U and V - 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

Uranus - See Ouranós.

V, the letter - Β, β, ϐ (Beta) - Greek words beginning with the letter Beta will, generally, be spelled with the letter V on this website. Pronunciation is a matter of controversy in the scholastic world; the convention in Greece is to pronounce Beta as a V would sound in English. Even the name of the letter itself is pronounced veetah in Greece. Being that the author has ties with teachers in Greece, his loyalties are to the Greek pronunciation. For some time, the reader will find a mixture of the two spellings for which the author apologizes; eventually they will all be found under the letter V. See Pronunciation of Ancient Greek and Transliteration of Ancient Greek.

Vællærophóhn - (Bellerophon; Gr. Βελλεροφῶν, ΒΕΛΛΕΡΟΦΩΝ) Vællærophóhn, the great hero, is a son of Poseidóhn (Poseidon; Gr. Ποσειδῶν) and Evrymídi (Eurymede; Gr. Ευρυμήδη); in some accounts he is called the son of Gláfkos (Glaucus; Gr. Γλαύκος), a king of Kórinthos (Corinth; Gr. Κόρινθος). Vællærophóhn tamed the flying horse Pígasos (Pegasus; Gr. Πήγασος) and slew the Khímaira (Chimera; Gr. Χίμαιρα).

Vaitylos - (Baetylos; Gr. βαίτυλος) Vaitylos is a sacred stone, sometimes meteors, because they fell from the heavens. The term can also refer to the Omphalós. See Omphalós.

Vákkhos or Bacchus - Please visit this page: Dionysos.

Várvari onómata - (barbare onomata; Gr. βάρβαρη ονόματα) Várvari onómata are the barbarous or foreign names of the Gods; these names are unknown to us, but are known only to the Gods themselves. (See Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων) Kratýlos (Cratylus; Gr. Κρατύλος) 400d-401a)

várvaros - (barbarian; Gr. βάρβᾰρος, ΒΑΡΒΑΡΟΣ) Várvaros is a term frequently found in ancient literature. To the Greeks, when foreigners spoke, it sounded like "va-va-va-va." As simple an explanation as this is, it is actually true. So, originally várvaros or barbarian, merely meant someone who did not speak Greek. After the Persian Wars, the word assumed a more derogatory meaning.

várvitos - (barbitos or barbiton; Gr. βάρβιτος, ΒΑΡΒΙΤΟΣ) The várvitos is an ancient Greek stringed instrument. The várvitos looks markedly like the phorminx (Gr. φόρμιγξ) or the kithara. The phorminx 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. The várvitos had a curved bottom. The phorminx and the kithara had strings up to seven in number, but the várvitos is thought to have had more strings than seven. The várvitos had longer arms than either the phorminx or the kithara and, therefore, must have been more of a bass instrument.

Vasiléfs - (Basileus; Gr. Βασιλεύς, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΎΣ. Plural is Βασιλεῖς.) Vasiléfs means king.

Vasíleia and the Three Vasíleiai - (Basileia or Queen; Gr. βασίλεια, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΑ) Vasíleia means queen. The plural of this word is Vasíleiai (Basileiai = Queens; Gr. βασίλειαι). The Three Vasíleiai are Yi (Earth: Ge or Gaia; Gr. Γῆ), Rǽa (Rhea; Gr. Ῥέα), and Íra (Hera; Gr. Ήρα). Cf. Vasiléfs.

Vasíleios Vissaríohn - See Vissaríohn, Vasíleios.

Vasileis, The Six - (Basileis = Kings; Gr. Βασιλεῖς. Singular is Βασιλεύς.). The Six Vasileis are: Phánis, Nyx, Ouranós, Krónos, Zefs, and Diónysos. Cf. Vasílissa.

Vattiádai - (Battiadae; Gr. Βαττιάδαι, ΒΑΤΤΙΑΔΑΙ) The Vattiádai are the descendants of Váttos I Aristotǽlis (Battus I; Gr. Βάττος Ἀριστοτέλης) of Kyríni (Cyrene; Gr. Κυρήνη). See Váttos I Aristotǽlis.

Váttos I Aristotǽlis - (Battus I Aristotle; Gr. Βάττος Ἀριστοτέλης) Váttos I Aristotǽlis was the founder of the city of Kyríni (Cyrene; Gr. Κυρήνη) as described in the Hymn to Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων) by the Alexandrian poet Kallímakhos (Callimachus; Gr. Καλλίμαχος).

Virgo - see Stachys or Parthenos.

Virtues, The Four Cardinal - The Four Cardinal Virtues are: Courage or Fortitude (Andreia; Gr. Ἀνδρεία or Thrásos; Gr. Θράσος), Temperance or Moderation (Sohphrosýni; Gr. Σωφροσύνη), Wisdom (Phrónisis; Gr. Φρόνησις), and Justice (Dikaiosýni; Gr. Δικαιοσύνη). These can be found in the Protagoras 330 of Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων), Laws 631c/d, and elaborated more in the Republic 433. Please visit this page: Virtue in Ællinismós.

