From: Davis Phillips (
Date: Fri Mar 29 1996 - 09:10:56 EST

The word PROSKUNEO includes etymologically the workd KUNEO (kiss); At least
the Liddel & Scott data seems to strongly indicate that this is so. See the
Liddel & Scott entries available from Tufts University on-line Persesu
system on the web (I have listed the entries for PROSKUNEO and KUNEO below,
for those who may have trouble accessing the Web).

Back in 1970 I was pondering the meaning of Jesus' discussion in John
chapter 4 of how" the Father was seeking true worshippers to worship him in
spirit and in truth." -- What does it mean to WORSHIP God?!
I looked into the Greek and was impressed that "worship" had the thought of
coming before in obeisance and respect, with the thought also that it might
involve a respectful kiss. This understanding of "worship" deeply
impressed me that worship involved a PERSONAL relationship to the one being
worshipped (The Father). (There is a traditional sense in which one
thinks of worship as very close to a ritualistic behavior, very religious,
but not very personal.)

(Please let me know (off-line:to dphil, not b-greek) if you found this note
useful. thanks)

From Perseus
To get a morphological analysis (ignoring accents) and from there ask for
the Liddel & Scott (big or small) entry:

prosku^n-eÖ, fut. -ÉsÖ Hippon.32 (tm.), Plat. Rep. 469a: aor. prosekunÉsa
Xen. Cyrop.
5.3.18; poet. proseku^sa Aristoph. Kn. 640, imper. proskuson
IBID=au=Aristoph. Kn. 156,
Soph. Phil. 776, inf. -kusai IBID=au=Soph. Phil. 657, part. -kusas
IBID=au=Soph. Phil. 533,
au=Soph. Phil. 1408 (troch.): pf. -kekunÉka LXX Ex.32.8, OGI196.2 (Egypt, i
pres. inf. proskuneisthai Eur. Tro. 1021: aor. prosekunÉthÉn
Arr.An.4.11.9:-- make obeisance to
the gods or their images, fall down and worship, c. acc., Hdt. 2.121, etc.;
gÉn te p. hama kai ton
theÖn Olumpon Soph. OC 1654, cf. Aesch. Pers. 499, Aristoph. Kn. 156:
prov., hoi -kunountes
tÉn Adrasteian sophoi, of deprecating the wrath of Nemesis, Aesch. Prom.
936, cf. Plat. Rep.
451a; ton phthonon de proskuson Soph. Phil. 776; steiche proskusas chthona,
to avert divine
wrath, IBID=au=Soph. Phil. 1408 (troch.); of sacred places, do reverence
to, pat rÖia hedÉ theÖn
IDEM=Soph. El. 1374; tas thÉkas Plat. Rep. 469b; tÉn tholon Dem. 19.314:
abs., Aristoph. Kn.

2. esp. of the Oriental fashion of prostrating oneself before kings and
superiors, abs., Hdt. 1.119,
au=Hdt. 8.118: c. acc., p. ton Dareion make obeisance to him, IDEM=Hdt.
3.86; proskunein
didaskontai ton basilea [hoi elephantes] Arist.HA630b20; prospiptÖn p. Hdt.
1.134, cf. au=Hdt.
7.136; pantes se proskunoumen hoid' hiktÉrioi Soph. OT 327; proskunÖ s',
anax, prospitnÖn Eur.
Orest. 1507 (troch.), cf. Xen. Cyrop. 5.3.18, au=Xen. Cyrop. 8.3.14, Plut.
Them. 27, Arr. l.c.,
etc.; kupsas ho laos prosekunÉsen LXX Ex.12.27; oudena anthrÖpon despotÉn
alla tous theous p.
Xen. Anab. 3.2.13; p. tous hubrizontas hÖsper en tois barbarois Dem.
21.106: ironically, p. tina
hÖs hieron kai thaumaston Plat. Rep. 398a: later c. dat., LXX Ge.24.26,
al., Ev.Matt.2.2,
au=Ev.Matt. 2.11=lr, Ev.Jo.4.23, D.C.67.13; tÖi theÖi J.AJ9.13.2. (Orig.
perh. throw a kiss to
the god, cf. Apul.Met.4.28: the gesture is probably represented in Sumerian
and Babylonian art

II. later, kiss, sou -ÉsÖ tÉn cheira BGU423.15 (ii A.D.); to prosÖpon, tÉn
opsin, tous podas,
PLond.3.1244.4 (iv A.D.), PGiss.22.5 (ii A.D.), PGen. 91.6 (vi/vii A.D.).

2. greet, spoudazousa -Ésai se (by letter) BGU 615.8 (ii A.D.); elthÖ pros
humas hina humas -ÉsÖ
dia pollou chronou PLips. 110.19 (iii/iv A.D.), cf. PGiss.17.11 (ii A.D.).

3. welcome respectfully, respect, prosekunÉsa sou ta grammata POxy.237 vi
37 (ii A.D.), cf.
PTeb.286.22 (ii A.D.), etc.; tÉn theian antigraphÉn hupo pantÖn
proskunoumenÉn OGI262.27
(Baetocaece, iii A.D.).


Liddel & Scott entry for "kuneo"

ku^neÖ, Ep. impf. kuneon Hom. Od. 21.224: fut. ku^nÉsomai Eur. Cycl. 172;
later kusÖ [u^],
poet. kussÖ Babr.129.17: aor. ekunÉsa v.l. in Arist. HA560b31; Poet.
eku^sa, Ep. kusa, ekussa,
kussa, v. infr.:--kiss, karÉ d' ekus' Hom. Od. 23.208; labe gounata kai
kuse cheiras Hom. Il.
24.478; kuneon . . kephalÉn te kai Ömous Hom. Od. 21.224: c. acc. pers. et
partis, kusse de min
kephalÉn au=Hom. Od. 16.15, cf. au=Hom. Od. 19.417; TÉlemachon . . dios
huphorbos panta
kusen au=Hom. Od. 16.21; kuson me Aristoph. Cl. 81, cf. ti=Aristoph. Birds
141, etc.; k. tina
cheiros A.R. 1.313: pres. in Eur. Alc. 183, ti=Eur. Med. 1141, Aristoph.
Ach. 1208, ti=Aristoph.
Peace 1138 (lyr.): --rare in Prose, Luc.Alex.55; k. [allÉlas], of pigeons,
bill, Arist. l.c.

2. = proskuneÖ, E.Cyc. l.c., AP6.283.

>I am new to this list but am enjoying what I have read thus far. Very
>I was wondering if anyone could provide me with a definition of the term
>PROSKNUEO-"worship." Specifically, I am wondering about the etymology of
>the word

>Thanks for any input you can offer,
>Tom Atkinson

 Davis Phillips, Senior Systems Analyst, College of Liberal Arts
 University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 USA
 Phone: (512) 471-4141 FAX: (512) 471-4518

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