (CM p.22)

Ichor - See Ikhohr.

iconically - See eikonikohs.

idol - Not a frequently used word in the Hellenic community, the term idol is generally used pejoratively. The correct word that applies to our beliefs is cult-image or, in Greek agalma. Agalma has a particular meaning in Hellenismos which is not the same as the English word idol. Visit this page: AGALMA.

idololatria or idolatry - See eithohlolatria.

idolatry or idololatria - See eithohlolatria.

idolically - See eitholikohs.

idolikos - See eitholikohs.

IF or if - The English letters if are being used on this website to represent the Greek diphthong Íta-Ýpsilon (Gr. ΗΥ, ηυ) when the diphthong is found at the end of a word or before the following consonants: θ κ ξ π σ τ φ χ ψ. This sounds like the if in different.

- When the diphthong Íta-Ýpsilon is found before a vowel or the following consonants: β γ δ ζ λ μ ν ρ, it sounds like the iv in give (and we are spelling it iv).

Please note that these are all short i, using the American pronunciation.

- Please visit this page: Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

Ihia - See Ygeia.

Ikætiría - (iketeria; Gr. ἱκετηρία, ΙΚΕΤΗΡΙΑ) The ikætiría is the olive-branch held by the ikǽtis (Gr. ἱκέτης), the suppliant.

- Lexicon entry: ἱκετηρία, poet. ἱκτηρία, Ion. ἱκετηρίη, , olive-branch which the suppliant held in his hand as a symbol of his condition; esp. of petitions laid before the Athenian people; metaph., ἱκετηρίαν δὲ γόνασιν ἐξάπτω σέθεν τὸ σῶμα τοὐμόν, where the suppliant represents herself as the olive-branch. (L&S p. 826, left column, def. II. of ἱκετήριος, which can be found within the entries beginning with ἱκετεία, edited for simplicity.)

Ikǽtis - (iketes; Gr. ἱκέτης, ΙΚΕΤΗΣ. Plural is Ἱκέτιδες. Noun.) The ikǽtis is a suppliant, someone who supplicates, someone who asks humbly. When we pray, we are a type of ikǽtis.

- Lexicon entry: ἱκέτης, ου, , (ἱκνέομαι) one who comes to seek aid or protection, suppliant; freq. in Hom. of one who comes to seek for purification after homicide; of pilgrims to a healing shrine. (L&S p. 826, left column, within the entries beginning ἱκετεία, edited for simplicity.)

Iketeria or iketiria - See Ikætiría.

Ikhóhr - (Ichor; Gr. Ιχώρ, ΙΧΩΡ) Ikhóhr is the golden fluid flowing through the veins of Gods.

"...and out flowed the immortal blood of the Goddess, the ichor, such as flows in the blessed Gods; for they eat not bread nor do they drink ruddy wine, and so they are bloodless, and are called immortals."

(Homer Iliad Book V 339-343 as translated by A. T. Murray [Revised by William F. Wyatt] in 1924. Found here in the 2003 Harvard Univ. Press [Cambridge MA USA & London England] edition, Loeb LCL 170, on p. 231. This same passage is numbered 364-382 in the William Cowper translation, 381-385 in the Robert Fagles translation, and 339-342 in the Richard Lattimore translation.)

The 1715 Alexander Pope verse translation is as follows:

"From the clear vein in a stream immortal flow'd,

Such stream as issues from a wounded God;

Pure emanation! uncorrupted flood!

Unlike our gross, diseased, terrestrial blood:

(For not the bread of man their life sustains,

Nor wine's inflaming juice supplies their veins"

- Ikhóhr is represented in ritual by sweet dark red wine; it is the blood of the Gods, the Aithír (Aether; Gr. Αἰθήρ) of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς), the blood of Diónysos (Dionysus or Bacchus; Gr. Διόνυσος).

