What’s in a Name?

There are a lot of folks out there with some cool, theophoric names. What is a theophoric name you ask? It is any name that pays homage to a god in some form. Some you may recognize are Apollodoros (Apollon), Demetrius (Demeter), and even Eli (El) (the first two are Classical, the last is Hebrew). There are a whole lot out there, and you can even find a set on Wikipedia.

I wanted to give you a set of theophoric names for Ares, because I’ve both wondered about such names myself and have been asked about them. Theophoric names are great, because it allows us to pay special homage to a god, while at the same time avoiding what many people consider the hubris of adopting the god’s actual name. Also, if the deity you worship most is part of your religious name, it can serve to constantly remind you of that god, keeping you ever mindful.

Here’s what I’ve found thus far (Source Matthew Gonzales):









Keep in mind, all but the last are masculine, and all but the last (which was found on Wikipedia) were written in the Mycenaean period. It should be easy to form your own theophoric name as well, using the following formulas from the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names:

“… the full range embraces compound names, in which the name of the god was followed (never preceded) by such terms as
-γενης fem. -γενεια (‘birth’), -δοτος fem. -δοτα and -δωρος fem. -δωρα (‘giving/gift’), -φιλος fem. -φιλα (‘loved/loving’),
-κλης fem. -κλεια (‘renown’), -φανης fem. φανεια (‘manifestation’) etc.”

Thus, if you wanted your name to be “Beloved of Ares” and you are a woman, your name would be Areiphila (when Ares makes up the first part of the name, it is always Arei…). If a man wanted to be called “Ares’ Manifestation”, he would call himself Areiphanes. You can always search for more names at the LGPN Names Database.

7 comments on “What’s in a Name?

  1. pthelms says:

    I actually really dig the name Areiphanes. If I were ever to open up a public shrine and all that jazz, that’d be the name I use.

    • I could see you with that name 🙂 For myself when I had my naming ceremony in Hellas the first option was Apolloneia, but we ended up going with the second Lykeia (derived from Apollon’s epithet Lykeios obviously heh). I have met several folks who had names that were just associated with epithets of the gods rather than derived directly from the name of the god. As Lykeios was the first form that I had ever paid much attention too as the wolf-god of light, it seemed appropriate 🙂

      • pthelms says:

        Yeah, I could go with an epithetical name, too, but none of them are very nice, as far as their meanings go.

  2. Columbine says:

    This is interesting and very helpful, as I can see that this formula can easily be applied toward the other gods. By the way, Areiphanes is a very nice name, and I think you would wear it well.

  3. I think is is so cool. Considering my name is, accidentally, Greek in origin (it means “victory of the people”) I found my religious home-coming to be that much more powerful. This is a great post and, personally, I’m rather found of Areistio.

    • pthelms says:

      My given name, Peter, is also Greek, so go figure. Areistio is good, but it may actually be Areistion or Areistios. I don’t read Linear B, and I’m not really sure about the transliteration conventions.

  4. Bernice says:

    Don’t know how I missed this post, but I love it! My name Bernice is also Greek, meaning “bearer of victory.” I love the name Areiphila, “beloved of Ares” has just a beautiful meaning. I hope like my name I am always able to bring Him victory.

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