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53 terms

vocab. 6 classical mythology and history

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Adonis
n: very handsome young man; (from handsome youth loved by Aphrodite, goddess of love)
aegis
n: shield or protections; auspices; sponsorship; (from protective shield of Zeus, king of the Greek gods)
amazon
n: tall, strong, bold woman; (from mythological race of women warriors)
ambrosial
adj: exceptionally pleasing to taste or smell; extremely delicious; excellent; (from literally "not mortal" food of the gods)
atlas
n: book of maps; (from giant who supported the heavens on his shoulders; the figure supporting the world was prefaced to early map collections - hence the name _______)
auroral
adj: pertaining to or resembling the dawn; rosy; radiant; (from Roman goddess of the dawn)
bacchanalian
adj: jovial or wild with drunkenness; (from Roman god of wine)
Cassandra
n: one who prophesies doom or disaster; pessimist; (from "_" given the power of prophecy by Apollo. When she spurned his love, he could not take back his gift, but stipulated that no one would every believe her. (ant. Pollyanna)
chimerical
adj: fantastic; unreal; impossible; absurd (from fire-breathing monster with a lion's head, goat's body, and serpent's tail)
Draconian
adj: cruel; harsh; severe; iron handed (from Athenian lawmaker who drew up a harsh code of laws)
echolalia
n: automatic and immediate repetition (_ing) of what others say. (from maiden who loved Narcissus. When he rejected her, she pined away until nothing was left of her but her voice)
Elysian
adj: delightful; blissful; heavenly; (from mythological paradise where after death the blessed, mortals especially favored by the gods, dwell)
eristic
adj: prone to controversy; disputatious; argumentative (from goddess of discord)
fauna
n: animal life; animals of a particular region or period (from Roman god of animals)
flora
n: plant life; plants of a particular region or period (from Roman goddess of flowers)
forum
n: medium or place for open discussion and expression of ideas--a public meeting, radio or TV discussion, editorial page, etc (from marketplace or other place of assembly for judicial or public business in an ancient Roman city)
hector
v: bully; intimidate with threats; bluster (from bravest of the Trojans)
herculean
adj: very difficult; requiring the strength of Hercules (a hero of superhuman strength)
hermetic
adj: airtight; secret; obscure; magical; mysterious (from Zeus's swift messenger; god of eloquence and commerce; patron of travelers, rogues, and thieves; Greek name for Thoth, Egyptian god linked with the occult and the reputed inventor of a magic seal to keep a vessel airtight)
iridescent
adj: having colors like the rainbow (from goddess of the rainbow)
jovial
adj: jolly; merry; good-humored (from king of the Roman gods; the planet Jupiter was believed to make people born under its influence cheerful)
labyrinthine
adj: full of confusing passageways; intricate; complicated (from "_" a fabled maze in Crete)
laconic
adj: using words sparingly; terse; concise (from Lakonikos, meaning "Spartan." The citizens of the Greek city-state of Sparta made terseness a virtue
lethargic
adj: unnaturally drowsy; sluggish; dull (from Lethe, river in Hades-Hell-whose water, when drunk, caused forgetfulness of the past)
Lucullan
adj: sumptuous; luxurious (from "_", Roman host who gave lavish banquets)
marathon
n: 1. long-distance footrace of 26 miles 385 yards (from "_", where the Greeks defeated the Persian invaders in 490 BC; the fleet-footed Pheidippides raced to Athens with the joyous news, but fell dead after announcing the victory)
2. endurance contest
martial
adj: pertaining to war; warlike (from Mars, god of War)
mentor
n: 1. wise and trusted adviser (from "M" to whom Odysseus entrusted the education of his son)
2. tutor; coach
mercurial
adj: 1. quick; vivacious; active; lively (ant. saturnine) (from "_" the Roman Hermes. A planet and a chemical element
2. inconstant; unstable; capricious; subject to rapid and unpredictable mood changes
myrmidon
n: obedient and unquestioning follower (from "_" the martial tribe that accompanied Achilles to the Trojan War)
narcissistic
adj: in love with oneself; excessively fascinated and gratified by one's own physical and mental qualities; egocentric (from "_", a handsome youth who didn't even look at any of the many maidens who loved him. However, looking in a pool, he fell madly in love with his own image, and this futile longing soon led to his death)
nectar
n: something exceptionally delicious to drink; (literally "death-overcoming" drink that made the gods immortal)
nemesis
n: 1. due punishment for evil deeds (from goddess of vengeance)
2. one who inflicts such punishment
odyssey
n: long series of wanderings or travels (from epic poem dealing with _s' ten years of wandering on his way home from the Trojan War)
Olympian
adj: 1. majestic; godlike; lofty (from "_" highest mountain in Greece. Its summit, obscured by clouds from human view, was home to Zeus and other gods)
2. international athletic competitions held every four years
paean
n: song or hymn of praise, joy, or triumph (from "_" hymn in praise of Apollo, god of deliverance)
palladium
n: safeguard; protection (from "_" statue of the goddess Pallas Athena preventing the fall of Troy--but giving no protection if stolen from the city)
panic
n: sudden, overpowering terror, sometimes causing mass flight (from rural god whose unexpected shout would terrify)
philippic
n: bitter denunciation; tirade (from "_", orations by Demosthenes denouncing King Philip of Macedon
plutocratic
adj: having great influence because of one's wealth (from god of wealth)
procrustean
adj: cruel or inflexible in enforcing conformity (from "_", villain who made travelers fit the length of his bed, either stretching them if they were too short or cutting off their legs if they were too tall)
protean
adj: exceedingly variable; readily assuming different forms or shapes (from sea god who could readily change his shape to elude capture)
Pyrrhic
adj: ruinous; gained at too great a cost (from "_ , who suffered enormous losses in a "victory" over the Romans)
saturnine
adj: heavy; dull; sullen; gloomy; morose (ant. mercurial) (from "S" father of Jupiter. Though "S" reign was supposedly a golden age, he became a symbol of heaviness and dullness because the alchemists and astrologers associated his name with the metal lead)
siren
n: 1. dangerous, attractive woman (from creatures half woman and half bird whose sweet singing lured mariners to destruction on the rocks)
2. woman who sings with bewitching sweetness
3. apparatus for sounding loud warnings
solon
n: legislator; wise lawgiver (noted Athenian lawgiver)
Spartan
adj: marked by simplicity and avoidance of comfort; marked by self-discipline, bravery, and ability to endure pain (from "_", whose citizens pursued those traits)
stentorian
adj: very loud (from "-", legendary herald whose voice was as loud as fifty voices)
Stygian
adj: infernal; especially dark; gloomy (from river of the lower world leading into Hades-Hell)
tantalize
v: excite a hope but prevent its fulfillment; tease (from "_", kept hungry and thirsty in Hades with food and water very near but just beyond his reach)
terpsichorean
adj OR n: pertaining to dancing (from "_", muse of dancing); dancer
thespian
adj OR n: pertaining to the drama or acting (from "_", reputed father of Greek drama); actor
titanic
adj: of enormous strength, size, or power (from "_", lawless, powerful giants defeated by Zeus)