- Lexicon entry: ἰχώρ [ῑ], ῶρος, ὁ, Ichor, the juice, not blood, that flows in the veins of Gods, Il.5.340, etc.: in pl., of the Giants; later simply, blood. (L&S)

Ikhthýs - (Gr. Ἰχθῦς, ΙΧΘΥΣ) Ikhthýs is the sixth month of the Mystery year, beginning February 21. Ikhthýs is the Greek equivalent of the zodiacal sign Pisces. Ikhthýs is ruled by Mighty Posiedóhn (Poseidon; Gr. Ποσειδῶν). It is a month of Changing (mætavolí; Gr. μεταβολή).

- Lexicon Entry: Ἰχθῦς, simply the word for fish; deeper under that heading (III.): the constellation Pisces. (L&S p. 846, left column)

Íkos - (Oikos; Gr. Οἶκος. Plural is Íki [Oikoi; Gr. Οἶκοι].) Íkos is a house, not only of built houses, but of any dwelling-place. Generally, on this site, Íki (plural) is used here to refer to the houses or signs of the Zodiac. (The term house or Íkos in ordinary astrology is not always used to designate the signs of the Zodiac, but is sometimes used in a different way.) See also Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar.

Ílæktron - (elektron or electron; Gr. ἤλεκτρον, ἬΛΕΚΤΡΟΝ) Ílæktron is amber, a stone sometimes associated with Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr.Ἀπόλλων). According to mythology, Ílæktron consists of the tears that the daughters of Ílios (Helios; Gr. Ἥλιος) shed when Phäǽthohn (Phaëthon; Gr. Φαέθων) fell from the sky, or they are the tears of Apóllohn:

"Phaëthon half-consumed fell from the chariot of Helios into the opening of that deep lake; ...... And all around the maidens, the daughters of Helios, enclosed in tall poplars, wretchedly wail a piteous plaint; and from their eyes they shed on the ground bright drops of amber.....But the Celts have attached this story to them, that these are the tears of Leto's son, Apollo, that are borne along by the eddies, the countless tears that he shed aforetime when he came to the sacred race of the Hyperboreans and left shining heaven at the chiding of his father, being in wrath concerning his son whom divine Coronis bare in bright Lacereia at the mouth of Amyrus. And such is the story told among these men." (Argonaftiká of Apollóhnios Ródios [Ἀπολλώνιος Ῥόδιος], Book IV, lines 598-619. Trans. R.C. Seaton, originally published 1912. We are using the 1930 edition published by William Heinemann [London, England UK] and G. P. Putnam's Sons [New York, NY USA], LCL 1, where this quotation may be found on pp. 335-337.)

Why is amber called Ílæktron (electron)? According to Peter Bernhardtin his book Gods and Goddesses in the Garden: Greco-Roman Mythology and the Scientific Names of Plants (2008, p. 128), there are two potential explanations: 1) the stone was named from the tears of the daughters of Ílios because they eventually came to be possessed by the sea nymph Ilǽktra (Elektra; Gr. Ἠλέκτρα), hence elektron, or 2) the word was derived from Ilǽktor (elektor; Gr. ἠλέκτωρ), 'the sun's glare'.

Ilias, or Iliad, The - (Gr. Ἰλιάς, ἸΛΙΆΣ):

Μῆνιν ἄειδε, Θεά, Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην, ἢ μυρι Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγἐ ἔθηκε: "Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans." (trans. Samuel Butler, 1898) Thus begins Homer's great epic of the final year leading to the siege of Troy. The poem specifically tells the story of the rage of Achilles and its aftermath after he has been dishonored and denied his battle-prize.

The Iliad is many things; it is a great story which contains history and mythology. It is a great myth of the deification of many heroes. Helen of Troy has been abducted by Paris, son of Priam, and the Achaeans have come to retrieve her. Helen, or Eleni, means "basket." She is the basket containing the toys of Dionysos, the Basket of the Great Mysteries stolen by Troy. Apollo is the guardian of the Mysteries. This is why he "favors" the Trojans in the mythology. These are examples of how the story is interpreted. Also, the Iliad presents a record of historical events that occurred in ancient times, history which has been accepted as having validity by some modern scholars.

ilianthǽs - (ilianthes; Gr. ἡλιανθές) Ilianthǽs is the labdanum resin used as incense in ritual. Visit this page: LABDANUM.

