Other Forms FormsAreti (Modern Greek)
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Contributor Contrib.Eric on 6/13/2006
From Greek ἀρετή (aretê) meaning "goodness, excellence, virtue", which is related to the word ἄριστος (aristos) "best". The root ἀρ (ar) also appears in Ares, the first notion of goodness for the Greeks being that of manly qualities, i.e. bravery in war. In Greek mythology Arete was the personification of virtue, sister to Harmonia; together they were worshiped as the Πραξιδικαι (Praxidikai) "enforcers of justice". This name also occurs in Homer's epic the 'Odyssey' belonging to the wife of King Alcinous and mother of Nausicaa.