Vissaríohn, Vasíleios - (Basilios Bessarion; Gr. Βασίλειος Βησσαρίων) [1403 CE – 1472 CE] Although born at Trapezous (Trebizond; Gr. Τραπεζοῦς), Vasíleios Vissaríohn was one of the most learned scholars of the Italian Renaissance, so admired that he was twice considered for the papacy. He was in the entourage of Ioánnis VIII Palaiológos (John VIII Palaiologos, the penultimate Byzantine emperor, 1425 to 1448) and the Platonic philosopher Yæóryios Yæmistós Plíthohn (Gemistos Plethon; 1355–1452/1454) of whom he had once been a pupil, when they went to Italy in an effort to reunite the Eastern and Western Christian churches and gain the aid of the western countries in defense against the Turks, an endeavor which was unsuccessful. All this occurred during the Council of Florence (1439–1445) after which Pope Eugene IV made him a Roman Catholic cardinal. Vasíleios Vissaríohn then made his residence in Rome where he oversaw the acquisition and translation of numerous ancient Greek texts.

Vasíleios Vissaríohn was a Platonic scholar who tried to reconcile the philosophies of Aristotǽlis (Aristotle; Gr. Ἀριστοτέλης) and Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων). It is unclear whether he was an actual believer in the ancient Gods, but in a letter of condolence to the sons of Plíthohn at Plíthohn's death he stated that their father had now joined the company of Vákkhos (Bacchus; Gr. Βάκχος) and the Olympians, and he stated other things that make it obvious that he knew well the sentiments of his once-teacher (refer: George Gemistos Plethon: The Last of the Hellenes by C.M. Woodhouse, 1986, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 13-16). Vasíleios Vissaríohn bequeathed a collection of Plíthohn's writings to the Library of San Marco (Ibid. p. 51).

Viton - Please visit this page: KLÆOVIS AND VITON - ΚΛΈΟΒΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΒΊΤΟΝ. See also the article on Kouros.

Vohmós - (Bomos or Vomos; Gr. βωμός) The Vohmós is the altar which, in our tradition, is encircled by candles representing the Dohdækáthæon (Dodecatheon; Gr. Δωδεκάθεον) and the months of the Mystery Year. The shrine, on the other hand, is not quite the same as the Vohmós; the shrine, in our tradition, is primarily used to honor Agálmata (Gr. Αγάλματα), sacred statues, where the Vohmós is used to conduct ritual.

- Vohmós is a high stone altar and place of sacrifice, usually outside of and in front of the temple proper.

- Lexicon Entry: βωμός, ὁ, (βαίνω) raised platform, stand, for chariots; base of a statue, Od.7.100: but, 2. mostly, altar with a base. 3. later, tomb, cairn. 4. title of poems by Dosiades and Besantinus. 5. altar-shaped cake. 6. Ζεὺς Βωμός, prob. a Syrian god, Hermes. 7. central fire in the system of Philolaus, acc. to Placit.2.7.7. 8. in pl., = ἔμβολοι, Hsch. (L&S p. 334, right column; edited for simplicity)

Volcanus - Volcanus is the Latin name for Íphaistos. Vulcan is anglicized from the Latin Volcanus, less correctly Vulcanus. (LD p. 2004, center column)

Vorǽas - (Boreas; Gr. Βορέας, Βορέας, ΒΟΡΈΑΣ) Vorǽas is the cold North Wind who brings winter.

votive offering - See anáthima.

voulefsis - (bouleusis; Gr. βούλευσις, ΒΟΥΛΕΥΣΙΣ) Voulefsis is defined as deliberation. (L&S p. 324, right column, within the definitions beginning βουλία)

- Aristotǽlis (Aristotle; Gr. Ἀριστοτέλης) defines voulefsis as deliberation which enables us to make a rational, deliberate, and prudent choice (proairæsis; Gr. προαίρεσις). The man who is prudent (phrónimos; Gr. φρόνιμος) makes choices of good deliberation (efvoulía; Gr. εὐβουλία). (Aristotǽlis E.N. Book III, Chap.3.) Cf. Voulí.

Voulí - (Gr. βουλή) — Voulí is will, determination, esp. of the Gods. (L&S p. 325, left column) At the center of the soul, like the yolk of an egg, is the will, under the dominion of Ploutohn (Pluto; Gr. Πλούτων).

Vrotós - (brotos; Gr. βροτός, ΒΡΟΤΟΣ, masc. singular. βροτή is fem. singular. βροτοί is masc. plural; βροταί is fem. plural. μορτός = μορτός.) Vrotós is mortal man, subject to the death of the body and palingænæsía (palingenesia; Gr. παλιγγενεσία), the procession of rebirths. Cf. Athánatos.

- Lexicon entry: βροτός, ὁ, poet. Noun, mortal man, opp. ἀθάνατος or θεός. II. of the dead (ed. = μορτός) (L&S p. 331, left column, edited for simplicity.)

- Cf. Mortós and Thnitós.

Vulcan - Vulcan is the Roman name for Íphaistos. Vulcan is anglicized from the Latin Volcanus, less correctly Vulcanus. (LD p.2004, center column)

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: 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

For more information:

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

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