Re: Adonis

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue May 11 1999 - 13:50:12 EDT

At 8:16 PM -0400 5/10/99, Kevin W. Woodruff wrote:
>Apollodorus in his work the Library (III.14.4) spells Adonis as
>Hope this helps
>At 09:27 AM 5/11/99 +1000, you wrote:
>>Query: Is Adonis in Greek spelled A-D-O-N-I-S or A-N-T-O-N-I-S?

I don't think I ever saw the original query to this one, but now that I
notice it, a couple comments seem in order:

(1) Yes, Adonis as the consort of Aphrodite is spelled ADWNIS; an
interesting fact about this name is that it is a Hellenized form of the
Semitic ADON, "lord" and in this instance the title "lord" has replaced the
name of the lover Tammuz or Dumuzi or Baal (actually, I think Baal may be
right, because I think BAAL is actually a title rather than a proper name,
isn't it?). At any rate, the cult of Aphrodite and Adonis is in origin a
Hellenized form of the cult of Ishtar and Baal.

(2) Use of the paired consonants -NT- to represent the sound of hard D
belongs to later Greek, after the Greek Delta began to be pronounced as it
is in Modern Greek, like the English voiced 'th' in 'the.' Similar, of
course, is -MP- for hard B, as in the modern greek for 'Baseball':

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243

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