Abstract personifications

Abstract personifications--minor deities presiding over the human condition--formed a large part of the Greek pantheon of gods. Their names are simply capitalized nouns. Eros, for example, is "Love," after the Greek word eros.

Dike Goddess of Justice
Eris Goddess of Stife
Eros God of Love
Geras God of Old Age
Hebe Goddess of Youth
Hygeia Goddess of Health
Hypnus God of Sleep
Lyssa Goddess of Mad Rage
Mnemosyne Goddess of Memory
Nemesis Goddess of Indignation
Nike Goddess of Victory
Peitho Goddess of Persuasion
Phobus God of Fear
Plutus God of Wealth
Poene Goddess of Retaliation
Pothus God of Longing
Soteria Goddess of Safety
Thanatus God of Death


The abstract personifications can be divided into seven broad categories :
1. Emotions and states of mind, e.g. Love and Hate, Sexual-Desire, Affection, Anger, Harmony and Discord, Joy and Grief, Laughter, Hope and Fear, Indignation, Delusion ;
2. The human condition, e.g. Birth and Death, Sleep and Dreams, Pleasure and Pain, Youth and Old Age, Wealth and Poverty, Hunger and Disease, Ease and Toil, Fate and Opportunity ;
3. Qualities, e.g. Strength, Beauty and Grace, Wisdom, Stupidity ;
4. Morality, e.g. Valour, Modesty, Moderation, Hubris, Mercy, Truth, Lies, Impiety, Justice, Oath, Respect, Insolence ;
5. Voice, e.g. Eloquence, Persuasion, Criticism, Lies, Quarrels, Prayer, Counsel, Curse, Lament, Rumour, Message, Fame, Battle-Cry ;
6. Actions, e.g. Force, Rivalry, Victory, Labor, Contest, Fighting, Murder ;
7. State of society, e.g. Peace and War, Good-Governance, Law and Lawlessness, Justice and Injustice.
Most of these divinities were pure personification with little or no mythology. Only a handful achieved full characterisation, including Eris (Strife) and Hypnus (Sleep). A few including Eros (Love), Nike (Victory) and Nemesis (Indignation) achieved cult status, with minor altars and precincts dedicated to them in historical times.
The first section of this page lists the Spirits (or Daemones) by their Greek names, the second gives their Latin counterparts. After each there follows an English translation of the name-word. In many cases multiple terms are used to clarify the meaning of the word, especially moral concepts which do not translate easily.


ACHOS (Akhos) Pain of Body, Pain of Mind, Grief, Distress (Latin Dolor)
ADICIA (Adikia) Injustice, Wrong-doing
AEDOS (Aidos) Reverence, Respect, Shame, Self-Respect, Modesty (Latin Pudicitia)
AERGIA Idleness, Laziness, Do Nothing, Sloth (Latin Socordia, Ignavia)
AESCHYNE (Aiskhyne) Shame, Sense of Shame, Modesty, Honour (Latin Pudicitia)
AGLAEA (Aglaia) Beauty, Splendour, Glory, Magnificence, Adornment
AGON Contest, Struggle
ALALA War-Cry, Battle-Cry
ALASTOR Blood Feud, Vengeance
ALETHEIA Truth, Truthfulness, Sincerity (Latin Veritas)
ALGEA (plural) Pain of Body, Pain of Mind, Grief, Distress, Suffering (Latin Dolor)
AMECHANIA (Amekhania) Helplessness, Want of Means
