Formation of names
Our knowledge of the formation of Greek names is derived both from ancient sources and, increasingly, from our own observations of the thousands of names which documentary sources have revealed to us.
In formation, Greek names were either ‘simple’ or ‘compound’.
‘Compound’ names were formed by combining nouns, adjectives,
verbs or adverbs. For example:
With certain exceptions, compound names could take their elements in
either order: Aristo-nikos or Nik-aristos.
Names generally followed regular rules of declension; and women's names, which could take neuter as well as feminine terminations, covered broadly the same range of meanings as men's, including those with strongly military and political connotations, such as Alexandra, Stratippe, Demostrate. Abstract nouns such as Arete (‘virtue’) and Harmonia (‘harmony’) did feature among women’s names, but seem to have been originally slave names.
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