Iliathis - (Gr. Ἡλιάδης, ΉΛΙΑΔΗΣ) child of the Sun (L&S p.768, left column)

Iliaia - See Ilieia.

Ilieia - (Helieia; Greek: Ἡλίεια or Ἡλιαῖα) The Iliia is a festival of the Sun, SIG 724 (Rhodes, ii/i B.C.),al.; written Ἁλεια in Athenaeus 13.561e, Ἁλίων (L&S p.768, right column)

Ilios - Ilios is the God of the Sun: Helios. Visit this page: ILIOS - ἭΛΙΟΣ.

Iliougænna - Visit this page: Iliouyænna.

Iliostásia - See Iliostásio.

Iliostásio (Gr. Ηλιοστάσιο, singular. Ηλιοστάσια, plural) An Iliostásio is a Solstice. Cf. Tropí.

Ilýsion - (Elysium; Gr. Ἠλύσιον) Ilýsion is a place of reward where virtuous souls dwell after the death of the body. It is said to be covered in beautiful flowers of asphódælos (asphodel; Gr. ἀσφόδελος) and justly ruled by Radámanthys (Rhadamanthus; Gr. Ῥαδάμανθυς) [according to Ὅμηρος] or Krónos (Cronus; Gr. Κρόνος) [according to Ἡσίοδος]. In the time of Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος), Ilýsion was known as Makárohn Nísi (Makaron Nesoi; Gr. Μακάρων Νῆσοι), the Isles of the Blessed, and there were various opinions as to where these islands exactly were located.

Imarmæni - (Imarmene; Gr. Ἐιμαρμένη, ἘΙΜΑΡΜΈΝΗ) Imarmæni is one of three words which can all be translated as destiny, but each of these words has a distinct meaning. Imarmæni is the path one takes in life, the choices one makes, and how this reflects on the future. Visit this page: DESTINY-ΜΟΊΡΑ-ΠΕΠΡΩΜΈΝΟ-ἘΙΜΑΡΜΈΝΗ.

impersonal idealism – Impersonal idealism is the belief in an impersonal system of values that is worthy of worship.

incense - Please visit this page: Incense: A Primer and Sources.

Inclusivity - Scholars use the terms inclusivity and exclusivity. Polytheism is said to be inclusivistic because worshiping one God does not exclude the worship of other Gods. Christianity and Islam, on the other hand, are exclusivistic, in other words, its adherents are only allowed to worship one God. Also read the Glossary entry for orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

Iníokhos - (Heniokhos or The Rein-Holder; Gr. Ηνίοχος) In 1896 at the Sanctuary of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων) at Dælphí (Delphi; Gr. Δελφοί), a large bronze figure was discovered. This statue was in a remarkable state of preservation due, apparently, to a rock-fall. It was marked with an inscription: "Polýzalos (Gr. Πολύζαλος), who honored Apóllohn, dedicated me; give him prosperity." Polýzalos was the tyrant of Yǽla (Gela; Gr. Γέλα). The statue was thought to have been dedicated by Iǽrohn (Hieron; Gr. Ἱέρων), King of Syrákousai (Syracuse; Gr. Συράκουσαι), after a victory at the Pythian games, and assumed to be a depiction of his charioteer Polýzalos, so there is some confusion as to who exactly the statue depicts. Some religious Greeks believe this statue, also know as the Charioteer, is a representation of Ippólytos (Hippolytus; Gr. Ἱππόλυτος), a divine Kouros and the son of Thiséfs (Theseus; Gr. Θησεύς): "He grasped the reins upon the rail: one stride And there he stood, a perfect charioteer, Each foot in its own station set. Then clear His voice rose, and his arms to heaven were spread: ”O Zeus, if I be false, strike thou me dead! But, dead or living, let my Father see One day, how falsely he hath hated me!” Even as he spake, he lifted up the goad And smote; and the steeds sprang."

