Baby names inspired by Greek history and mythology are gaining popularity in the United States.
The cast of gods and goddesses of Roman and Greek myth offers a treasure trove of baby name ideas. From Athena to Zeus, you might just find a perfect name for your phenomenal new baby.
The Babycenter blog, an American parenting website says that the Ancient Greek legacy is not just confined to science, art, and philosophy. “Their influence can still be felt today, and that even extends to baby names! Many modern names, such as Sophia and Alexander, have their origins in ancient Greece.”
Greek mythology baby names for girls
Among the girls’ names are:
Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and protectress of the wilderness—the Greek equivalent to the Roman goddess Diana.
Athena, the goddess of wisdom, the arts (spinning and weaving specifically), and warfare. She’s best known for her spectacular birth, which, legend tells, involved her leaping out of Zeus’s head, fully armed.
Circe, daughter of Helios, god of the sun. She specialized in potions, spells, and magical herbs which she often used to turn her enemies into animals.
Gaia is a name that means “earth” in ancient Greek. She is the goddess of the planet Earth, thought to personify earth itself, and she’s considered to be the ancestral mother of all life.
Hera, the ancient goddess, is considered to be the queen of the gods. Married to Zeus, she was considered the god of and ruler over marriage, family, women, and childbirth.
Persephone is the Greek goddess of spring’s bounty. She is the wife of the god Hades, and thus queen of the underworld for the winter months. Each time Persephone returns to Earth, she brings spring with her flowering meadows and the growth of crops.
Greek mythology baby names for boys
Ajax was a formidable warrior in the Trojan War, named in his time, it’s said, after an eagle sent from Zeus as a sign of Ajax’s impending birth. This hero appears in Homer’s epic novel, The Iliad, as well as in Shakespeare’s play Troilus and Cressida.
Apollo is the name of a Roman and Greek god of sun, light, music, and poetry, as well as medicine and healing. The most widely-known representation of Apollo is most probably a statue of the god, covered only by a laurel leaf and carved from stone.
Atlas was a primordial Titan (pre-Olympian) god of astronomy who was forced by the god Zeus to eternally hold the sky on his shoulders. The world maps we all used before Google came along are called Atlas maps in honor of this very god.
Leander means “lion man” in Greek. While not a god, Leander features prominently in a mythical love story that ends tragically although Leander and his true love, Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, end up together into eternity.
Zeus is the most renowned as the highest-ranking of the Greek mythological gods. Zeus ruled the sky from his perch on Mount Olympus and controlled the weather, wielding thunderbolts as his weapon of choice. This powerful and literally lofty name is made all the more appealing by its one syllable with decisive zip.
Recently, Arnold Schwarzenegger conquered social media in the runup to the Super Bowl with an Instagram post he released of himself portraying the Greek god of thunder.
In the post, Schwarzenegger has golden hair and a golden beard and sports burnished golden armor. The skies behind him are angry with dark blue clouds and lightning striking the earth.
For more recommendations inspired by ancient Greece watch the following video: