Core Vocab Terms

Key Greek Terms Tracked in HeroesX and Kosmos Society

These are the key words for each Hour together with other Core Vocabulary terms, as listed in Gregory Nagy’s The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours and the associated Sourcebook.For Kosmos Society we have also prepared a version with the Greek included.

Additional Greek terms from H24H

Additional Words – v1 – 2016-11-16

This community-generated PDF file includes a list of many other Greek terms from the focus passages or which are mentioned in the discussion in H24H. It is not a comprehensive index to these terms but indicates the first or main occurrence of the term, and where applicable different ways the terms are translated.

List of Core Vocabulary Greek terms tracked in HeroesX and Kosmos Society, with links

You can find selected examples for some of these terms: links are provided in the list below where there are guest posts (viewable by everyone) and/or to Forum threads (available to community members) in which there are continued discussions about passages that provide examples of these terms.

Depending on context, adjectives in -os (masculine), may be given with other endings: (feminine), -on (neuter), -oi (masculine plural), -ai (feminine plural), -a (neuter plural).

agathos ‘good, noble’—discussion thread
agōn, plural agōnes ‘coming together; competition (antagonism); ordeal (agony); bringing together, assembly’—discussion thread
agorā, plural agorai ‘public assembly, place of public assembly’—discussion thread
aidōs ‘shame, sense of shame; sense of respect for others; honorableness; modesty’—discussion thread
ainos ‘authoritative utterance for and by a social group; praise; fable’; ainigma ‘riddle’—guest postdiscussion thread
aitios ‘responsible, guilty’; aitiā ‘responsibility, guilt; cause, case’—guest post | discussion thread
akhos ‘grief, public expression of grief by way of lamentation or keening; sorrow (synonym of penthos)’—discussion thread
alēthēs (adjective) ‘true, true things’; alētheia (noun) ‘truth’—guest post | discussion thread
aphthito ‘imperishable, unfailing, unwilting’—discussion thread
aretē ‘[ἀρετή] striving for a noble goal, for high ideals; noble goal, high ideals, merit’—guest post | discussion thread
aristos ‘best’, superlative of agathos; aristeiā: designates the hero’s great epic moments that demonstrate his being aristos
atē, plural atai ‘aberration, derangement, veering off-course; disaster; punishment for disaster’—discussion thread
āthlos (aethlos) ‘contest, ordeal; competition; prize’; āthlētēs ‘athlete’—guest post | discussion thread
biā (biē in the language of Homeric poetry) ‘force, violence’—guest post | discussion thread
daimōn, plural daimones ‘superhuman force (= unspecified god or hero) intervening in human life’—discussion threadeudaimoniā ‘state of being blessed with a good daimōn
daimonion [δαιμόνιον] ‘a superhuman thing’—discussion thread
dēmos, plural dēmoi ‘district, population of a district; community, locale’
dikē, plural dikai ‘judgment (short-range); justice (long-range)’; dikaios ‘just’—discussion thread
ekhthros [ἐχθρός] ‘enemy [within the community], non-philos’—guest post | discussion thread
epos, plural epea ‘word(s) said, utterance, poetic utterance’
eris ‘strife, conflict, competition’—guest post | discussion thread
esthlos ‘genuine, good, noble’; synonym of agathos
eudaimoniā See daimōn
genos ‘stock (“breeding”); generating [of something or someone]; generation’
hērōs, plural hērōes ‘hero’—discussion thread (Homeric usage)
hēsukhos ‘serene’; hēsukhiā ‘state of being hēsukhos’—guest post | discussion thread
hieros ‘sacred, holy’
hōrā, plural hōrai ‘season, seasonality, the right time, the perfect time; beauty’—discussion thread
hubris ‘outrage’; the opposite of dikēguest post | discussion thread
kakos ‘bad, evil, base, worthless, ignoble’; kakotēs ‘state of being kakos; debasement’
kamatos ‘ordeal, labor, pain’
kerdos, plural kerdea ‘gain, profit; desire for gain; craft employed for gain; craftiness; craft’—guest post | discussion thread
kharis, plural kharites ‘reciprocity, give-and-take, reciprocal relationship; initiation of reciprocal relationship; the pleasure or beauty derived from reciprocity, from a reciprocal relationship; gratification; grace, gracefulness; favor, favorableness; gratitude; for the sake of’—guest post 1 | discussion thread 1 | guest post 2 | discussion thread 2
khoros [χορός] ‘chorus’ = ‘group of singers/dancers’—guest post | discussion thread
kleos, plural klea ‘glory, fame (especially as conferred by poetry or song); that which is heard’—discussion thread
kolōnos [κολωνός] ‘tumulus, elevation in a local landscape’—discussion thread
koros ‘being satiated; being insatiable’—guest post | discussion thread
