Νικηφορος m & f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "carrying victory" from Greek νικη (nike)
"victory" and φερω (phero)
"to carry, to bear". This name was borne by several Byzantine emperors, including the 10th-century Nikephoros II Phokas. Besides being a masculine personal name, it was also a title borne by the goddess Athena
Νικητας m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικητης (niketes)
meaning "winner, victor". Saint Niketas was a 4th-century bishop of Remesiana in Serbia. He is a patron saint of Romania.
Νικιας m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικη (nike)
meaning "victory". This was the name of an Athenian general who fought in the Peloponnesian war.
Νικομηδης m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικη (nike)
"victory" and μηδομαι (medomai)
"to think, to plan". This was the name of a 1st-century saint, a priest beaten to death for refusing to worship the Roman gods.
Ολυμπιας f Ancient Greek
Feminine form of OLYMPOS
. This was the name of the mother of Alexander the Great. It was also borne by a 4th-century saint.
Ολυμπος m Ancient Greek
From a Greek personal name which was derived from the place name OLYMPOS
, the name of the mountain home of the Greek gods.
Πανκρατιος m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Πανκρατιος (Pankratios)
, derived from παν (pan)
"all" and κρατος (kratos)
"power". Early Byzantine Christians used this as a title of Christ. It was borne by two saints, a 1st-century Sicilian martyr and a semi-legendary 4th-century Roman martyr.
Πανταλεων m Ancient Greek
Derived from the Greek elements παν (pan)
meaning "all" (genitive παντος
) and λεων (leon)
meaning "lion". This was the name of a 2nd-century BC king of Bactria. It was also borne by Saint Pantaleon (also called Panteleimon
), a doctor from Asia Minor who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century. He is a patron saint of doctors and midwives.
Πανθηρας m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek πανθηρ (panther)
meaning "panther", ultimately of Sanskrit origin, though folk etymology connects it to Greek παν (pan)
"all" and θηραω (therao)
"to hunt". According to some legends a Roman soldier named Panthera was the father of Jesus
Πελαγια f Ancient Greek, Greek, Polish
Feminine form of PELAGIUS
. This was the name of a few early saints, including a young 4th-century martyr who threw herself from a rooftop in Antioch rather than lose her virginity.
Φαιδρος m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φαιδρος (Phaidros)
, which meant "bright". This was the name of a 5th-century BC Greek philosopher, and also of a 1st-century Roman fabulist who was originally a slave from Thrace.
Φιλων m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Φιλων (Philon)
, which was derived from φιλος (philos)
meaning "lover, friend". This was the name of a 1st-century Hellenistic Jewish philosopher and theologian from Alexandria.
Φωκας m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Φωκας (Phokas)
, which meant "a seal" from Greek φωκη (phoke)
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr from Asia Minor. Sentenced to death for being a Christian, he is said to have given his killers lodging and then dug his own grave before he was executed.
Φωτινη f Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek φως (phos)
meaning "light" (genitive φωτος (photos)
). This is the name traditionally given to the Samaritan woman Jesus
met at the well (see John 4:7). She is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Church.
Πλατων m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Πλατων (Platon)
which was derived from Greek πλατυς (platys)
meaning "broad-shouldered". Plato was one of the most important of the Greek philosophers. He was a pupil of Socrates
and a teacher of Aristotle
. He constructed the theory of Forms and wrote several works, including the 'Republic'.
Προκοπιος m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek προκοπη (prokope)
"progress, advance". Saint Prokopios was an early Christian martyr who was beheaded in Palestine during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
Πυθαγορας m Ancient Greek
Derived from PYTHIOS
, a name of Apollo
, combined with Greek αγορα (agora)
"assembly, marketplace". This was the name of a 6th-century BC Greek philosopher and mathematician from Samos. He was the founder of a school of philosophy whose members believed that numbers described the universe.
Ρωξανη f English, Spanish, Romanian, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latin form of Ρωξανη (Roxane)
, the Greek form of the Persian or Bactrian name روشنک (Roshanak)
which meant "bright" or "dawn". This was the name of Alexander the Great's first wife, a daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes. In the modern era it came into use during the 17th century. In the English-speaking world it was popularized by Daniel Defoe, who used it in his novel 'Roxana' (1724).
Σελευκος m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Σελευκος (Seleukos)
, of unknown meaning. This was the name of one of Alexander the Great's generals, who established the Seleucid Empire in Western Asia after Alexander's death.
