Category Archives: Greek

New Orphic Hymn to Hermes – by Leo

In winged sandals and with staff in hand,
O Hermes, messenger, by Zeus’s grand command,
You fly between the realms of gods and men,
To share the secrets hidden now and then.

In dreams you whisper, making mortals wise,
With divine news that often mystifies.
You guide the souls of those who’ve left behind
This earthly realm, to Hades they’re consigned.

O patron of the trade and eloquence,
Your words and deals are but your first defense.
In stealth and cunning, like a thief at night,
You ever serve your purpose, never slight.

With lyre in hand, you play the chords that bind
The hearts of gods and mortals, intertwined.
Your sacred touch can turn the simplest word
Into a song that’s like none ever heard.

O Hermes, hear our hymn, our plea to thee,
Bestow your gifts and set our spirits free.
With wit and charm, with message or with sign,
Be with us on our journey, ever divine.

– Leo

Greek Alphabet, Vowels, Consonants, And Dipthongs

Lesson 1: The Greek Alphabet, Vowels, Consonants, And Dipthongs

The Greek Alphabet

1. The Greek Alphabet has 24 letters. You will find a good pronunciation tutorial with recorded audio at, and recordings of longer Ancient Greek texts at

Form Phonetic Value Name
Α, α papa, father Alpha
Β, β bed Beta
Γ, γ go, sing Gamma
Δ, δ do Delta
Ε, ε met Epsilon
Ζ, ζ adze Zeta
Η, η prey Eta
Θ, θ thin Theta
Ι, ι pin, machine Iota
Κ, κ kill Kappa
Λ, λ land Lambda
Μ, μ men Mu
Ν, ν now Nu
Ξ, ξ wax Xi
Ο, ο obey Omicron
Π, π pet Pi
Ρ, ρ run Rho
Σ, σ, ς sit Sigma
Τ, τ tell Tau
Υ, υ French u, German ό Upsilon
Φ, φ graphic Phi
Χ, χ German buch Chi
Ψ, ψ hips Psi
Ω, ω tone Omega

2. At the end of a word ς, elsewherε σ, as σκηνης, of a tent.


3. The vowels are α, ε, η, ι, ο, ω, υ. The remaining letters are consonants.

4. Vowels are either short or long. There are separate Greek characters (ε, η, ο, ω) for the e and o sounds, but not for a, i, and u sounds. In this book the long vowels are designated by α macron– a straight line that appears above the vowel when it is long- , η, ῑ, ω, ῡ; the short vowels are α, ε, ι, ο υ.


5. The consonants are divided into semivowels, mutes and double consonants.

6. The semivowels are λ, μ, ν, ρ, σ, and γ-nasal (10). λ, μ, ν, ρ are liquids, σ is a siblant.

7. The mutes are of three classes, and of three orders.


Labial or π-mutes π, β, φ

Palatal or κ-mutes κ, γ, χ

Lingual or τ-mutes τ, δ, θ


Smooth mutes π, κ, τ

Middle mutes β, γ, δ

Rough mutes φ, χ, θ

8. Mutes of the same class are called cognate, those of the same order co-ordinate.

9. The double consonants are ξ (for κς), ψ (for πς), and ζ.

10. The consonants are pronounced, in general like their English equivalents; but gamma before κ, γ, χ, or ξ equals (sounds like) the ng in sing, and is called gamma nasal.


11. A dipthong is a combination of two vowel sounds in a single syllable. The Dipthongs are αι, αυ, ει, ευ, οι, ου, ηυ, υι, ᾳ, ῃ, ῳ. The last three, formed by writing ι under ᾱ, η, ω, are called improper diphthongs. Their second vowel is called iota subscript.

12. The diphthongs are pronounced:

αι as in aisle

αυ as ou in hour

ει as in eight

υι as in quit

οι as in oil

ου as in group

ευ as ĕh-oo *

ηυ as ĕh-oo *

* For these there is no exact equivalents in English.


