Of Old Iranian origin presumably akin to Old Persian/Median 𐎶𐎦𐎢𐏁 (maγu-) and Avestan moġu- (moġu-). Both attested Old Iranian words are hapaxes, and of indeterminable meaning. Possibly from Proto-Indo-European *meh₂gh- (“to be able to, to help; power, sorcerer”). Probably unrelated to Av. maga- (cognate with Skt. magha-, "gift"). Attestation in Greek predates attestation in Old Iranian.
- (5th BC Attic): IPA: /máɡos/
- (1st BC Egyptian): IPA: /máɣos/
- (4th AD Koine): IPA: /máɣos/
- (10th AD Byzantine): IPA: /máɣos/
- (15th AD Constantinopolitan): IPA: /máɣos/
- name of a Median tribe. This usage is only attested once; Herodotus Histories 1.101.
- title of Iranian priests (typically interpreted as Zoroastrian). Compare e.g. Herodotus Hist. 1.132f, Xenophon Cyropedia 8.3.11, Porphyry Life of Pythagoras 12, Heraclitus apud Clemens Protrepticus 12, etc.
- Note: the two meanings are frequently conflated as one, giving "name of a Median priestly tribe" or similar.