AMPHILOGIAE (Amphilogiai) (plural) Disputes, Debate, Contention (Latin Altercatio)
ANAIDEIA Ruthlessness, Shamelessness, Unforgivingness
ANANCE (Ananke) Necessity, Compulsion (Latin Necessitas)
ANDROCTASIAE (Androktasiai) (plural) Slaughter of Men in Battle
ANGELIA Message, Tidings, Proclamation
ANIA Grief, Sorrow, Distress, Trouble (Latin Dolor)
ANTEROS Reciprocated Love
APATE Trick, Fraud, Deceit, Guile, Treachery (Latin Dolus, Fraus)
APORIA Difficulty, Perplexity, Want of Means
ARAE (Arai) (plural) Curses, Imprecations
ARETE Virtue, Excellence, Goodness, Manliness, Valour (Latin Virtus)
ATE Delusion, Infatuation, Folly, Reckless Impulse, Rash Action (Latin Nefas, Error)
BIA Force, Power, Might, Bodily Strength, Compulsion (Latin Vis)
CACIA (Kakia) Vice, Moral Badness
CAERUS (Kairos) Opportunity, Critical Time, Advantage, Profit (Latin Occasio, Tempus)
CALLEIS (Kalleis) Beauty
CALOCAGATHIA (Kalokagathia) Nobility, Nobleness, Goodness
CHARIS (Kharis) Beauty, Grace, Favour
CHARITES (Kharites) (plural) Grace, Favour, Beauty (Latin Gratiae)
COALEMUS (Koalemos) Stupidity, Foolishness
CORUS (Koros) Satiety, Surfeit, Insolence, Disdain
CRATUS (Kratos) Strength, Might, Power, Bodily Strength, Rule (Latin Potestas)
CTESIUS (Ktesios) Home, House, Domestic Property
CYDOIMUS (Kydoimos) Din of Battle, Confusion, Uproar, Hubbub
DEIMUS (Deimos) Terror-Fear, Dread (Latin Pavor, Formido)
DEMOCRACIA (Demokrakia) Democracy
DICAIOSYNE (Dikaiosyne) Justice, Righteousness
DIKE Justice, Rights by Custom & Law, Righteous Judgment (Latin Justitia)
DOLUS (Dolos) Trickery, Cunning Deception, Craftiness, Guile, Treachery (Latin Dolus)
DYSNOMIA Lawlessness, Bad Civil Constitution
DYSSEBIA Impiety, Ungodliness (Latin Impietas)
EIRENE Peace (Latin Pax)
ECECHEIRIA (Ekekheiria) Truce, Armistice, Cessation of Hostilities
ELEUS (Eleos) Pity, Mercy, Compassion (Latin Misericordia, Clemencia)
ELPIS Hope, Expectation (Latin Spes)
EPIALES Nightmare
EPIDOTES Ritual Purification
EPIPHRON Prudence, Shrewdness, Carefulness, Thoughtfulness, Sagacity
ERIS Strife, Discord, Quarrel, Contention, Rivalry, Battle-Strife (Latin Discordia)
EROS Love, Sexual Passion (Latin Amor, Cupidos)
EUCLEIA (Eukleia) Good Repute, Glory
EUDAEMONIA (Eudaimonia) Happiness
EUNOMIA Good Order, Civil Order, Good Laws, Lawful Behaviour
EUPHEME Good Words, Praise, Acclamation, Applause
EUPHROSYNE Good Cheer, Cheerfulness, Merriment, Joy, Mirth
EUPRAXIA Good Conduct
EUSEBIA Piety, Filial Respect, Loyalty (Latin Pietas)
EUTHENIA Prosperity, Abundance, Plenty
EUTHYMIA Good Cheer, Joy, Contentment
EUTYCHIA (Eutykhia) Good Fortune, Luck, Prosperity, Success (Latin Fortuna)
GELUS (Gelos) Laughter (Latin Risus)
GERAS Old Age (Latin Senectus)
HARMONIA Harmony, Marital Harmony, Concord, Union, Joining (Latin Concordia)
HEBE Youth, Youthful Prime (Latin Juventas)
HEDONE Pleasure, Enjoyment, Delight, Sensual Pleasures (Latin Voluptas)
HEDYLOGUS (Hedylogos) Sweet talk, Flatter
