Word Study

Core Vocab: kosmos, kosmeîn

In this series inviting exploration of the Core Vocabulary terms from The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours we look at the word kosmos [κόσμος] which is glossed as ‘arrangement, order, law and order, the social order, the universal order; cosmic order, orderliness of costume, hairdo; orderliness of group or society, of cosmos, of song; ritual adornments’. There is also a related verb, kosmeîn [κοσμεῖν]. How does the arrangement of… Read more

Core Vocab: menos

This month I've chosen as our Core Vocab word menos [μένος ] ‘power, life-force, activation’ (divinely infused into cosmic forces, like fire and wind, or into heroes); a partial synonym of thūmos; a partial synonym of mēnis'. Which gods activate which heroes, and why? What examples are there of other types of cosmic forces, and in which contexts is a hero's menos brought into use? Here are some examples—let's see… Read more

Core Vocab: oikos

The Core Vocab word for this month, taken from those terms listed in Gregory Nagy's The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours, is oikos [οἶκος] ‘house, dwelling, abode; resting place of cult hero; family line’; verb oikeîn [οἰκεῖν] ‘have a dwelling’. This post includes a selection of passages exemplifying the everyday and sacred uses of the word, and pictures of grave monuments and tombs to illustrate imagery and locations associated… Read more

Core Vocab: philos

"Be philos to the one who is philos to you, and seek the company of those who seek yours." This month I have chosen for a Core Vocab exploration terms that we hold close to our hearts: "philos ‘friend’ (noun); ‘dear, near-and-dear, belonging to self’ (adjective); philotēs or philiā ‘the state of being philos’... It is a term of endearment, an emotional term." Read more

Core Vocab: kerdos, kerdea

"When two men are together, one of them may see some opportunity [kerdos] which the other has not caught sight of; if a man is alone he is less full of resource, and his thinking [noos] is weaker." This month's Core Vocab word—from Gregory Nagy's book The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours—is kerdos [κέρδος], plural kerdea [κέρδεα] which he glosses as ‘gain, profit; desire for gain; craft employed for… Read more