Ancient Greece’s 5,160 Original Names



ancient Greek namesHave you ever wondered how many different names there are in use today all over the world? We may not have the answer, but know for sure that there were 5,160 original names in ancient Greece. At least, this is the number of names included in the list compiled by Greek author Nikos Bousoulegas.

In his new historical work entitled Greek Human Names, the author tells the 3,400 year old journey of the development of the Greek language. Inspired by the Greek ancient names still heard today and realizing that they amount to a very small percentage of the actual ancient names, Bousoulegas began his research into ancient Greek history, so as to compile a comprehensive list. He realized that many names of famous men and women living in ancient Greece continue to be used identically right up until today, while some others have been slightly adapted by the Old and New Testaments, the Latin literature and the periods of Greece’s foreign rule.

Bousoulegas mentioned during the presentation of his book that the Greek Orthodox Church also worked “in favor” of him compiling this list, because from the 400 names mentioned in the annual name calendar of the Church, only 44 date back to the ancient times. He added, “The other 330 names, which are still in use today, are rejected by Church and therefore not allowed to be used in a child’s baptism ceremony, as they are considered to be Pagan rather than Christian.” Meanwhile, the Christian name Nikolaos dates back to ancient Greece: two army generals of the town of Sparta had the same name in the 4th century BC.

Bousoulegas’ list brings back memories about stories and great events, as many names of the list are attributed to ancient gods, nymphs and rivers, which still remain authentic and immortal in people’s memories.