HESYCHIA (Hesykhia) Quiet, Rest, Silence, Stillness (Latin Quies, Silentia)
HIMERUS (Himeros) Sexual Desire, Longing, Yearning
HOMADUS (Homados) Din of Battle, Battle-Noise, Tumult
HOMONOEA (Homonoia) Concord, Unanimity, Oneness of Mind (Latin Concordia)
HORCUS (Horkos) Oath, Punishment of Perjury (Latin Jusjurandum)
HORMES Effort, Impulse to Do, Setting Oneself in Motion, Eagerness, Starting Action
HYBRIS Insolence, Violence, Excessive Pride, Wantonness, Outrageous Behaviour (Latin Petulantia, Superbia)
HYGEIA Good Health (Latin Salus)
HYPNUS (Hypnos) Sleep, Sleepiness (Latin Somnus)
HYSMINAE (Hysminai) (plural) Fighting, Fights, Fist-Fights, Combat (Latin Pugna)
KERES (plural) Death, Doom of Death, Plague (Latin Letum, Tenebrae)
LETHE Forgetfulness, Oblivion (Latin Oblivio, Letum)
LIMUS (Limos) Hunger, Famine, Starvation (Latin Fames)
LITAE (Litai) (plural) Prayer, Entreaty
LUPE Pain of Body, Pain of Mind, Grief (Latin Dolor)
LYSSA Rage, Martial Rage, Fury, Raging Madness, Frenzy, Rabies (Latin Ira, Furor, Rabies)
MACHAE (Makhai) (plural) Battle, Combat
MANIAE (Maniai) (plural) Madness, Crazed Frenzy, Insanity (Latin Insania)
METHE Drunkenness, Inebriety
MNEMOSYNE Memory (Latin Moneta)
MOIRAE (Moirai) (plural) Fate, Destiny, Portion (Latin Parca, Parcae)
MOMUS (Momos) Mockery, Ridicule, Blame, Reproach, Stinging Criticism (Latin Querella)
MORUS (Moros) Fate, Destiny, Doom, Death (Latin Fatum)
MUSICA (Mousika) Music
NEICEA (Neikea) (plural) Quarrel, Feud, Grievance (Latin Altercatio)
NEMESIS Righteous Indignation, Distribution of Dues, Jealousy, Wrath (Latin Invidia)
NIKE Victory (Latin Victoria)
NOMUS (Nomos) Law, Laws, Ordinances, Statutes
NOSI (Nosoi) (plural) Sickness, Disease, Plague (Latin Morbus)
OIZYS Woe, Misery (Latin Miseria, Tristitia)
OLETHRUS (Olethros) Day of Doom, Destruction, Death
ONEIRI (Oneiroi) (plural) Dream, Dreams (Latin Somnium, Somnia)
OSSA Rumour (Latin Fama)
PALIOXIS Backrush, Flight, Retreat in Battle
PAREGOROS Comfort, Consolation, Soothing Words (Latin Consolatio)
PEITHARCHIA (Peitharkhia) Obedience to Command
PEITHO Persuasion, Suasion, Seduction (Latin Suadela)
PENIA Poverty, Need, Penury
PENTHUS (Penthos) Grief, Sorrow, Mourning, Misery (Latin Luctus)
PHEME Rumour, Report, Common Talk, Gossip, Fame, Reputation (Latin Fama)
PHILIA Affectionate Regard, Friendship (Latin Amicitia, Gratia)
PHILOPHROSYNE Friendliness, Kindliness, Welcome
PHILOTES Friendship, Love, Affection, Sex (Latin Amicitia, Gratia)
PHOBUS (Phobos) Panic-Fear, Flight, Rout (Latin Metus, Terror, Fuga)
PHONI (Phonoi) (plural) Murder, Killing, Slaughter
PHRICE (Phrike) Horror (Latin Horror)
PHTHISIS Wasting Away, Perishing, Decay (Latin Tabes)
PHTHONUS (Phthonos) Envy, Jealousy, Ill-Will, Malice (Latin Invidia)
PHYGE Flight, Escape, Flight from Battle, Exile, Banishment (Latin Fuga)
PISTIS Trust, Honesty, Faith, Trustworthiness (Latin Fides)
PLUTUS (Ploutos) Wealth
