Nemesis Νέμεσις f Greek Mythology
Means "distribution of what is due, righteous anger"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Nemesis was the personification of vengeance and justice.
Nephele Νεφέλη f Greek Mythology
From Greek νέφος (nephos)
. In Greek legend Nephele was created from a cloud by Zeus
, who shaped the cloud to look like Hera
in order to trick Ixion, a mortal who desired her. Nephele was the mother of the centaurs by Ixion, and was also the mother of Phrixus and Helle by Athamus.
Nereus Νηρεύς m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρός (neros)
. In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
Nestor Νέστωρ m Greek Mythology, Russian
Means "returner, homecomer"
in Greek, from νέομαι (neomai)
meaning "to return". In Homer
this was the name of the king of Pylos, famous for his great wisdom and longevity, who acted as a counselor to the Greek allies.
Nikephoros Νικηφόρος m & f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "carrying victory"
from Greek νίκη (nike)
meaning "victory" and φέρω (phero)
meaning "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
Niobe Νιόβη f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos, a king of Asia Minor. Because she boasted that she was superior to Leto
, Leto's children Apollo
killed her 14 children with poison arrows. In grief, Niobe was turned to stone by Zeus
Nyx Νύξ f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.
Odysseus Ὀδυσσεύς m Greek Mythology
Perhaps derived from Greek ὀδύσσομαι (odyssomai)
meaning "to hate"
. In Greek legend Odysseus was one of the Greek heroes who fought in the Trojan War. In the Odyssey Homer
relates Odysseus's misadventures on his way back to his kingdom and his wife Penelope
Oedipus Οἰδίπους m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Οἰδίπους (Oidipous)
, meaning "swollen foot"
from οἰδέω (oideo)
meaning "to swell" and πούς (pous)
meaning "foot". In Greek mythology Oedipus was the son of the Theban king Laius
and his wife Jocasta
. Laius received a prophesy that he would be killed by his son, so he left the newborn to die of exposure. Oedipus was however rescued and raised in the home of the Corinthian king Polybus. After he had grown and learned of the same prophesy, Oedipus left Corinth so that he would not be a danger to Polybus, who he assumed was his father. On the road to Delphi he chanced upon his real father Laius and slew him in a petty disagreement, thus fulfilling the prophecy. He then correctly answered the Sphinx's riddle, winning the now vacant throne of Thebes and marrying the widowed Queen Jocasta, his own mother. Years later they learned the truth of their relationship, prompting Jocasta to commit suicide and Oedipus to blind himself.
Oenone Οἰνώνη f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Οἰνώνη (Oinone)
, derived from οἶνος (oinos)
. In Greek mythology Oenone was a mountain nymph who was married to Paris before he went after Helen.
Okeanos Ὠκεανός m Greek Mythology
From the name of the river or body of water thought by the ancient Greeks to surround the Earth. In Greek mythology Okeanos was the Titan who personified this body of water.
Orion Ὠρίων m Greek Mythology
Meaning uncertain, but possibly related to Greek ὅριον (horion)
meaning "boundary, limit"
. Alternatively it may be derived from Akkadian Uru-anna
meaning "light of the heavens"
. This is the name of a constellation, which gets its name from a legendary Greek hunter who was killed by a scorpion sent by the earth goddess Gaia
Orpheus Ὀρφεύς m Greek Mythology
Perhaps related to Greek ὄρφνη (orphne)
meaning "the darkness of night"
. In Greek mythology Orpheus was a poet and musician who went to the underworld to retrieve his dead wife Eurydice. He succeeded in charming Hades with his lyre, and he was allowed to lead his wife out of the underworld on the condition that he not look back at her until they reached the surface. Unfortunately, just before they arrived his love for her overcame his will and he glanced back at her, causing her to be drawn back to Hades.
Ourania Οὐρανία f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek οὐράνιος (ouranios)
. In Greek mythology she was the goddess of astronomy and astrology, one of the nine Muses.
Pallas 1 Παλλάς f Greek Mythology
Probably derived from a Greek word meaning "maiden, young woman"
. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Athena
. According to some legends it was originally the name of a friend of the goddess. Athena accidentally killed her while sparring, so she took the name in honour of her friend.
Pallas 2 Πάλλας m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πάλλω (pallo)
meaning "to brandish"
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan and several other characters. It was also the name of a female character, though her name is probably from a different source (see Pallas 1
Pan Πάν m Greek Mythology
Possibly from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd, protector"
. In Greek mythology Pan was a half-man, half-goat god associated with shepherds, flocks and pastures.
Pandora Πανδώρα f Greek Mythology
Means "all gifts"
, derived from a combination of Greek πᾶν (pan)
meaning "all" and δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift". In Greek mythology Pandora was the first mortal woman. Zeus
gave her a jar containing all of the troubles and ills that mankind now knows, and told her not to open it. Unfortunately her curiosity got the best of her and she opened it, unleashing the evil spirits into the world.