Σιμωνιδης m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek σιμος (simos)
"flat-nosed" and the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. This name was borne by the 7th-century BC iambic poet Simonides of Amorgos and the 6th-century BC lyric poet Simonides of Ceos.
Σωκρατης m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Σωκρατης (Sokrates)
, which was derived from σως (sos)
"whole, unwounded, safe" and κρατος (kratos)
"power". This was the name of an important Greek philosopher. He left no writings of his own; virtually everything that we know of his beliefs comes from his pupil Plato
. He was sentenced to death for impiety.
Σολων m Ancient Greek
Possibly from Greek σολος (solos)
meaning "lump of iron". This was the name of an Athenian statesman who reformed the laws and government of the city.
Σοφια f English, Greek, German, Ancient Greek
Means "wisdom" in Greek. This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia
"Holy Wisdom", which is the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.... [more]
Σωσιγενης m Ancient Greek
Means "born safely" from Greek σως (sos)
"safe, whole, unwounded" and γενης (genes)
"born". This was the name of an astronomer from Alexandria employed by Julius Caesar to correct the Roman calendar.
Θαις f Ancient Greek
Possibly means "bandage" in Greek. This was the name of a companion of Alexander the Great. It was also borne by a 4th-century saint from Alexandria, a wealthy socialite who became a Christian convert. She has been a popular subject of art and literature, including an 1891 novel by Anatole France and an 1894 opera by Jules Massenet.
Θαλης m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek θαλλω (thallo)
meaning "to blossom". This was the name of a 6th-century BC Greek philosopher and mathematician.
Θεοδωρα f English, Greek, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of THEODORE
. This name was common in the Byzantine Empire, being borne by several empresses including the influential wife of Justinian in the 6th century.
Θεοδοσιος m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Θεοδοσιος (Theodosios)
which meant "giving to god", derived from θεος (theos)
"god" and δοσις (dosis)
"giving". Saint Theodosius of Palestine was a monk who founded a monastery near Bethlehem in the 5th century. This also was the name of emperors of the Eastern Roman and Byzantine Empires.
Θεοφανης m Ancient Greek
Means "manifestation of God" from Greek θεος (theos)
"god" and φανης (phanes)
"appearing". This name was borne by a few saints, including an 8th-century chronicler from Constantinople and a 19th-century Russian Orthodox saint, Theophanes the Recluse, who is Феофан (Feofan)
in Russian. Another famous bearer was a 14th-century Byzantine icon painter active in Moscow.
Τρυφων m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek τρυφη (tryphe)
meaning "softness, delicacy". Saint Tryphon, a gooseherder from Syria, was martyred in the 3rd century.
Τυχων m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Τυχων (Tychon)
meaning "hitting the mark". This was the name of a Greek saint. It was also borne by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).
Ξανθιππη f Ancient Greek
Feminine form of XANTHIPPOS
. This was the name of the wife of Socrates
. Because of her supposedly argumentative nature, the name has been adopted (in the modern era) as a word for a scolding, ill-tempered woman.
Ξενια f Greek, Ancient Greek
Means "hospitality" in Greek, a derivative of ξενος (xenos)
"foreigner, guest". This was the name of a 5th-century saint who is venerated in the Eastern Church.
Ζηνων m Ancient Greek (Latinized), Italian
From the Greek name Ζηνων (Zenon)
, which was derived from the name of the Greek god ZEUS
. Zeno was the name of two famous Greek philosophers: Zeno of Elea and Zeno of Citium, the founder of the Stoic school in Athens.
Ζηνοβια f Ancient Greek
Means "life of Zeus", derived from Greek Ζηνο (Zeno)
, a prefix form of the name of ZEUS
, combined with βιος (bios)
"life". This was the name of a 3rd-century queen of Palmyra. After claiming the title 'Queen of the East' and expanding her realm into Roman territory she was defeated by emperor Aurelian.
Ζωη f English, Greek, Italian, Ancient Greek
Means "life" in Greek. From early times it was adopted by Hellenized Jews as a translation of EVE
. It was borne by two early Christian saints, one martyred under emperor Hadrian, the other martyred under Diocletian. The name was common in the Byzantine Empire, being borne by a ruling empress of the 11th century. As an English name, Zoe
has only been in use since the 19th century. It has generally been more common among Eastern Christians (in various spellings).
Ζωπυρος m Ancient Greek
Means "glowing" in Greek. This was the name of a Persian nobleman who aided his king Darius in the capture of Babylon. He did this by mutilating himself and then going to the Babylonians claiming that it had been Darius who did it to him. After gaining their trust he betrayed them.