POINAE (Poinai) (plural) Retribution, Vengeance, Recompense, Punishment, Penalty, Bloodmoney (for murder and manslaughter) (Latin Ultio)
POLEMUS (Polemos) War, Battle
POMPE Religious Procession
PONUS (Ponos) Hard Work, Toil, Labour (Latin Labor)
PORUS (Poros) Expediency, Means of Accomplishing or Providing, Contivance, Device
POTHUS (Pothos) Sexual Longing, Yearning
PRAXIDICAE (Praxidikai) Exacting Justice
PRAXIDIKE Exacting Justice, Exacting Penalties
PROIOXIS Onrush, Pursuit in Battle
PROPHASIS Excuse, Plea
PSEUDOLOGI (Pseudologoi) (plural) Lies, Lying Words, Falsehood (Latin Mendacium)
PTOCHEIA (Ptokheia) Beggary
SOPHROSYNE Moderation, Temperence, Self-Control, Prudence, Discretion (Latin Continentia, Sobrietas)
SOTER Safety, Deliverance & Preservation from Harm
SOTERIA Safety, Deliverance & Preservation from Harm
TECHNE (Tekhne) Art, Craft, Technical Skill
TELETE Consecration, Initiation
THALIA Festivity, Banquet
THANATUS (Thanatos) Death (Latin Mors, Letus)
THRASUS (Thrasos) Overboldness, Rashness, Insolence
TYCHE (Tykhe) Fortune, Chance, Providence, Fate (Latin Fortuna)
ZELUS (1) (Zelos) Rivalry, Zeal, Emulation, Ambition, Envy
ZELUS (2) (Zelos) Jealousy, Envy


The following Latin personifications appear in the works of poets and writers such as Ovid, Virgil, Cicero, Statius, Seneca, Apuleius and Hyginus.
ALTERCATIO Altercation, Dispute, Debate (Greek Amphilogia, Neicus)
AMICITIA Friendship (Greek Philotes, Philia)
AMOR Love (Greek Eros)
ARDOR Ardour, Heat of Passion, Ardent Desire (Greek Pothus)
BELLA War (Greek Enyo)
BONUS EVENTUS Good Fortune, Success
CLEMENCIA Clemency, Mercy (Greek Eleus)
CONCORDIA Concord, Harmony, Agreeing Together (Greek Harmonia, Homonoia)
CONSOLATIO Consolation, Comfort (Greek Paregoron)
CONSUETUDO Habit, Custom
CONTINENTIA Continence, Temperence, Moderation (Greek Sophrosyne)
CURA Care, Worry
DISCORDIA Discord, Strife, Dissension, Disagreement (Greek Eris)
DOLOR Pain (of body and mind), Ache, Distress, Grief, Sorrow, Anguish, Trouble (Greek Algos, Ania, Achos)
DOLUS Guile, Trickery, Cunning Deception (Greek Dolus)
ERROR Error (Greek Ate)
FAMA Rumour, Report, Common Talk, Gossip, Fame, Infamy (Greek Pheme, Ossa)
FAMES Hunger, Famine (Greek Limus)
FATUM Fate, Destiny, Fated Death (Greek Morus)
FIDES Trust, Faith (Greek Pistis)
FORTUNA, FORS Fortune, Chance, Luck, Fate (Greek Tyche)
FRAUS Cheating, Deceit, Fraud (Greek Apate)
FUGA Flight, Escape, Flight from Battle, Exile (Greek Phyge)
FUROR Rage, Madness, Fury (Greek Lyssa)
GRATIA Favour, Esteem, Regard, Liking, Love, Friendship (Greek Philotes, Charis)
GRATIAE (plural) Grace, Favour, Regard, Friendship (Greek Charites)
HORROR Horror, Shivering Fear, Trembling Fear (Greek Phrice)
IGNAVIA Laziness, Idleness, Sloth (Greek Aergia)
IMPETUS Attack, Assault, Violent Impulse, Rapid Motion, Impetus, Impulse
IMPIETAS Impiety (Greek Dyssebia)
INCESTUM (i) Religious Impurity, Uncleanliness, Pollution, Defilement (ii) Sexually Impure, Unchaste, Lewd, Lustful, Incestuous
