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(1,013 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Theobald, Michael (Tübingen) | Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
(Κύριος; Kýrios, ‘lord’). I. Religion [German version] A. Pagan Addressing a deity felt to be powerful with ‘lord’ is widespread in Greek religious language. Since Homer, gods (especially Apollo and Zeus) can be addressed by the Mycenaean royal title anax (Ἄναξ), ‘king, lord’ [1]. A number of powerful goddesses (Cybele, Aphrodite, Artemis, Demeter and Persephone, Hecate, Isis) are since archaic times invoked as déspoina (Δέσποινα), ‘mistress’, and, somewhat more rarely, male gods as despótes (Δεσπότης) [2; 3]. Even though the archaic word anax is used only in epic and prayer language, despótes and déspoina are everyday terms for the head of the household, i.e. particularly for the master and mistress of slaves. Since the late Hellenistic period, this group of words becomes interchangeable, in religious language, with kýrios/ kyría (Κυρία). This commences especially with Oriental deities like Isis in Egypt, but soon encompasses a large number of deities of the Middle East and Anatolia, including the Thracian hero called the Horseman.


(897 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Princeton) | Theobald, Michael (Tübingen) | Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
(Κύριος, “Herr”). I. Religion [English version] …