P - 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

Π, π (PI) - The Greek letter PI (pronounced pee) sounds like the p in piano or pleasure. See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

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.

Pǽplos - (Peplos; Gr. Πέπλος) Pǽplos is any woven cloth used for a covering, sheet, carpet, curtain, veil, to cover a chariot, funeral-urn, seat; laid over the face of the dead. (L&S p. 1363)

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.

Pæriklís - (Pericles; Gr. Περικλῆς) - (495 - 429 BCE) Pæriklís was the great statesman of Athens associated with the city in its golden era. Pæriklís 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. Pæriklís died of the plague that infested Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War.

Pærí pnévma - (peripneuma; Gr. περί πνεύμα, ΠΕΡΙ ΠΝΕΥΜΑ) The pærí pnévma is the Aithir (Aether; Gr. Αἰθήρ) and all the khitóhns (garments) which surround the soul. Within the pærí pnévma are the archives of everything that has occurred to that soul.

Pærirrantírion - (Perirranterion; Gr. περιρραντήριον, ΠΕΡΙΡΡΑΝΤΉΡΙΟΝ) A Pærirrantírion is a whisk with which to sprinkle Khǽrnips, i.e. lustral water for purification before ritual. The word can also refer to the basin of Khǽrnips itself.

- Lexicon entry: περιρραντἠριον, a utensil for besprinkling, esp. whisk for sprinkling water at sacrifices, or a vessel for lustral water (ed. Khǽrnips) outside of the sanctuary. (L&S p. 1385, column 1, under the heading of περἰρρανσις, edited for simplicity.) Please visit this page: Khǽrnips.

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)

Paideia - (Gr. παιδεία, ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑ) Lexicon entry: παιδεία, , rearing of a child. 2. training and teaching, education, opp. τροφή. 3. its result, mental culture, learning, education. 4. culture of trees. 5. πλεκτὰν Αἰγύπτου παιδείαν ἐξηρτήσασθε the twisted handiwork of Egypt, i.e. (acc. to Sch.) ropes of papyrus. 6. anything taught or learned, art, science. 7. chastisement. II. youth, childhood. 2. in collect. sense, body of youths. (L&S p. 1286, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Palingænæsía - Please visit this page: REINCARNATION.

Palingenesis - Please visit this page: REINCARNATION.

Pallas - Pallas is an epithet of Athena.

Pan - (Roman: Faunus) (Gr. 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.

Pantheon, the - The Pantheon is the magnificent temple to all the Gods that was completed during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in Rome. The design of the building has been attributed to Hadrian himself, but it is now believed more likely to have been the architect commissioned by Trajan, Apollodorus of Damascus, or Hadrian's own architects. 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

Parcae - (Latin) = Mírai (Moirai or Moerae; Gr. Μοῖραι), The Fates.

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 (ed. Gr. Κλωθώ ), Decuma (ed. Gr. Λάχεσις), and Morta (ed. Gr. Ἄτροπος). (LD p. 1302, left column)

Please visit this page: Destiny.

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.

Parrhasia - (Gr. Παρρασία) one of the six sub-divisions of Arkadia, in southern Arkadia.

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.


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.

Patír - (Gr. Πατήρ, ΠΑΤΗΡ) = Patrius or Patróös (adjective). Patír is an ancient epithet meaning father, such as Apóllohn Patír or Zefs Patír.

Páthima - (pathema; Gr. πάθημα, ΠΑΘΗΜΑ. Plural is παθήματα.) Lexicon entry: πᾰθημα, ατος, τό, dat. pl. παθημάτοις:—that which befalls one, suffering, misfortune. II. emotion or condition, affection; opp. ποίημα; but in early writers mostly in pl., affections, feelings, opp. ποιήματα. 2. Medic., pl., troubles, symptoms. III. in pl., incidents, happenings. 2. incidents or changes of material bodies. 3. in Logic, incidents, properties, or accidents. (L&S p. 1285, left column, withing the entries beginning with παθαίνω, edited for simplicity.) Cf. Páthos.

