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Ancient Greek Baby Names


The Greek baby names reflect the values and culture of the society on the time of origin. The names relate to their language, religion, and political life. The Greek civilization is one of the oldest civilizations. So, they have long history and rich culture. Their history spans as far as 13th century BC. Their names appeared in ancient tombstone, vases, papyri, inscriptions, coins, gems, manuscripts, seals, and stamps.

In the past, their main purpose to name is to identify. The name validates your language, religion, ethnic origin, civic subdivision, and political life. Their name may include the given name, parents name, ethnic origin, and civic subdivision.

During the 13th century BC, their names are only one given name. This is absolutely true for female or male baby names. The given name is enough to identify themselves. Perhaps, the population is so less at the time. For example, Socrates, Alexander, Thais, and Homer are example of given names. Traditionally, the first born are given the name of the paternal grandfather. And for the second born, they are given the name of the paternal grandmother.

Then, the use of parents name comes into play. The parents name tells the family where you belong. The parents name improves the ability to legitimately identify a person. For example, Socrates son of Homer, or Alexander son of Adelphos legitimately identifies the person and family.

As they started to move from one place to another, the Greeks saw the need to tell the origin. A city may be divided into organization. In the name, the Greeks will include the organization. For example, Alexander son of Adelphos, Athens or Socrates son of Homer, of the deme Athens tells the family and organization of origin of an individual.

The name could be simple or compound. The simple names are made of a noun or adjective. For example, Cressida, Ophira, and Titian are baby names meaning gold. Another example, Zoilo, Zosima, Zosimo, and Zotico are baby names meaning lively.

The compound baby names are combination of nouns or adjectives. For example, Niko-Lysandra means victorious liberator. Another example, Nicodermus means victory of the people. It is a combination of Nicole and demes. Nicole means victory, while demes mean organization or people.

The religion, politics, and military have major influence in their names. For example, Angela, Angelo, Ares, Basha, Christopher, and Deo are names with religious influence. Another example, Kalonice, Nicholas, Nicole are military influenced baby names meaning victory.

After the death of Christ, the Romans started to rise in power. Roman Empire brought Christianity. Hence, the Christian names started to evolve on the Greek names. For example, John, Anna, and Maria started to show on their names. After the 4th century AD, the Christian names have greatly influenced the Greek names such as Eusebios, Eustathios, Euphemios, Eulogios, Eulampios and Kyrillos. About this time, the use of parent name and ethnic origin were largely dropped.

After the downfall of the Roman Empire, the biblical names further embolden on their names. There was a widespread use of surnames. The surnames tell the family of origin. However, the names retain the antiquity. The ancient baby names still exist in the society today. For example, Aristoteles, Sokrates, Xenophon, Demosthenes, and Miltiades are ancient baby names.

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