The Meaning of the Names of the 4 top Heroes of Antiquity

heracles_statue_mentora Heracles (Ἡρακλῆς)

The name of demigod Heracles, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, comes from the proper name “Hera” and the noun “kleos” (glory), meaning “glory of Hera”. In the same family belong the names Heraclides (the son, the descendant of Heracles), Herculean (he who belongs to Heracles, who is Heracles’), and Heraclitus (the famous, the glorious as Hera).

theseus_mentora Theseus (Θησεύς)

From the Future tense “θήσω” (i will set) of the verb “τίθημι” (to set, put, place), comes the name Theseus, which means “the one who will set, who will establish”. The hero Theseus, son of Aegeus and Aethra, is the founder of the city of Athens and the initiator of the Panathenaic festival.

 Jason (Ἰάσων)

From the verb “ἰάομαι, ἰῶμαι”, which means “to heal, cure”, and in particular from the Future tense “ἰάσομαι” (I will heal, cure), comes the name of the hero Jason, son of Aeson and Polymede and leader of the Argonautic Campaign. Jason therefore means “he who will heal, he will cure.”

perseus_mentora Perseus (Περσεύς)

The name derives from the Future tense “πέρσω” (I will ravage) of the verb “πέρθω” (to waste, ravage, destroy), and means “the one who will ravage”. The hero Perseus is the son of Zeus and Danae.


We notice that the names of Theseus, Jason, and Perseus come from the Future tense of the verbs that produce them, which suggests that the names of the three heroes -at their childhood- held the position of prophetic revelation, or even a clear incitement regarding their future.

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