Páthos - (Gr. πάθος, ΠΑΘΟΣ; plural is πάθη.) - Pathos is one's experience, that which happens to someone or something. Páthos is experience, emotion, feeling. In antiquity, the passions were related to passivity, that the passions were something which came upon one rather than something generated from within.

- In Orphismós, the soul (psykhí; Gr. ψυχή) is represented by an egg. Both the "yolk" and the "shell" of the egg consist of a combination of the two fundamental kosmogonic substances (Earth and Water), but the space between them, corresponding to the white of an egg, consists solely of Aithír (Aether; Gr. Αἰθήρ), under the dominion of Poseidόhn (Poseidon; Gr. Ποσειδῶν), where reside the páthi (Gr. πάθη is plural.) or pathímata (Gr. παθήματα), the emotions.

- Lexicon entry: πάθος [], 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, opp. οὐσία. 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, edited for simplicity.)

- Cf. Páthima.

Patroclus - (Gr. 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 - Please visit this page: Patron Deities in Hellenismos.

Pegasus - (Greek: Πήγασος) 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.

Penelope - the faithful wife who waited twenty years for her husband Odysseus to return from Troy. The mother of Telemachus.

Pepromeno - See Pæpromæno.

Pericles - See Pæriklís.

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.

Phaliphória - (Gr. Φαλληφόρια, ΦΑΛΛΗΦΟΡΙΑ) The Phaliphória is a festival of Diónysos held during the brumal month of Poseidæóhn (Poseideon; Gr. Ποσειδεών. Dec./Jan.). A herald bearing a staff with a leather phallus at its peak heads the procession of ivy-crowned participants wearing masks or having painted their faces, drinking the new wine. Ref. Aristophánis (Gr. Ἀριστοφάνης) Akarneis (The Acharnians; Gr. Ἀχαρνεῖς) 241-262.

Phánis (Fanis) - Please visit this page: Phánis

Pharmakí - Please visit this page: Tharyília.

Philǽllin - (Philhellene; Gr. Φιλέλλην, ΦΙΛΈΛΛΗΝ. Etymology: φίλος "friend" + Έλλην "the Greeks") Philǽllin is an appellation meaning friend of the Greeks. The word was used in antiquity for those who loved Greek culture, but it is particularly associated with those of the Romantic Movement of the 1800's, great souls 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 and one of their own. There were Philhellenes from other places in the world, including the Americans Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, George Jarvis, Samuel Gridley Howe, and others. Americans also contributed valuable material aid to the Greek cause:




The author of this website and those others who are connected with him are proud to call ourselves Philhellenes also, as we are not only friendly to the ancient Greeks but are loyal to the Greeks of our time as well, good people who have bestowed such warm benefits on us, most particularly the understanding of the ancient religion.

Philhellene - See Philǽllin.

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.

Philosophía - (Gr. φιλοσοφία, ΦΙΛΟΣΟΦΊΑ) One who practices philosophía is known as a philósophos (philosopher; Gr. φιλόσοφος). When there are more than one who practice philosophía, they are known as philósophi (philosophers; Gr. φιλόσοφοι). Philosophia, or philosophy is defined as the love of wisdom or the love of beautiful or noble things. We primarily use the term to designate the raw questioning which aims to uncover truth as exemplified in the Socratic dialogues, in contrast to its more common meaning, the study of philosophical ideas.

"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)

See also the section entitled The Four Pillars Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός) which can be found on this page: Living the Hellenic Tradition.

Philósophos - (philosopher; Gr. φιλόσοφος. Plural is philósophi [philosophers; Gr. φιλόσοφοι]) A philósophos is one who practices philosophía (philosophy; Gr. φιλοσοφία).

Philótis - (philotes; Gr. φιλότης, ΦΙΛΟΤΗΣ) Philótis is friendship. Aristotǽlis (Aristotle; Gr. Ἀριστοτέλης), in Ithikhóhn Nikomakheiohn (Nicomachean Ethics; Gr. Ηθικών Νικομαχείων) Book 8, discusses friendship in great detail. He identifies three types: 1. friendship based on utility, 2. friendship based on mutual pleasure, and 3. perfect friendship, the highest form and a great virtue, being a partnership between two people which fosters the highest character development.

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.

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.

