Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
The Greeks had no names denoting family, nothing corresponding to our surnames. Hence the name of the new-born child was left to the free choice of the parents, like the Christian name with us; the child usually received it on the seventh or tenth day after birth, the occasion being a family festival. According to the most ancient custom, the son, especially the first-born, received the name of his grandfather, sometimes that of his father, or a name derived from it(Phocos-Phocion) or similarly compounded (Theophrastos-Theodoros). As a rule a Greek only had one name, to which was added that of his father, to prevent confusion, e.g. Thucydides (scil. the son) of Olorus. A great many names were compounded with the names of gods (Herakleitos, Herodotos, Artemidoros, Diogenes), or derived from them (Demetrios, Apollonios). Frequently names of good omen for the future of the child were chosen. Sometimes a new name was afterwards substituted for the original one; so Plato was originally called Aristocles, and Theophrastus Tyrtamus. Slaves were usually called after their native country, or their physical or moral peculiarities.
Type: Standard
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