Monday, May 2, 2016

TFBT: Miss Chryses

One of the reading yesterday at church was Acts 16:14

A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul." 
The “seller of purple (cloth)” caught my attention because Helen was a famous “weaver” of purple cloth”.  I looked at the Greek and it is definitely “seller” not worker like Helen.  Thyatira is a city in “Lydia” so I doubt the woman’s name is “Lydia” but rather that is title.  Sort of like Briseis and Chryseis in the Iliad not actually being the names of the two women.   

“Briseis” can be translated as Miss Briseus   In honor of her father Briseus, priest of Lyrnessus.[i]  Her real name was Hippodameia. [ii]

 Chryseis can be translated as Miss Chryses. This is the girl whom Agamemnon captured, refusing to give her back to her father Chryses, priest of Apollo.  Later writers give her real name as Astynome.[iii]

Nereids can be called Nereis after their father[iv] and Hesiod (Theog. 945) names the Charis whom Hephaestus wed (after Aphrodite); Aglaia.  She is one of the three Charites (Graces). 

Any other Ancient Greek daughters out there with names and patronymic titles?



[i] [Hom.Il.1.390].
[ii] (Dictys Cret. ii. 17.)
[iii] (Supposedly one of the following references documents the name; Scholia on the Iliad; Hesychius, Lexicon; Malalas, Chronographia 100; Eustathius of Thessalonica, Commentary on the Iliad 1.123.9 van der Valk.)
[iv] (according to the dictionary at Perseus)


  1. My Eris is initially called "Daughter of the Night". I think this should be Nycteis, but I cannot be sure, because I do not know Greek matronymics. I searched for this name and found a Theban known as Nycteis, daughter of Nycteus. She married Polydorus and became mother of Labdacus.

    Pericles said to women, "Great will be your glory in not falling short of your natural character; and greatest will be hers who is least talked of among the men, whether for good or for bad." Men were to win kleos, women were to be invisible. Replacing the woman's name by a patronymic is a logical development in this line.

  2. Maya,
    A women won kleos by waging battle at the birth of their children. Particular bad-ass Spartan women. As to Matronyms, let me think about that. I know there are such.


  3. Maya,

    So far I found these Matronyms. SA′MIA (Samia), a daughter of the river-god Maeander, and wife of Ancaeus, by whom she became the mother of Samos. (Paus. vii. 4. § 2.)

    KYANEE (Cyanea) was the Naiad Nymph of a spring or fountain of the town of Miletos in Karia (south-western Anatolia). She was a daughter of the River Maiandros (Meander), and the wife of the town's founding king, Miletos. And mother of KAUNOS, and BYBLIS

    Medea had a son Medus