Paris 1 Πάρις m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Luwian or Hittite origin. In Greek mythology he was the Trojan prince who kidnapped Helen
and began the Trojan War. Though presented as a somewhat of a coward in the Iliad
, he did manage to slay the great hero Achilles
. He was himself eventually slain in battle by Philoctetes.
Pegasus Πήγασος m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Πήγασος (Pegasos)
, possibly either from πηγός (pegos)
or πηγαῖος (pegaios)
meaning "from a water spring"
. In Greek mythology Pegasus was the winged horse that sprang from the blood of Medusa after she was killed by Perseus
. There is a constellation in the northern sky named after the horse.
Penelope Πηνελόπη f Greek Mythology, English
Probably derived from Greek πηνέλοψ (penelops)
, a type of duck. Alternatively it could be from πήνη (pene)
meaning "threads, weft" and ὄψ (ops)
meaning "face, eye". In Homer
's epic the Odyssey
this is the name of the wife of Odysseus
, forced to fend off suitors while her husband is away fighting at Troy. It has occasionally been used as an English given name since the 16th century.
Persephone Περσεφόνη f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, probably of Pre-Greek origin, but perhaps related to Greek πέρθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy" and φονή (phone)
meaning "murder". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Demeter
. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades
, but was eventually allowed to return to the surface for part of the year. The result of her comings and goings is the changing of the seasons. With her mother she was worshipped in the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were secret rites practiced at the city of Eleusis near Athens.
Perseus Περσεύς m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πέρθω (pertho)
meaning "to destroy"
. In Greek mythology Perseus was a hero who was said to have founded the ancient city of Mycenae. He was the son of Zeus
. Mother and child were exiled by Danaë's father Acrisius, and Perseus was raised on the island of Seriphos. The king of the island compelled Perseus to kill the Gorgon Medusa
, who was so ugly that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone. After obtaining winged sandals and other tools from the gods, he succeeded in his task by looking at Medusa in the reflection of his shield and slaying her in her sleep. On his return he defeated a sea monster in order to save Andromeda
, who became his wife.
Phaenna Φαέννα f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek φαεινός (phaeinos)
. According to some Greek myths this was the name of one of the three Graces or Χάριτες
Philomela Φιλομήλη f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Φιλομήλη (Philomele)
, derived from φίλος (philos)
meaning "lover, friend" and μῆλον (melon)
meaning "fruit". The second element has also been interpreted as Greek μέλος (melos)
meaning "song". In Greek myth Philomela was the sister-in-law of Tereus, who raped her and cut out her tongue. Prokne avenged her sister by killing her son by Tereus, after which Tereus attempted to kill Philomela. However, the gods intervened and transformed her into a nightingale.
Phineus Φινεύς m Greek Mythology
Meaning uncertain, possibly from Greek φίνις (phinis)
, a variant of φήνη (phene)
. According to Greek mythology this was the name of a king of Thrace visited by Jason
and the Argonauts.
Phobos Φόβος m Greek Mythology
Means "fear, panic"
in Greek. This was one of the sons of Ares
in Greek mythology. Also, one of the moons of Mars bears this name.
Phoebe Φοίβη f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized), Biblical, Biblical Latin
Latinized form of the Greek name Φοίβη (Phoibe)
, which meant "bright, pure"
from Greek φοῖβος (phoibos)
. In Greek mythology Phoibe was a Titan associated with the moon. This was also an epithet of her granddaughter, the moon goddess Artemis
. The name appears in Paul
's epistle to the Romans in the New Testament, where it belongs to a female minister in the church at Cenchreae. In England, it began to be used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation. A moon of Saturn bears this name (in honour of the Titan).
Phrixus Φρίξος m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Φρίξος (Phrixos)
meaning "thrilling, causing shivers"
, derived from φρίξ (phrix)
meaning "ripple, shiver". In Greek myth Phrixus was the son of Athamus and Nephele. He was to be sacrificed to Zeus
, but he escaped with his sister Helle on the back of the ram with the Golden Fleece.
Phyllis Φυλλίς f Greek Mythology, English
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a woman who killed herself out of love for Demophon and was subsequently transformed into an almond tree. It began to be used as a given name in England in the 16th century, though it was often confused with Felicia
Pistis Πίστις f Greek Mythology
Means "trust, faith"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Pistis was the personification of trust.
Polymnia Πολύμνια, Πολυύμνια f Greek Mythology
Means "abounding in song"
, derived from Greek πολύς (polys)
meaning "much" and ὕμνος (hymnos)
meaning "song, hymn". In Greek mythology she was the goddess of dance and sacred songs, one of the nine Muses.
Poseidon Ποσειδῶν m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek πόσις (posis)
meaning "husband, lord" and δᾶ (da)
meaning "earth". The name first appears in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions as po-se-da-o
. In Greek mythology Poseidon was the unruly god of the sea and earthquakes, the brother of Zeus
. He was often depicted carrying a trident and riding in a chariot drawn by white horses.