Phiáli Mæsómphalos - ( Phiale Mesomphalos; Gr. Φιάλη Μεσόμφαλος, ΦΙΑΛΗ ΜΕΣΟΜΦΑΛΟΣ) libation bowl. It has a central area which is raised so that the fingers fit underneath to hold better.

Phrónisis - (Gr. Φρόνησις) Phrónisis is Wisdom, one of the Four Cardinal Virtues; the other three being Courage or Fortitude (Andreia; Gr. Ἀνδρεία or Thrásos; Gr. Θράσος), Temperance or Moderation (Sohphrosýni; Gr. Σωφροσύνη), and Justice (Dikaiosýni; Gr. Δικαιοσύνη). Please visit this page: Virtue in Hellenismos.

Phrygian cap (liberty cap) - The inhabitants of Phrygia were likely immigrants from Thrace, so the cap is actually a Thracian cap. In the Iconologia, a work of 1593, Cesare Ripa states that this hat was worn by freed slaves of ancient Greece and Rome, hence it is known as the liberty cap. It was believed that Phrygia was a great source of slaves and that when freed, they would again don their national headdress. In ancient times, the hat implied Eastern origin. This cap is associated with Priam's son Paris, and in particular, it can be seen on depictions of Orpheus. Mithras is also shown with a Phrygian cap. It is a soft cap without a brim, stocking-like, often worn with the top pulled forward. Dacian, Macedonian, and Thracian military helmets imitated this shape.

Phthinopohriní Isimæría - (Fthinoporini Isimæria; Gr. Φθινοπωρινή Ἰσημερία, ΦΘΙΝΟΠΩΡΙΝΗ ΙΣΗΜΕΡΙΑ) The Phthinopohriní Isimæría, the Autumn Equinox, is a sacred holiday in Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion. In the Orphic tradition, it is the beginning of the Mystery year, i.e. the year viewed as a gigantic ritual. The Autumn Equinox is celebrated at the commencement of the first zodiacal íkos (oikos or house; Gr. οἶκος), the month of Æstía (Hestia), and, as is well known, all ritual begins by honoring her. Zygós (Gr. Ζυγός), or Libra, begins on September 21 and this is her month. The beginning of the religious year is celebrated on this day regardless of which hemisphere you live in, because in the Southern Hemisphere, this date is actually the Spring Equinox. Every year there are four times when it is said that the Gates to Divinity are particularly open: the summer and winter solstice and the spring and summer Equinox, but the Autumn Equinox is particularly important being the beginning of the cycle. See also Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar.

Phthonus - the spirit of envy and jealously.

Physis - Visit this page: NATURE - ΦΥΣΙΣ.

Pico, Giovanni - Full name: Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (born 1463 CE, died 1494). Author of Oration on the Dignity of Man, Giovanni Pico was a Neoplatonic philosopher and humanist of the Renaissance in the circle of Lorenzo d' Medici and Marsilio Ficino. Pico's writings were condemned by Pope Innocent VIII who set up a inquisitorial tribunal against him, forcing him to publicly renounce some of his ideas. Nonetheless, late in his (brief) life, Pico became a follower of the radical Catholic cleric Savonarola, of whom he had been a friend for some years, and entirely renounced his pagan beliefs. There is some suspicion that Pico was poisoned, perhaps by his own secretary. (under construction)

Pietas - Pietas is the Latin equivalent word for Efsǽvia (Eusebeia; Gr. Εὐσέβεια) or Osiótis (Hosiotes; Gr. 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)

Cf. Efsǽvia and Osiótis.

Piety - See Efsǽvia, Osiótis, and Pietas.

pig - In ancient times, the pig was viewed as an erotic animal and, therefore, it is the Mystical symbol of Ǽrohs (Eros; Gr. Ἔρως), and, for this reason the pig was sacrificed during the Mystíria of Ælefsís (Eleusis; Gr. Ἐλευσίς).

Pisces - see Ikhtheis.

