Going Greek for A to Z!

This year, my A to Z theme on my secondary blog is Greek mythology! I got the idea last year, when my theme was The Divine Comedy. So many people in The Divine Comedy are figures from Greek mythology, and a number of the names I featured were among them.

I’ve loved Greek mythology since I first began learning about it in my sixth grade English class, and my parents (particularly my mother) really encouraged me to read more about it outside of the classroom. My mother even made me read The Iliad the summer before my senior year of high school, since The Odyssey was one of the books in my upcoming AP English class, and she wanted me to be prepared with background.

I deliberately chose names that aren’t so well-known, so you won’t be reading about names like Athena, Zeus, Odysseus, or Persephone. I also operated under the assumption that readers are familiar with mainstays like Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Hera, Helen of Troy, and Athena, the Trojan War, and the fact that Zeus can’t keep it in his pants!

I used Latinized forms for C, J, and U. For F, Q, V, W, and Y, I found names from other mythologies. I used original Greek spellings for K, in spite of the overwhelming predominance of Latinized spellings in the Anglophone world. I have my own style of transliteration.

In the interest of fairness, I always do a male and female name for each day. These are deities, mortals, heroes, villains, and everyone in between.

You’ll learn about characters like:

Xanthos, one of Achilles’s two immortal horses, who stood still on the battlefield and wept after the slaying of Achilles’s best friend Patroklos.

Argos, the loyal dog who waited twenty years for his master Odysseus to come home.

Zethos, who with his twin brother Amphion built the walls around Thebes.

Ixion, whose shocking violations of xenia (hospitality) earned him a terrible eternal punishment.

Hypnos, the kind, gentle god of sleep, who owns at least half of our lives.

Orestes, the only son of King Agamemnon and Queen Klytemnestra, who went crazy after the revenge killing of his mother and was relentlessly pursued by the Furies.

Whaitiri, the cannibalistic Maori goddess of lightning, who thought a mortal named Kaitangata would be a perfect husband for her because his name means “man-eater,” only to be extremely disappointed when he was a gentle person who wanted nothing to do with eating human flesh.

Wayland the Smith, a master blacksmith with a taste for gruesome revenge.

Leto, the mother of Artemis and Apollo, who searched far and wide for a place to give birth after Hera cursed her.

Rhea, the mother of Zeus, who hatched a plan to save him from being swallowed after birth by his father Kronos.

Yoŭnik, an adorable, hard-working, little Belarusian barn spirit who hides from humans and zealously protects the harvest.

I’m really looking forward to sharing all these stories during April! Do be warned, some posts feature paintings or statues with artistic nudity (full or partial), so if you’re offended by that, my posts might not be your style.

12 thoughts on “Going Greek for A to Z!

  1. Fantastic! I’ve been a long time Greek Mythology enthusisast for most of my life too, though now it’s been sometimes since last I’ve read about it.

    Can’t wait to read your chalelnge. Have a lot of fun with it!!!

    The Old Shelter – Theme Reveal – 1940s Film Noir

  2. I’ve always loved Greek mythology, ever since I was 12 years-old and read a book of only a few of the heros from the Greek pantheon. I even took a class on Greek mythology in college and I’ve read both The Iliad and The Odyssey. I’m definitely looking forward to your A to Z theme. I’m a bit confused though. If your theme is about Greek mythology, than what are Wayland the Smith, Whaitiri, and the Younik have to do with it? They’re definitely not Greek (I already knew Wayland the Smith but I had to look up the other two) so I’m just curious.

    • The Greek alphabet doesn’t have all the same letters as the English alphabet, so I had to use names from other mythologies. I’ve had to use names from outside my general theme in other years, since not all alphabets have the same letters.

  3. Pingback: 2017 blogging stats in review | Onomastics Outside the Box

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