Ancient Greek Names of Children and Meanings

Ancient Greek names originated in Greece in the first millennium BC. Many of the ancient Greek names have originated from Greek gods and goddesses and Roman gods. Some names have originated from the Old and New Testament and Christian traditions. Greek names also include names of famous philosophers and heroes like Helen, Odysseus, Plato, etc.

Ancient Greek Names

Why the Greek names become Popular

Greek culture was also felt in Judea during the time of Christ, hence a large number of Greek names in the New Testament. Ancient Greek names are always popular because of their typical meanings and unique pronunciations. Previously in ancient Greece, a person had no last name and was identified with only his first name.

Greek antiquity is vast and there are endless ancient Greek heroes, gods and deities, and other such persons whose names are more or less common today. Greeks tend to use the names of their heroes, such as Hercules (Iraklis in Greek), or names of people involved in mythological stories and legends, such as Orfeas (Orpheus). And Of course, there are always the names of true legends of the Greek Antiquity such as Odysseus (Ulysses), Achilleas (Achilles), Orestis (Orestes) and more.

Ancient Greek Names

A child was named on the seventh or tenth day after birth. His name was chosen by his father and could be changed later if wished. The eldest son was usually named after his paternal grandfather and subsequent children after other relatives. It was quite rare for a son to be named after his father although a derivative of the name or one containing one of the same elements might be used.

Ancient Greek Names Male

From the late 5th century BC, Athenian males were often identified by adding their father’s name in the genitive case or that of their deme or tribe to their personal name. Nicknames were also common and could sometimes be more prominent than the original name. An example of this is that the great philosopher ‘Plato’ was given this name which means ‘broad’ or ‘wide’ at the gymnasium and his own name, Aristocles which he acquired from his grandfather was hardly used.

Ancient Greek Names

Greek Names Female

Among the most common ancient Greek names are the names of Gods. The most common name associated with an ancient Greek God is name Ares, although the names Apollon (Apollo) and Foivos (the nickname given to God Apollo) are also quite common.When it comes to ancient female Greek names, the names of Goddesses and heroines of tragedies and legends are definitely predominant.

Female Greek Goddess Names

The names Athena, Aphrodite or Dimitra (from Goddess Demeter) are very common names in Greece. Another common female ancient Greek names include Antigone, Ifigeneia, Iro, Aspasia, Nike, Alkestis, Elektra (Elektra), Atalanti and much more.