(Ippólytos 1294-1302 by Evripídis [Euripides; Gr. Εὐριπίδης], trans. Gilbert Murray, 1902.)

inokho-i or oinochoe - (Gr. οἰνοχόη, ΟἸΝΟΧΌΗ; pronounced ee-noh-KOH-ee) The inokho-i is a wine jug.

Lexicon entry: οἰνοχό-η, ἡ, vessel for taking wine from the mixing-bowl (κρατήρ) and pouring it into the cups, Hes.Op. 744, Hermipp.65, Eup.361, etc. ; φιάλας τε καὶ οἰ. Th.6.46 ; χρύσεαι οἰ. E.Tr.820 (lyr.) ; ἀργυρᾶ (-αῖ)IG12.315.3, 22.1388.30, al. ; οἰ. θεῶν σωτήρων OGI214.45 (Didyma). II. a kind of sideboard to range the wine-cups on, Phryn.PSp.95 B. III. female cupbearer, LXX Ec.2.8. (L&S)

Intellect - See Nous.

Intellectual, or Psychical Breadth - "Intellectual, or Psychical Breadth; i.e. the extent of the progression of the intelligible, of intellect and of soul, and of each of these according to its own order, and not according to a progression into an inferior order." (TTS XV p. 10)

Intellectual Projection - See noæra æpivoli.

Interaction = Co-Influence = Allilæpithrasi. Interaction is the seventh of the Natural Laws. See Allilæpithrasi.

Ióhs - (Eos; Gr. Ἠώς, ΗΩΣ) Ióhs is the Goddess of the Dawn. (Isíodos [Hesiod] Thæogonía [Theogony] 372 and 378)

Iohsphóros - (Heosphoros; Gr. Ἠωσφόρος, ΗΩΣΦΟΡΟΣ) See Æöhsphóros.

Ippa - See Ipta.

Ippokratis of Kos (Hippocrates of Cos; Gr. Ἱπποκράτης] Ippokratis was born approximately 460 BCE on the island of Kos, a great place of worship of Asklipios (Asclepius; Gr. Ἀσκληπιός). According to Soranos (Soranus; Gr. Σορανός) of Æphæsos (Ephesus; Gr. Ἔφεσος), he was the son of Praxitela and the physician Irakleithis (Heraclides; Gr. Ἡρακλείδης), a family of the Asklepiadae (priests/doctors of Asklipios). Ippokratis is said to have passed at a very old age, certainly over 80 but by some accounts over 100, perhaps dying in 370, 377 BCE or even later.

Ippokratis is called the father of medicine. He is said to be the founder of the scientific art of healing. He is credited with uniting philosophy and medicine by the students of Pythagoras (Gr. Πυθαγόρας). He rejected the idea of superstitious causes for disease. There are many volumes of work attributed to Ippokratis, but it is uncertain which were truly authored by him.

Vestiges of Ipokratic medicine must certainly survive in modern Western medicine, but a more direct connection to the ancient medicine may be the Unani (Yunani) medicine of Southeast Asia. The word Unani is derived from the Greek word Iohnia (Ionia; Gr. Ἰωνία). Unani is a form of medicine based on the teachings of Ippokratis and another famous physician from antiquity, Galen, but it is a Graeco-Arabic tradition developed by Persian and Arabian doctors.

Ippokratis is likely best known as the likely author of a brief document known as Hippocratic Oath. This oath of ethics and sound medical practice, in one form or another, is still taken by physicians as they leave the university and enter their practice. The oath begins with the following phrase: "I SWEAR by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath..." (translated by Francis Adams). You may download the Oath here: Hippocratic Oath Download

Ipta - Please visit this page: IPTA - ἽΠΤΑ.