INSANIA Insanity, Madness, Frenzy (Greek Mania)
INVIDIA Envy, Jealousy, Ill-Will (Greek Nemesis, Phthonus, Zelus)
INVIDENTIA Envy, Jealousy, Ill-Will (Greek Nemesis)
IRAE (plural) Anger, Wrath, Rage, Ire (Greek Lyssa)
JUSJURANDUM Oath (Greek Horcus)
JUSTITIA Justice, Equity, Righteousness (Greek Dike)
JUVENTAS Youth (Greek Hebe)
LABOR Labour, Toil, Exertion (Greek Ponus)
LETUM Death, Destruction (Greek Ker)
LETUS Death (Greek Thanatus)
LUCTUS Lamentation, Mourning, Grief, Sorrow (Greek Penthus)
LUES Plague, Pestilence, Spreading Evil or Calamity (Greek Ker, Nosus)
MACIES Wasting, Thinness, Leanness, Meagreness (Greek Ischnasia)
MENDACIUM Lie, Untruth, Falsehood (Greek Pseudologus)
METUS Fear, Dread, Terror, Apprehension, Anxiety (Greek Phobus)
MISERIA Misery, Wretchedness, Unhappiness, Distress (Greek Oizys)
MISERICORDIA Pity, Compassion, Mercy (Greek Eleus)
MONETA Memory (Greek Mnemosyne)
MORBUS Disease, Sickness, Plague, Illness, Malady (Greek Nosi)
MORS Death (Greek Thanatus)
NECESSITAS Necessity (Greek Anance)
NEFAS Sin, Unlawfulness, Impiety, Criminality, Wickedness (Greek Cacia)
OBLIVIO Forgetfulness, Oblivion (Greek Lethe)
OCCASIO Opportunity, Occasion (Greek Caerus)
OTIA Ease, Liesure (Greek Acratus)
PARCAE (plural) Portion, Share, Fate, Destiny (Greek Moira, Moirae)
PAVOR Fear, Dread, Anxiety, Panic (Greek Phobus)
PAX Peace (Greek Eirene)
PERTINACIA Obstinacy, Stubbornness, Pertinacity, Perserverence
PESTIS Pestilence, Contagious Disease, Destruction, Ruin (Greek Olethrus, Ker)
PETULANTIA Impudence, Sauciness, Freakishness, Wantonness, Petulance (Greek Hybris)
PIETAS Piety, Filial Respect, Duty, Loyalty (Greek Eusebia)
POENA Penalty, Vengeance, Punishment, Expiation, Compensation (Greek Poine)
POTESTAS Power, Rule, Dominion (Greek Cratus)
PUDICITIA Modesty, Chastity, Virtue, Shame (Greek Aedus, Aischyne)
PUDOR Shame (Greek Aedus)
PUGNA Fight, Fist-Fight, Battle (Greek Hysmina)
QUERELLA Complaint (Greek Momus)
QUIES Quiet, Rest (Greek Hesychia)
RABIES Rage, Madness, Anger, Fury, Frenzy, Rabies (Greek Lyssa)
RISUS Laughter, Joke (Greek Gelus)
SALUS Good Health (Greek Hygeia)
SENECTUS Old Age (Greek Geras)
SILENTIA Silence, Stillness (Greek Hesychia)
SOBRIETAS Sobriety, Temperance, Moderation, Continence (Greek Sophrosyne)
SOCORDIA Sloth, Laziness, Indolence, Inactivity, Carelessness, Negligence (Greek Aergia)
SOLLICITATIO Vexation, Anxiety
SOMNIA (plural) Dream, Dreams (Greek Oneirus, Oneiri)
SOMNUS Sleep (Greek Hypnus)
SOPOR Sleep (Greek Hypnus)
SPES Hope (Greek Elpis)
SUADELA, SUADA Persuasion (Greek Peitho)
SUPERBIA Pride, Arrogance, Loftiness, Haughtiness (Greek Hybris)
TABES Wasting Away, Wasting Disease, Corruption, Putrefaction (Greek Phthisis)
TEMPUS Temporary Time (Greek Caerus)
TENEBRAE Darkness, Darkness-of-Death, Death-Shades (Greek Keres)
TRISTITIA Sadness, Mournfulness, Sorrow, Dejection, Melancholy, Gloominess (Greek Oizys)
ULTIO Vengeance, Revenge (Greek Poena)
