Baby Boy Names Based on Greek Mythology
The tales of Achilles, Zeus and the rest of the Olympians were used to explain everything from the changing of the seasons to what happens to souls after death for citizens of ancient Greek. The men who called Mount Olympus home were strong and powerful, making their names perfect choices for sons’ names. The ancient Greek goddesses’ attributes also make them good choices for unique baby girl names.
The hero of the Trojan War, Achilles was described in myths as the most handsome of all the heroes fighting against Troy. With the starring role in the Greek poet Homer’s Iliad, Achilles is closely connected with strength as well as handsomeness. Baby Boy Names
The legend of Achilles’ heel began with Statius’ poem Achilleid. Statius rewrote the Achilles creation tale to include a section detailing Achilles’ mother Thetis dipping her son in the river Styx at his birth in an attempt to make him immortal, according to mythweb.com. Since he died due to an arrow shot into his heel, the term “Achilles’ heel” today is defined as a vulnerable point by Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Parents searching for a name that represents youthfulness for their son, need look no further than Apollo. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and Artemis’ twin brother. Apollo is considered the god of the sun and of truth. Other myths list him as the god of archery, medicine, and music, poetry and the arts.
Homer wrote about Apollo in the Iliad, and attributes Paris’ fatal aim with his arrow to Achilles’ heel to Apollo. Although Achilles was primarily a Greek god, his tales were adopted by the Romans. Later Roman poets sometimes referred to Apollo as Phoebus.
In Homer’s Odyssey, Ares was the god of war, making him a good choice for parents looking for a name that connotes strength. For the Greeks, Ares was both handsome and cruel. He was known for his war lust, and his myth states that his Mount Olympus throne was covered in human skin. He is often depicted in art carrying a bloodstained spear.
The Romans, however, portrayed him as a strong warrior, but also possessing more dignity. As the Roman god Mars, he was the father of Romulus and Remus, who went on to found Rome. For this reason, he was more important to the Romans than to the Greeks.
Perhaps the most under sung hero in all of ancient Greece, Hermes is best known today as the messenger to the gods. He also guided souls to the Underworld after their death, and had a pivotal role in aiding heroes Odysseus and Perseus in their quests.
Hermes was also described in various poems as precocious, an inventive genius, and a prankster. The son of Zeus and a mountain nymph, Hermes found an empty tortoise shell when he was only a day old. From this he fashioned the first lyre, a musical instrument similar to a harp.
Hermes is often depicted in art with his winged shoes; traveler’s hat; and his staff, or caduceus, in hand. He was known to the Romans as Mercury.
If a powerful name for a son is what a parent is looking for, the supreme Mount Olympus god Zeus is a natural choice. Zeus, along with his brothers and sisters, fought their parents, the Titans, for control of the universe.
After vanquishing the Titans to the underworld, Zeus and his brothers divided up creation. Poseidon chose the sea as his territory, Hades chose the Underworld and Zeus took over the sky, which also placed him in charge of everything on earth and on Mount Olympus. His Roman equivalent is Jupiter.
Whether parents are looking for a name for their son that represents wisdom, strength, power or youthful handsomeness, the Greek gods Ares, Apollo, Zeus, Achilles and Hermes are all unique and lasting options. For parents expecting a baby girl, the Greek goddesses offer many choices as well.