Iraklis - (Herakles; Gr. Ἡρακλῆς, ΉΡΑΚΛΗΣ. The name Irakles is pronounced: eer-ah-KLEES.) [Roman: Hercules. Etruscan: Hercle, Hercele, Herecele, Herkle, Hrcle]

Herakles is the most celebrated hero of all time. This entry is under construction. In the meanwhile, see http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/1501.html

Irikapaios, Erikepaios, Ericapaeus, or Ericapæus - (Gr. Ἠρικαπαῖος, ἨΡΙΚΑΠΑΙΟΣ; also: Ἠρικεπαῖος)

1) In Orphic theogony, Irikapaios is Phanis (Phanes; Gr. Φάνης, ΦΑΝΗΣ), or an evolution of Phanis. Damaskios (Damascius; Gr. Δαμάσκιος, ΔΑΜΆΣΚΙΟΣ) calls him Power. He is described by G.R.S. Mead (in Orpheus, 1895/1965, Barnes & Noble, New York, p.107), as one of three aspects of Phanis known as the Triple God born from the Egg. In this description, Irikapaios is the 'power', Metis is thought of as the 'intellect', while Phanis is said to be the 'father'. (Ibid. Mead, p. 109)

In the Orphic Rhapsodies, Phanis is said to have given his scepter to Nyx, the "noble sceptre of Irikapaios." (Orphicorum Fragmenta 101-102, as can be found in found in Orpheus and Greek Religion by W.K.C. Guthrie, 1935, revised 1952 but found here in the 1993 Princeton Univ. Press edition [Princeton NJ USA] on p.138)

2) Irikapaios is also another name for Dionysos. (source: Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Golden Tablets by Fritz Graf and Sarah Isles Johnston, 2007, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group [London England and New York USA] p. 155; also: L&S p.778)

Iris - [Gr. Ἴρις, ἼΡΙΣ. Virgil: Thaumantias] Iris is the daughter of the sea God Thaumas (Gr. Θαῦμας) and the ocean nymph Ilæktra (Electra; Gr. Ἠλέκτρα), and the sister of the Arpyiæs (Harpies; Gr. Άρπυιες). Like Ærmis, Iris is messenger of the the Gods, both from Gods to men, and also the messenger from God to God. She is associated with the rainbow, even being identified as the rainbow itself. Plutarch reports that she is married to Zæphyros (Zephyrus; Gr. Ζέφυρος) by which she gave birth to Ærohs (Eros; Gr. Ἔρως). She is also said to be the mother of Pothos (Gr. Πόθος), Imæros (Himeros; Gr. Ἵμερος), and Antærohs (Anteros; Gr. Ἀντέρως) by Zæphyros. Aellopos (Gr. Ἀέλλοπος) is an epithet of Iris meaning swift-footed like the wind of a storm.

In iconography, Iris has golden wings both on her shoulders and sandals. She carries a Kirykeion (Caduceus or herald's staff; Gr. Κηρύκειον). By the command of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς), Iris carries a pitcher of water from the river Styx (Gr. Στύξ), putting to sleep all those who commit perjury. Over her long tunic, she wears an upper garment.

Íroæs - Please visit this page: Heroes.

Isigoría - (Gr. Ἰσηγορία, ΙΣΗΓΟΡΙΑ) Isigoría is equal right of speech, and generally, political equality. (L&S p. 836, right column, within the entries beginning with ἰσηγορ-έομαι, edited for simplicity.) Cf. isonomía.

Isimæría (Gr. Ἰσημερία, singular) Isimæría is the Equinox. Ismæríai (Gr. Ἰσημερίαι, plural) means Equinoxes.

isonomía - (Gr. ἰσονομία, ἸΣΟΝΟΜΊΑ) equal distribution, equilibrium, balance. II. equality of political rights. (L&S p. 838, right column, within the entries beginning ἰσονομ-έομαι, edited for simplicity) Cf. Isigoría.

