Author Topic: Do you know the meaning of divine names?  (Read 57 times)

Offline Joustos

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Do you know the meaning of divine names?
« on: February 13, 2018, 06:33:19 PM »
The Greek invocation, "Ana Zeu" means "O Zeus on high; O supernal Zeus". But I have not stated the meaning of "Zeu" or Zeys [Zeus]. The meaning [Gr. "etymon"] of a word expresses the nature of what is named. We know from legends that Zeus was a god, but, like Pherecydes of Syros and Plato of Athens, we have forgotten the meaning of the names of our gods; so, we should attempt an etymology, which will bring us close to some encounter that prompted the naming. {{Back in a while. Feel free to deal with any god that has a name.}}

Offline Joustos

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Re: Do you know the meaning of divine names?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 07:43:01 PM »
I modified my original message by additional points, which were lost when I tried to save them. Basically, I was saying:
In Aeolic Greek, "Zeus" and "Deus" [genitive: dios] were used interchangeably. The Aeolic and Lakonian (Spartan; Doric) Deus is like the Latin Deus (= god; theos in Greek). However, Zeus, Deus, and God remain semantically obscure, and we have no way of telling what some humans originally encountered that may have prompted them to call it by these names. Some etymologists have seen a cognate root in Latin Dies = day, bright) and the goddess Diana [of daytime]. Pokorny agreed and posited the P.I.E. root "Dyeu-" Unfortunately, the Greek word for Day or Dies is Hemera, which is unrelated to Zeus/Deus. The relevant root is found in Gr. Zeuktos (=yoked; joined), which plowing agricultural people would have used. Zeus was named in this context: Huei ho theos (= the god [Zeus] rains). Zeus is not the bright sky; in fact, as legends tell, Zeus is the gatherer of storm clouds; rains; etc.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 07:45:52 PM by Joustos »

Offline Joustos

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Re: Do you know the meaning of divine names?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 09:26:46 AM »
A follow-up on my above second post:
It seems to me that Zeys < Gr. Zeyxis (= a yoking, a joining). So, originally was the name "Zeys" the name of a harnessed ox or bull for plowing the soil? If so, the name was also Belos (= bull), which became Baal for the Babylonians and the Hebrews in the Middle East, where agriculture and plowing took place. The divine Bull was the sky that rains (or "urinates") and thus fecundates the soil. The worship of Baal was primarily of his Peos ( >Penis in Latin), which is the fecundating organ in more ways than one. This worship was detested by the Hebrews, who had a different rain-god, Yahweh [ieye]. This rain-god was invoked by Greeks as "Iakkhe". The invocation was always a prelude to the Eleusinian Mysteries (or rites), which feature Demeter (the grains-goddess) and her offspring Kore. But this is another story, which we may discuss later.