Pístis - (Gr. πίστις, ΠΙΣΤΙΣ) The most general definition of pístis is belief or faith, subjective conviction. Pístis is the subjective state whereby one is persuaded, that proof which enables one to believe. In the Politeia [Republic; Gr. Πολιτεία] of Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων), as described in the analogy of the divided line, pístis is not categorized as æpistími (episteme; Gr. ἐπιστήμη), true knowledge, but is one of two defined mental states which are characterized as opinion. These two states of opinion are eikasía (Gr. εἰκᾰσία; from εἰκών, image), the apprehension of, or by means of images, eikónæs (eikones; Gr. εικόνες), images or shadows of sensible things, and 2) pístis, the (actual) perception of sensible things, eikasía being considered illusion. (Plátohn Politeia 509e-511e)

- Cf. Dóxa. Pístis can be a synonym to the word dóxa (Gr. Δόξα), depending on how it is used in a sentence. Pístis and dóxa can both refer to "belief," but only pístis can mean faith.

- Lexicon entry: πίστις, ἡ, gen. εως:—trust in others, faith. 2. in subjective sense, good faith, trustworthiness, honesty. b. of things, credence, credit. 3. in a commercial sense, credit. 4. Theol., faith, opp. sight and knowledge. II. that which gives confidence: hence, 1. assurance, pledge of good faith, guarantee. 2. means of persuasion, argument, proof ; esp. of proofs used by orators. III. that which is entrusted, a trust. IV. political protection or suzerainty. V. Pythag. name for ten, Theol.Ar.59, 60. VI. personified, = Lat.Fides, Plu.Num.16. (L&S p. 1408, left column, edited for simplicity.)

Pithíyia - (pithigia or pithoigia; Gr. Πιθοίγια, ΠΙΘΟΊΓΙΑ) The Pithíyia is the festival of “the cask-opening” because the píthi (pithoi; Gr. πίθοι. πίθος is singular), great clay casks of new wine, were opened on the first day of Anthæstíria.

Píthos - (Gr. πίθος, ΠΊΘΟΣ. Πίθοι is plural.) A píthos is a large, earthenware wine jar.

Platohn - (Plato; Gr Πλάτων, ΠΛΆΤΩΝ. 428? - 348? BCE) Please forgive the cursory nature of this entry as it is under construction.

Platohn was the principle student of the philosopher Sohkratis (Socrates; Gr. Σωκράτης). His most well-known student was Aristotælis (Aristotle; Gr. Ἀριστοτέλης). These three men comprise the very foundation of Western philosophy. What we know of Sohkratis comes primarily from the writings of Platohn, since Sohkratis wrote nothing. We see Sohkratis through Platohn's eyes in the Dialogues.

Platohn became a great teacher and was the founder in 347 BCE of the Akdimia (The Academy; Gr. Ἀκαδημία) outside of Athens. It was named after Akadimos (Academus; Gr. Ἀκάδημος) because it was built on land sacred to this hero which included groves dedicated to the Goddess Athina (Athena; Gr. Ἀθηνᾶ). The Akadimia was a great institution of higher learning which flourished until it was destroyed when the Roman general Sulla besieged Athens in 86 BCE. Nonetheless, it continued through individual teachers, was revived in the 400's CE, but forcibly closed by the Christian emperor Justinian in 529. Damaskios (Damascius; Gr. Δαμάσκιος), the head of the Academy at that time, fled to Ctesiphon, the capitol of the Persian Empire, seeking refuge with King Chrosroes [1] under whose protection he was able to establish the Academy in Harrân, Hellenonpolis, in northern Mesopotamia. It was in Harrân that Platonic philosophy continued to flourish into the tenth or eleventh centuries. [1] If all these can be viewed as incarnations of one institution, the Akathimia survived for over 1300 years.

Platohn is a critical limb in the lineage which blossoms from the teachings of Orphefs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς) and much of what is taught by contemporary Orphic teachers can be found in his writings. These writings can be organized in various ways; one of the common methods is as follows:

1) The Socratic or Early Dialogues. This consists of the writings immediately following the death of Socrates and highly influenced by him, up until Plato went to Italy, about 390 BCE, and there met and was influenced by Pythagorean philosophers. The dialogues of the Socratic period, eleven in number, are as follows: Apology, Charmides, Crito, Euthyphro, Gorgias, Hippias Major and Minor, Ion, Laches, Lysis, and Protagoras.