Italós, Ioánnis - (Johannes Italus; Gr. Ἰωάννης ὁ Ἰταλός) Ioánnis Italós was a Byzantine philosopher of the Eleventh century. He was a student of Mikhaíli Psællós (Michael Psellos; Gr. Μιχαήλ Ψελλός) and succeeded him as the head of the philosophical school. Italós promoted ancient Greek philosophical ideas, the Platonic concept of forms (see eidos εἶδος), and others, such that he was condemned by the Orthodox church in a document that is still read once yearly during the Lenten season, the Synodikón (Synodicon; Gr. Συνοδικόν) of Orthodoxy, which declares his ideas and those of the ancient philosophers anathema.

Ithikí - (Ethike or Ethiki; Gr. Ηθική, ΗΘΙΚΗ) Ithikí is Ethics, the study of how one should lead ones life from the perspective of morality. Although Ethics permeates all the literature of Hellenismos, from great antiquity, it was during the life Socrates that Ethics became a field of study which eventually became systematized.

íthos, ǽthos, and eidos - The words íthos and ǽthos are typically found in English textbooks spelled the same, ethos, but they should be pronounced differently from one another as they are spelled differently in the ancient Greek, and they have different, but related, meanings. Eidos, on the other hand, is an entirely different word with an unrelated meaning.

íthos (Gr. ἦθος; pronounced: EE-thohs) Íthos is moral character.

Lexicon entry: ἦθος - disposition, character; esp. moral character (L&S, p. 766, right column, A.II.2. Condensed for simplicity.)

ǽthos (Gr. ἔθος; pronounced AY-thos) Ǽthos is habit.

Lexicon entry: ἔθος - custom, habit (L&S, p. 480 left column. Condensed for simplicity.)

eidos (Gr. εἶδος; pronounced EE-thohs, the d or δ is pronounced like a soft th as in this), Eidos are the Platonic forms.

Lexicon entry: εἶδος - that which is seen: form shape. b. especially of beauty of person, comeliness. c. Medic., physique, habit of body, constitution. 2. generally, shape; pattern. II. form, kind, or nature. III. class, kind. 2. = ἰδέα. 3. form, opp. matter: hence, formal cause, essence. IV. in later Gr., wares of different kinds, goods. (L&S p. 482, right column. Condensed for simplicity.)

"For character (ed. íthos, ἦθος) is habit (ed. ǽthos, ἔθος) long continued, and if one were to call the virtues of character the virtues of habit, he would not seem to go far astray." (Plutarch's Moralia I, The Education of Children, 3A, trans. F.C. Babbitt, 1927, p.13)

" ἦθος ἀνθρώπῳ δαίμων." Men's character (ed. ithos) is his fate. (Heraclitus CXIV [D.119, M.94] Stobaeus IV.40.23 = Plutarch, Quaestiones Platonicae 999E, etc.; trans. Charles H. Kahn, The Art and Thought of Heraclitus, Cambridge 1979; 1995 edition pp. 80-81.)

"For I maintain that the true life should neither seek for pleasures, nor, on the other hand, entirely avoid pains, but should embrace the middle state, which I just spoke of as gentle and benign, and is a state which we by some divine presage and inspiration rightly ascribe to God. Now, I say, he among men, too, who would be divine ought to pursue after this mean habit--he should not rush headlong into pleasures, for he will not be free from pains; nor should we allow any one, young or old, male or female, to be thus given any more than ourselves, and least of all the newly-born infant, for in infancy more than at any other time the character is engrained by habit." (Plato Laws, Book VII, 792e; DPII p. 548)

IV or iv - The English letters iv are being used on this website to represent the Greek diphthong Íta-Ýpsilon (Gr. ΗΥ, ηυ) when the diphthong is found before a vowel or the following consonants: β γ δ ζ λ μ ν ρ. This sounds like the iv in give.

- When the Greek diphthong Íta-Ýpsilon is found before the following consonants: θ κ ξ π σ τ φ χ ψ or at the end of a word, it sounds like the if in different (and we are spelling it if).

Please note that these are all short i, using the American pronunciation.

See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

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

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 kosmogonic 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).

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

Transliteration of Ancient Greek

Pronouncing the Names of the Gods in Hellenismos

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