VERITAS Truth, Truthfulness, Verity, Integrity (Greek Aletheia)
VETUSTAS Ancient Times, Antiquity
VICTORIA Victory (Greek Nike)
VIRTUS Virtue, Manliness, Courage, Bravery, Excellence (Greek Arete)
VIS Force, Power, Hostile Strength (Greek Bia)
VOLUPTAS Pleasure, Enjoyment, Delight (Greek Hedone)


Hesiod, Theogony 211 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) :
"Nyx (Night) bare hateful Moros (Doom of Death) and black Ker (Fate of Death) and Thanatos (Death), and she bare Hypnos (Sleep) and the tribe of Oneiroi (Dreams). And again the goddess murky Nyx, though she lay with none, bare Momos (Criticism) and painful Oizys (Misery) , and the Hesperides (Evenings) . . . Also she bare the Moirai (Fates) and the ruthless avenging Keres (Deaths) . . . Also deadly Nyx bare Nemesis to afflict mortal men, and after her, Apate (Deceit) and Philotes (Sex) and hateful Geras (Old Age) and hard-hearted Eris (Strife).
But abhorred Eris (Strife) bare painful Ponos (Toil), and Lethe (Forgetfulness), and Limos (Starvation), and the Algea (Pains), full of weeping, the Hysminai (Fightings) and the Makhai (Battles), the Phonoi (Murders) and the Androktasiai (Man-slaughters), the Neikea (Quarrels), the Pseudo-Logoi (Lies), the Amphilogiai (Disputes), and Dysnomia (Lawlessness) and Ate (Ruin), who share one another's natures, and Horkos (Oath) who does more damage than any other to earthly men, when anyone, of his knowledge, swears to a false oath."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) :
"From Nox (Night) and Erebus [were born]: Fatum (Fate), Senectus (Old Age), Mors (Death), Letum (Dissolution), Continentia (Continence), Somnus (Sleep), Somnia (Dreams), Amor--that is Lysimeles, Epiphron, Porphyrion, Epaphus, Discordia (Discord), Miseria (Wretchedness), Petulantia (Wantonness), Nemesis, Euphrosyne, Amicitia (Friendship), Misericordia (Compassion), Styx; the three Parcae (Fates), namely Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos; the Hesperides Aegle, Hesperie and Aerica . . .
From Aether and Terra (Earth) [were born]: Dolor (Grief), Dolus (Deceit), Ira (Wrath), Luctus (Lamentation), Mendacium (Falsehood), Jusiurandum (Oath), Vltio (Vengeance), Intemperantia (Intemperance), Altercatio (Altercation), Obliuio (Forgetfulness), Socordia (Sloth), Timor (Fear), Superbia (Pride), Incestum (Incest), Pugna (Combat)."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 17 (trans. Rackham) :
"Aether (Upper Air) and Dies (Day), must be held to be gods, and their brothers and sisters, whom the ancient genealogists name Amor (Love), Dolus (Guile), Metus (Fear), Labor (Toil), Invidentia (Envy), Fatum (Fate), Senectus (Old Age), Mors (Death), Tenebrae (Darkness of Death), Miseria (Misery), Querella (Criticism), Gratia (Friendship), Fraus (Deceit), Pertinacia (Obstinacy), the Parcae (Fates), the Hesperides, the Somnia (Dreams) : all of these are fabled to be the children of Erebus (Darkness) and Nox (Night)."