kosmos ‘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’—guest post | discussion thread
krinein ‘sort out, separate, decide, judge, make distinctions, interpret’—discussion thread
lyssa [or, more accurately, lussa] ‘rage, fury, frenzy’. This word is related to lykos ‘wolf’ [or, more accurately, lukos]; so the image is one of wolf-like rage.—discussion thread
mantis ‘seer, prophet’
memnēmai [μέμνημαι] ‘I remember, I have total recall’—discussion thread
mēnis ‘superhuman anger, cosmic sanction’—guest post | discussion thread
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—guest post | discussion thread
mētis ‘artifice, stratagem, cunning intelligence’—guest post | discussion thread
miasma [μίασμα], ‘pollution’; verb miainein [μιαίνειν], ‘to pollute’—discussion thread
moira, plural moirai ‘portion; portion of meat divided at a sacrifice; lot in life, fate, destiny’—guest post | discussion thread
mūthos ‘special speech; special utterance; myth; words, wording, something said for the record’
nemesis indicates the process whereby everyone gets what he or she deserves—guest post | discussion thread
nēpios, plural nēpioi ‘disconnected’ (the disconnection can be mental, moral, or emotional); on this meaning, see Edmunds 1990—guest post | discussion thread
nomos, plural nomoi ‘local custom; customary law; law’
noos ‘mind, thinking; perception; intuition; consciousness’; also, this word stands for the principle that reintegrates thūmos (or menos) and psūkhē after death—discussion thread
nostos ‘return, homecoming; song about homecoming; return to light and life’—discussion thread
oikos ‘house, dwelling, abode; resting place of cult hero; family line’; verb oikeîn ‘have a dwelling’—guest post | discussion thread
olbios ‘blessed, blissful; fortunate’; olbos ‘bliss’ (ordinarily pictured as material security)—discussion thread
paskhein ‘suffer, experience, be treated [badly or well]’; pathos ‘suffering, experience’
penthos ‘grief, public expression of grief by way of lamentation or keening’—discussion thread
philos ‘friend’ (noun); ‘dear, near-and-dear, belonging to self’ (adjective); philotēs or philiā ‘the state of being philos’—guest post | discussion thread
phrēn, plural phrenes: physical localization of the thūmosguest post | discussion thread
polis ‘city, city-state’
ponos ‘ordeal, labor, pain’—guest post | discussion thread
pontos ‘sea’ (‘crossing’)
pothos ‘longing, yearning, desire’; a variant form is pothē, with the same meaning; the verb derived from this noun is potheîn ‘long for, yearn for, desire’—discussion thread
psūkhē, plural psūkhai: synonym of thūmos (or menos) at the moment of death; essence of life while one is alive; conveyor of identity while one is dead—discussion thread
sēma, plural sēmata ‘sign, signal, symbol; tomb’—discussion thread;
sēmainein (verb) ‘mean something, indicate something by way of a sēma’—discussion thread
sophos ‘skilled, skilled in understanding special language’; sophiā ‘being sophos’guest post | discussion thread
sōphrōn ‘moderate, balanced, with equilibrium’; sōphrosunē ‘being sōphrōn’—guest post | discussion thread
sōtēr ‘savior’ (either ‘bringing to safety’ or, mystically, ‘bringing back to life’); sōtēriā ‘safety, salvation’; sōzein (verb) ‘save; be a sōtēr (for someone)’—discussion thread
stasis ‘division in a group; strife; division [= part of an organization, like a chorus]; dancing pose’
telos ‘end, ending, final moment; goal, completion, fulfillment; coming full circle, rounding out; successfully passing through an ordeal; initiation; ritual, rite’—discussion thread
themis, plural themistes ‘something divinely ordained or cosmically ordained; cosmic law’
theōriā [θεωρία], ‘sacred journey; ritualized journey undertaken for the purpose of achieving a sacralized vision’—discussion thread
therapōn, plural therapontes ‘attendant; ritual substitute’—discussion thread
thūmos ‘heart, spirit’ (designates realm of consciousness, of rational and emotional functions); depending on context can be translated as either ‘mind’ (thinking) or ‘heart’ (feeling)’—guest post | discussion thread
tīmē, plural tīmai ‘honor; honor paid to a superhuman force by way of cult’—discussion thread
turannos, plural turannoi (Lydian word for ‘king’): ‘king’ (from the viewpoint of most Greek dynasties); ‘unconstitutional ruler’ (from the viewpoint of Greek democracy)—guest post | discussion thread
xenos, plural xenoi ‘stranger who should be treated like a guest by a host, or like a host by a guest; foreigner; xeniā ‘reciprocal relationship between xenoi’; when the rules of xeniā do not work, a xenos risks defaulting to the status of simply stranger—guest post | discussion thread

Additional key words:

deinosawful, terrible, awesome’
makar ‘blessed’
pēma ‘pain’

There is also a version with the Greek included.