13.Pronunciation Practice

Read each of the following words aloud

ἡ-μἐ-ρᾱ day.
σκη-νή tent.
ἄν-θρω-πος man.
βου-λεύ-ει he plans.
ὁ-πλί-της hoplite.
ἐν τῇ χώ-ρᾳ in the country.
υἱ-ὀς son.
λό-γοι speeches.
ᾤ-κη-σα I dwelt.
ὧ-δε thus.
θύ-ρᾱ door.
ἐν σκη-νῇ in a tent.
ἄ-γε-τε you lead.
ἅ-μα-ξα wagon.
ἁρ-πά-ζω I plunder.
φο-βε-ρός frightful.
αὐ-τός self, Lat. ipse.
ἐν λό-γῳ in a speech.
Ἑλ-λη-νι-κός Greek.
ἀ-γα-θός good.
θύ-ραι doors.
λύ-ου-σι they loose.
ἄγ-γε-λος messenger.
δῶ-ρον gift.
χώ-ρᾱ country.
ψέ-λι-ον bracelet.
λό-γος speech.
οἰ-κέ-ω I dwell.
Ἄρ-τε-μις Artemis.
οἴ-κοι at home.

HTML Greek Symbols

HTML Greek Symbols

This entity reference includes all the greek symbols supported by HTML. You should note that entity names are case sensitive.

Standard Character Entity Number Entity Name Description
HTML 4.0 Α Α Α Greek capital letter Alpha
HTML 4.0 Β Β Β Greek capital letter Beta
HTML 4.0 Γ Γ Γ Greek capital letter Gamma
HTML 4.0 Δ Δ Δ Greek capital letter Delta
HTML 4.0 Ε Ε Ε Greek capital letter Epsilon
HTML 4.0 Ζ Ζ Ζ Greek capital letter Zeta
HTML 4.0 Η Η Η Greek capital letter Eta
HTML 4.0 Θ Θ Θ Greek capital letter Theta
HTML 4.0 Ι Ι Ι Greek capital letter Iota
HTML 4.0 Κ Κ Κ Greek capital letter Kappa
HTML 4.0 Λ Λ Λ Greek capital letter Lambda
HTML 4.0 Μ Μ Μ Greek capital letter Mu
HTML 4.0 Ν Ν Ν Greek capital letter Nu
HTML 4.0 Ξ Ξ Ξ Greek capital letter Xi
HTML 4.0 Ο Ο Ο Greek capital letter Omicron
HTML 4.0 Π Π Π Greek capital letter Pi
HTML 4.0 Ρ Ρ Ρ Greek capital letter Rho
HTML 4.0 Σ Σ Σ Greek capital letter Sigma
HTML 4.0 Τ Τ Τ Greek capital letter Tau
HTML 4.0 Υ Υ Υ Greek capital letter Upsilon
HTML 4.0 Φ Φ Φ Greek capital letter Phi
HTML 4.0 Χ Χ Χ Greek capital letter Chi
HTML 4.0 Ψ Ψ Ψ Greek capital letter Psi
HTML 4.0 Ω Ω Ω Greek capital letter Omega
HTML 4.0 α α α Greek small letter alpha
HTML 4.0 β β β Greek small letter beta
HTML 4.0 γ γ γ Greek small letter gamma
HTML 4.0 δ δ δ Greek small letter delta
HTML 4.0 ε ε ε Greek small letter epsilon
HTML 4.0 ζ ζ ζ Greek small letter zeta
HTML 4.0 η η η Greek small letter eta
HTML 4.0 θ θ θ Greek small letter theta
HTML 4.0 ι ι ι Greek small letter iota
HTML 4.0 κ κ κ Greek small letter kappa
HTML 4.0 λ λ λ Greek small letter lambda
HTML 4.0 μ μ μ Greek small letter mu
HTML 4.0 ν ν ν Greek small letter nu
HTML 4.0 ξ ξ ξ Greek small letter xi
HTML 4.0 ο ο ο Greek small letter omicron
HTML 4.0 π π π Greek small letter pi
HTML 4.0 ρ ρ ρ Greek small letter rho
HTML 4.0 ς ς ς Greek small letter final sigma
HTML 4.0 σ σ σ Greek small letter sigma
HTML 4.0 τ τ τ Greek small letter tau
HTML 4.0 υ υ υ Greek small letter upsilon
HTML 4.0 φ φ φ Greek small letter phi
HTML 4.0 χ χ χ Greek small letter chi
HTML 4.0 ψ ψ ψ Greek small letter psi
HTML 4.0 ω ω ω Greek small letter omega
HTML 4.0 ϑ ϑ ϑ Greek theta symbol
HTML 4.0 ϒ ϒ ϒ Greek Upsilon with hook symbol
HTML 4.0 ϖ ϖ ϖ Greek pi symbol