2) The Middle Dialogues. Ten dialogues: Cratylus, Euthydemus, Menexenus, Meno, Parmenides, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Republic, Symposium, and Theatetus.

3) The Mature or Late Period. Six dialogues: Critias, Laws, Philebus, Politicus, Sophistes, and Timaeus.

According to Paulina Remes [1], quoting Festigière [2], the Neoplatonists studied the dialogues in the following order:

1. Alcibiades I

2. Gorgias

3. Phaedo

4. Cratylus

5. Theaetetus

6. Sophist

7. Statesman

8. Phaedrus

9. Symposium

10. Philebus

11. Timaeus

12. Parmenides


[1] Neoplatonism by Pauliina Remes, 2008, University of California Press, p.30.

[2] Festigière, 1969, O'Meara 2003:61-8).

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, George Gemistus - Please visit this page: Plíthohn, Yæóhryios Yæmistós.

Pliroma - See Plírohma.

Plírohma - (Pliroma; Gr. Πλήρωμα, ΠΛΉΡΩΜΑ) Plírohma is "Plenitude, or Completeness, a whole which gives completion to the universe." (TTS XV p. 10)

Plíthohn, Yæórgios Yæmistós (George Gemistus Plethon) - Please visit this page: Plíthohn, Yæóhryios Yæmistós.

Pluto - See Ploutohn.

Ploutohn - (Pluto; Gr. Πλούτων, ΠΛΟΎΤΩΝ) Ploutohn is Aidis (Hades; Gr. Ἅιδης) and Aidohnéfs (Aidoneus; Gr. Ἀϊδωνεύς). Please visit this page: Plouton.

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.

Pneuma - See Pnévma

Pnévma - (Pneuma; Gr. Πνεῦμα, ΠΝΕΥΜΑ) Pnévma generally means breath or wind, but it is sometimes used to mean the soul.

Pnévmata, prósyeia (Gr. πρόσγεια πνεύματα, ΠΡΟΣΓΕΙΑ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΑ) The prósyeia pnévmata 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 close to the earth and what is called the lower sky. Ploutohn has dominion over these, the daimohnæs (Gr. δαίμονες, plural of δαίμον) of the lower sky, but he is not the "God of the dead," as they say, as there are many other souls of mortals between lives who are under the dominion of Poseidóhn and Íphaistos (Hephaestus) and others. See the brief essay entitled Ploutohn and the Dead on this page: PLOUTOHN.

Podas ôkea - epithet of Iris meaning swift-footed.

Podênemos ôkea- epithet of Iris meaning wind-swift-footed.

Pókos (Gr. Πόκος, ΠΌΚΟΣ) The Pókos is one of the Toys of Diónysos and also one of the great symbols of the Ælefsínia Mystíria (Eleusinian Mysteries; Gr. Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια). Pókos is, literally, a tuft of wool or donkey hair.

Polis - town or city-state

Polydýnamos - (Gr. πολυδύναμος, ΠΟΛΥΔΥΝΑΜΟΣ) Polydýnamos means multipotent: Possessing much power." (TTS XV p. 10)

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)

Polykleitos the Elder - Sculptor of bronzes in the school of Argos, the Classical style and a contemporary of Phidias. We know his works through Roman copies as none of the original bronzes survive. He is known for the relaxed equilibrium of his figures. His work often depicts athletes and beautiful youths. There were also many statues of deities that were highly regarded in antiquity but do not survive.

Polymnia - (Gr. Πολύμνια, ΠΟΛΎΜΝΙΑ) Contraction of Polyhymnia. See Polyhymnia.

Polyóhnymos - (polyonymus; Gr. πολῠώνῠμὁς, ΠΟΛΥΩΝΥΜΟΣ) having many names or epithets. 2. of divinities, worshipped under many names. II. of great name, i.e. famous.

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.)

Pompe - See Pompí.

Pompí - (pompe; Gr. πομπή, ΠΟΜΠΗ) A pompí is a religious or solemn procession.