Prometheus Προμηθεύς m Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek προμήθεια (prometheia)
meaning "foresight, forethought"
. In Greek myth he was the Titan who gave the knowledge of fire to mankind. For doing this he was punished by Zeus
, who had him chained to a rock and caused an eagle to feast daily on his liver, which regenerated itself each night. Herakles
eventually freed him.
Psyche Ψυχή f Greek Mythology
Means "the soul"
, derived from Greek ψύχω (psycho)
meaning "to breathe". The Greeks thought that the breath was the soul. In Greek mythology Psyche was a beautiful maiden who was beloved by Eros (or Cupid in Roman mythology). She is the subject of Keats's poem Ode to Psyche
Pythios Πύθιος m Greek Mythology
From the Greek place name Πυθώ (Pytho)
, an older name of the city of Delphi, which was probably derived from Greek πύθω (pytho)
meaning "to rot". This was an epithet of Apollo
Rhea Ῥέα f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, perhaps related to ῥέω (rheo)
meaning "to flow"
or ἔρα (era)
. In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan, the wife of Cronus
, and the mother of Zeus
. Also, in Roman mythology a woman named Rhea Silvia
was the mother of Romulus
, the legendary founders of Rome.
Sarpedon Σαρπηδών m Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek legend Sarpedon was the son of Zeus
and Laodamia, and the king of the Lycians. He was one of the chief warriors who fought against the Greeks in defense of Troy, but he was killed by Patroclus
. Another Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Europa
Selene Σελήνη f Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of a Greek goddess of the moon, a Titan. She was sometimes identified with the goddess Artemis
Semele Σεμέλη f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly of Phrygian origin. In Greek mythology she was one of the many lovers of Zeus
, being jealous, tricked Semele into asking Zeus to display himself in all his splendour as the god of thunder. When he did, Semele was struck by lightning and died, but not before giving birth to Dionysos
Simon 2 Σίμων m Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek σιμός (simos)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of one of the Telchines, demigods who were the original inhabitants of Rhodes.
Tethys Τηθύς f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek τήθη (tethe)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan associated with the sea. She was the wife of Oceanus.
Thanatos Θάνατος m Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek god of death who resided with Hades in the underworld.
Theia Θεία f Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek θεά (thea)
. In Greek myth this was the name of a Titan goddess of light, glittering and glory. She was the wife of Hyperion
and the mother of the sun god Helios
, the moon goddess Selene
, and the dawn goddess Eos
Themis Θέμις f Greek Mythology
Means "law of nature, divine law, that which is laid down"
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan who presided over custom and natural law. She was often depicted blindfolded and holding a pair of scales. By Zeus
she was the mother of many deities, including the three Μοῖραι
(Moirai) and the three Ὥραι
Theseus Θησεύς m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek τίθημι (tithemi)
meaning "to set, to place"
. Theseus was a heroic king of Athens in Greek mythology. He was the son of Aethra, either by Aegeus or by the god Poseidon
. According to legend, every seven years the Cretan king Minos
demanded that Athens supply Crete with seven boys and seven girls to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-bull creature that was the son of Minos's wife Pasiphaë. Theseus volunteered to go in place of one of these youths in order to slay the Minotaur in the Labyrinth where it lived. He succeeded with the help of Minos's daughter Ariadne
, who provided him with a sword and a roll of string so he could find his way out of the maze.
Thisbe Θίσβη f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
From the name of an ancient Greek town in Boeotia, itself supposedly named after a nymph. In a Greek legend (the oldest surviving version appearing in Latin in Ovid's Metamorphoses
) this is the name of a young woman from Babylon. Believing her to be dead, her lover Pyramus kills himself, after which she does the same to herself. The splashes of blood from their suicides is the reason mulberry fruit are red.
Tisiphone Τισιφόνη f Greek Mythology
Means "avenging murder"
in Greek, derived from τίσις (tisis)
meaning "vengeance" and φονή (phone)
meaning "murder". This was the name of one of the Furies or Ἐρινύες (Erinyes)
in Greek mythology. She killed Cithaeron with the bite of one of the snakes on her head.
Tyche Τύχη f Greek Mythology
Means "chance, luck, fortune"
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of fortune, luck and fate.
Tychon Τύχων m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek
From Greek τύχη (tyche)
meaning "chance, luck, fortune"
, a derivative of τυγχάνω (tynchano)
meaning "hit the mark, succeed". This was the name of a minor deity associated with Priapus
in Greek mythology. It was also borne by a 5th-century saint from Cyprus.
Uranus Οὐρανός m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From Greek Οὐρανός (Ouranos)
, the name of the husband of Gaia
and the father of the Titans in Greek mythology. His name is derived from οὐρανός (ouranos)
meaning "the heavens"
. This is also the name of the seventh planet in the solar system.
Zeus Ζεύς m Greek Mythology
The name of a Greek god, related to the old Indo-European god *Dyeus
, from a root meaning "sky"
. In Greek mythology he was the highest of the gods. After he and his siblings defeated the Titans, Zeus ruled over the earth and humankind from atop Mount Olympus. He had control over the weather and his weapon was a thunderbolt.