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Ancient Greek

Alternative forms

  • (hánthr?pos)Attic, crasis with definite article ? (ho)
  • (h?nthr?pos)Ionic, crasis with definite article ? (ho)
  • ? (anthr?p?)Laconian
  • (a-to-ro-po-se)Cypriot


First attested in Hellenic as Mycenaean Greek ? (a-to-ro-qo), of uncertain origin. Scholars used to consider it to be a compound from ? (an?r, "man") and (?ps, "face, appearance, look"): thus, "he who looks like a man". However, a ? (d) would be expected to develop by epenthesis, as in the genitive (andrós), yielding * (*andr?pos). Rosén defends this etymology, positing that the original laryngeal *h? in the root for (?ps) (from Proto-Indo-European *h?ók?s) changed the ? to its aspirated counterpart ? even across the intervening ?.[1]

Beekes argues that since no convincing Indo-European etymology has been found, the word is probably of Pre-Greek origin; he connects the word with the word ? (dr?ps, "man"). According to Beekes (2009:xxix), "Shift of aspiration is found in some cases: ? / ?, / ".[2]

Garnier proposes a derivation from Proto-Indo-European *n?d?r-eh?k?-ó-s ("that which is below"), hence "earthly, human".[3]

The word is treated in Plato's Cratylus.[4]




o (ánthr?posm or f (genitive ); second declension (Epic, Attic, Ionic, Doric, Koine)

  1. human being, person (as opposed to gods); man, woman
    Antonym: ? (theós)
  2. (philosophical) man, humanity
  3. (sometimes in the plural) all human beings, mankind
  4. (in feminine, derogatory) female slave


  • (female slave):

Derived terms

  • ? (anthr?pinos)
  • (anthr?poeid?s)
  • ? (anthr?pokentrikós)
  • (anthr?pología)
  • ? (anthr?pomorphismós)
  • (anthr?popoiía)
  • (oliganthr?pía)


  • Greek: (ánthropos, "man")


  1. ^ Haiim B. Rosén (1986), , in: Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 99, issue 2, pp. 243-244.
  2. ^ Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010) , "", in Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), volume I, with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, ->ISBN, page 107
  3. ^ Garnier, Romain (2008) , "Nouvelles réflexions étymologiques autour du grec [New etymological reflections about the Greek ]", in Bulletin de la société de linguistique de Paris[1], issue 102.1, pages 131-154
  4. ^ "Plato's Cratylus. Section 399c.", in (Please provide the title of the work)[2], Perseus Project Texts, (Please provide a date or year):
    "I will tell you. The name "man" () indicates that the other animals do not examine, or consider, or look up at (?) any of the things that they see, but man has no sooner seen--that is, --than he looks up at and considers that which he has seen. Therefore of all the animals man alone is rightly called man (), because he looks up at (?) what he has seen ()." section 400-401 for discussion of semantic shift and spelling in pre-ionic to attican dialect.

Further reading

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