- Lexicon entry: πομπή, , (πέμπω) conduct, escort. b. concrete, an escort. 2. sending away, sending home. 3. mission, θεοῦ τινος πομπῇ sent by . . , of a dream: simply, sending. II. solemn procession. b. at Rome, triumphal procession. 2. metaph., pomp, parade. 3. personified, on a vase. (L&S p. 1446, right column, within the entries beginning with πομπᾰγωγέω, edited for simplicity.)

Pontos - the sea

Poseidon - Please 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 - (Greek: Πρίαμος, Priamos from Priimuua meaning "extraordinarily courageous", or using a different etymology, priatos meaning "ransomed" because he was saved from being killed by Herakles with the gift of a golden veil) Priam was the youngest son of Laomedon, husband of Hecuba, father of Hector and Paris. He was the king of Troy during the period outlined in The Iliad of Homer. 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, ΠΡΟΑΙΡΕΣΙΣ) Proairæsis is choice or, according to Aristotǽlis (Aristotle), conscious choice, the volition of choice, deliberative desire (ὄρεξις). Proairæsis is a term, in the field of Ethics, which indicates deliberate choice which, in certain circumstances, determines whether an action (πρᾶξις) is moral or immoral (ed. or neutral). Proairæsis is the result of deliberation (βούλευσις). In the Stoicism of Æpíktitos (Epictetus; Gr. Ἐπίκτητος), 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.

- Lexicon entry: προαίρεσις, εως, , choosing one thing before another; purpose, resolution; opp. ἀνάγκη; τὰ κατὰ π. ἀδικήματα wrongs done from malice prepense, as a test of freedom; παρὰ τὴν π. contrary to one's purpose; as characteristic of moral action; inclination; motive. (L&S p. 1466 right column, first entry only, edited for simplicity.)

Procession, Religious - See Pompí.

Progress = Pröothos (Gr. Πρόοδος) Progress is the sixth Natural Law under the dominion of mighty Poseithohn. See also Pröothos.

Pronia - (pronoia; 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

Próödos - (Pröodos; Gr. πρόοδος, ΠΡOΟΔΟΣ; pronounced: PROH-oh-thos, the th being soft as in the word thee) Próödos is progress or evolution.

The Greek English Lexicon by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott, 1996 edition, p. 1492 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.

The word Próödos has many definitions. For our purposes, Próödos is the ascending progress of the soul to deification. Using the word "evolution" can be misleading because Próödos is not the evolutionary change due to "survival of the fittest" or similar Darwinian ideas, but rather Próödos is genuine progress to a more elevated state of being.

From the perspective of Neoplatonism, this term Próödos has a specific and different meaning. "....'progression' (ed. Próödos) 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)

Proserpina (Lat.) or Proserpine (Anglicized) - Proserpina is the Roman name for Pærsæphoni (Persephone). Visit this page: PÆRSÆPHONI - ΠΕΡΣΕΦΌΝΗ

Prosgeia pneumata - See pnéfmata, prósyeia.

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.

Prósyeia pnéfmata - See pnéfmata, prósyeia.

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.

Ψ, ψ (PSI) - The Greek letter PSI (pronounced psee) is pronounced like the ps in lapse or psalm. See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

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 Psykhí.

Psykhogonía (Psychogonia; Gr. Ψυχογονία, ΨΥΧΟΓΟΝΙΑ) Psykhogonía is the generation of the soul.

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.

psycter - wine cooling jug

Psykhí - (Psyche; Gr. Ψυχή) Psykhí is the ancient Greek word for soul. Please visit this page: Cupid and Psyche.

Purification - see kathairein

Pyanæpsia or Pyanepsia - Visit this page: PYANÆPSIA - ΠΥΑΝΈΨΙΑ.

Pyr - (Fire; Gr. Πῦρ) Pyr is Fire, one of the Classical Elements. See Elements, The Classical.

Pythagoras of Samos - (note: this entry is in construction)(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)

Pytho (Python, Drakaina) - etymology: pythein, "to rot." Pytho was a monstrous dragon or serpent, the son of Gaia (in the Homeric Pythian Hymn, the Python is referred to as "she"), who guarded the Oracle at Delphi. The Python was slain by the arrows of 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

Pyxis - cylindrical clay jar used by women to hold unguents and toiletries

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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