Word Study

Core Vocab sophos, sophiā

"If you ask me what kind of wisdom [sophiā], I reply, such wisdom [sophiā] as is attainable by man, for to that extent I am inclined to believe that I am wise [sophos]; whereas the persons of whom I was speaking have a superhuman wisdom [sophiā], which I may fail to describe, because I have it not myself..." This month we are looking at sophos ‘skilled, skilled in understanding special… Read more

Core Vocab: turannos

'A turannos, translated as ‘tyrant’, is a ruler who has seized power in a state by resorting to actions that turn out to be tainted, that is, polluted. The tyrant may seem to be a very accomplished and even charismatic king, modeling himself on the hero-kings of the heroic age, but he is really a dictator, polluted by his actions just as the hero-kings of the heroic age were polluted… Read more

Core Vocab: hēsukhos; hēsukhiā

This month I've chosen a word that represents something that sounds very appealing: hēsukhos ‘serene’; hēsukhiā ‘state of being hēsukhos’. Read on to see how the examples I found relate to good or bad fortune, and to ordeals, then join me in the forum to share passages of your own. Read more

Core Vocab: phrēn, phrenes

This month's Core Vocab word is phrēn, plural phrenes, which is given the definition 'physical localization of the thūmos'—the seat of thinking and emotion, or the midriff. Read on to find Achilles with his lyre, consultations with the seer Teiresias, derangement, and a death scene. Then join me in the forum to share further examples and explore how the term is used in the ancient Greek texts. Read more

Core Vocab: āthlos, āthlētēs

With the Olympic Games coming up, this month's Core Vocab word is āthlos (aethlos) [ἆθλος/ἄεθλος] ‘contest, ordeal; competition’; and āthlētēs [ἀθλητής], 'athlete'. In HeroesX Gregory Nagy talks about the Labors of Hēraklēs and the founding of the Olympic Games: "Hēraklēs not only founded this major festival: he also competed in every athletic event on the prototypical occasion of the first Olympics. On that occasion, he won first prize in every… Read more