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Ancient GreekEdit

Alternative formsEdit


Related to Mycenaean Greek 𐀀𐀵𐀫𐀦 (a-to-ro-qo), of uncertain origin. Scholars used to consider it to be a compound from ἀνήρ (anḗr, man) and ὤψ (ṓps, face, appearance, look): thus, "he who looks like a man". However, a δ (d) would be expected to develop by epenthesis, as in the genitive ἀνδρός (andrós), yielding *ἀνδρωπος (*andrōpos).

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 δρώψ (drṓps, man) (according to Beekes (2009:xxix): "Shift of aspiration is found in some cases: θριγκός / τριγχός, ἀθραγένη / ἀνδράχνη").[1]

Garnier proposes a derivation from Proto-Indo-European *n̥dʰr-eh₃kʷó-s (that which is below), hence "earthly, human".[2]

Haiim B. Rosén reestablishes the first etymology, positing that the original laryngeal *h₃ in the root for ὤψ (ṓps), Proto-Indo-European *h₃ókʷs, changed the δ to its aspirated counterpart θ even across the intervening ρ.[3]




ἄνθρωπος (ánthrōposm, f (genitive ἀνθρώπου); second declension (Epic, Attic, Ionic, Doric, Koine)

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


Derived termsEdit



  1. ^ Beekes, Robert S. P. (2010), “ἄνθρωπος”, in Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 10), volume I, with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, Leiden, Boston: Brill, page 107
  2. ^ Garnier, Romain (2008), “Nouvelles réflexions étymologiques autour du grec ἄνθρωπος [New etymological reflections about the Greek ἄνθρωπος]”, in Bulletin de la société de linguistique de Paris[1], issue 102.1, pages 131-154
  3. ^ Haiim B. Rosén (1986), Ἄνθρωπος, in: Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 99, issue 2, pp. 243–244.

Further readingEdit