Ancient Greek Glossary

(So far this consists mainly in a list of English substitutions for Greek words. Eventually, I would like to flesh out the more important words in the manner of the glossaries at the back of Joe Sach’s Aristotle translations for Focus Philosophical Press, which are truly excellent.)

agathon            good

agnoia               ignorance

agora                 marketplace, public assembly place

akrasia               powerlessness, weakness, lack of self-control

aisthēsis            sense perception

aitia                    cause, charge, blame

alētheia             truth

anamnēsis        recollection

andreia             courage, manliness

apeiron            unlimited

apodeixis        display, speech to demonstrate rhetorical mastery

aporia             impasse, confusion

archē                beginning, rule, founding principle

aretē                 virtue, excellence

ascholia           busy-ness, lack of leisure

asēbia              impiety

athanatos        immortal, deathless

basanos          testing stone, touchstone

bios                 life

charis            grace, favor

chōra             separation, space, area, country

chorismos     separation

chōriston      separate

chrōma          color

daimōn          personal divinity, destiny

deinos            terrible, clever

dialectic         common search for truth through opposing points of view

dianoia           thought, thinking, thinking-through

didachē          teaching

dikaiosynē    justice, NT: righteousness

doxa              opinion, seeming, reputation, NT: glory

dynamis        potency, power

eikasia            imagination, power of seeing an image as an image

eikōn              image

ēthos              character

ergon              work, function, job

eristic             competitive disputation

eidos                form, the look common among things of the same type, idea

eirōnia             irony, dissembling

elenchos          refutation, testing, questioning, Socratic method

empereia         experience, knack

energeia          activity, being-at-work

epekeina          beyond, transcendent

epistēmē          knowledge, science

epithymia        desire, craving

erastēs             lover, dominant sexual partner

eromenos        beloved, passive sexual partner

erōs                   desire, love

eschaton          end

eudaimonia     happiness, Aristotle: activity of the soul in accordance w/ arete

eunoia              good-will

eusēbia            piety

gennaiōs          nobly, in accordance with one’s heritage

hamartia          error, wandering, tragic flaw, NT: sin

harmonia          harmony

hedonē              pleasure

hexis                  habit, active posture of readiness

hoi polloi           the many, the vulgar

homologia         agreement

homodoxia        unanimity, shared opinion

homonoia         unanimity, like-mindedness

hybris               excessive pride

hygeia                health

idea                   form, look, eidos

idiotēs               private

logos                 speech, word, reason, proportion, ratio

kalos, kalia       beautiful, beauty, nobility, gracefulness

kalos kagathos    gentleman, literally: the beautiful and good person

kinēsis           movement

koinōnia        community, common participation, sharing

kosmos          order, fashion, ordered system

makrologia     long-winded speech

mathēsis        learning, root of “mathematics”

metaxy            intermediate, in between

methexis        participation, relationship between a form and its particulars

metron           measure

morphē         shape, form

mousikē        music —  includes poetry, drama, etc.

mythos          story, plot

noēsis            intellect, full understanding

nomos            law, custom

nosos             illness, disease

nous               mind, understanding, intellect

orthē doxa     right opinion

ousia              being, substance, inheritance, estate

parrhēsia       candidness, frankness, truth-telling

pathos            feeling, emotion

penia              poverty

peithō            persuasion

peras              limit, boundary

periogogē       conversion

phantasia       imagination

philia              friendship

philodoxia      love of opinion

philonikia        love of victory

philosophia     love of wisdom

phronēsis        practical wisdom

physis              nature

pistis                trust, belief, NT: faith

pleonexia        acquisitiveness

poiēsis            making, production

polis                city-state

politeia            constitution, including laws and customs, of a polis

polypragmosynē    having many occupations, meddlesomeness, opposite of justice

poros              resource, wealth

praxis             action, activity

protreptic      exhortation, literally: “turn forward”

psychē            soul

scholē             leisure

skopos            object of attention

skotos, skotosis    shadow, obscurity

sophia            wisdom

sophrosynē     moderation, temperance, self-control

spoudē            serious

stasis               rest, stillness, civil war

sterēsis           deprivation, lack

synousia        association, euphemism for sexual relations

taxis               ordered arrangement

technē            skill, craft, know-how

telos                end, goal, aim

thanatos        death

thumos          spirit, competitive striving

timē                honor

tychē              chance

tyrannos        tyrant, one who rules without respecting nomos

xunon            common

zētēsis            search

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