Greek Forms & Techniques

In discussing the different development of Hermetic magic in the Eastern Empire, Sundered Eagle states that magi use Ancient Greek as the language for magic. I assume that this means using Ancient Greek in magic theory, text, and spell casting. However, examples of the techniques and forms in Ancient Greek are not given. I would guess this is an oversight, except there is some reference made to Ancient Magic. Well for something as basic as techniques and forms, I would think this could have been presented in a shaded box in Sundered Eagle without having to obtain another book. Cross reference is OK for detailed rules or background, but this seems excessive. Of course, I may have misread.

I have a new saga starting soon where one of the magi is a Greek Flambeau from the Nicene Empire and it would be helpful to have a Ancient Greek techniques and forms list.

They are mechanically the same as the Latin ones, just the word used changes. So instead of Creo Ignem you probably say Μπορώ να δημιουργήσω φωτιά, which may be "would you like to come back to my place bouncy, bouncy? * " as I used an online translator for English to modern Greek; but anyway the words are just "I create fire" in Classical Greek as "Creo Ignem" is that phrase in Latin: I'm sure someone can actually do it properly?

cj x

  • This is an old Monty Python joke about a Hunagrian-English dictionary, not actually a proposition!

(Derived from the etymology section of a reasonably good English dictionary. Unfortunately, I couldn't find how to correctly inflect the nouns into an accusative case, but the roots ought to be right at least)

Animal - Animal - Therion
Aquam - Water - Hydro
Auram - Air - Aero
Corpus - Body - Soma
Herbam - Plant - Phuto
Ignem - Fire - Pyro
Imaginem - Image - Eiko?
Mentem - Mind - Psycho (literally soul)?
Terram - Earth - Geo
Vim - Magic - Magiko?

Its been a while since I took Ancient Greek in college, but a few minutes with my Liddell & Scott gives the following rough translations, conjugations, and accusative inflections.

Creo - Poio (I make)
Intellego -Manthano (I understand)
Muto - Metamorpho (I transform/shape-shift)
Perdo -Phtheiro (I destroy/ruin)
Rego - Archo (I rule)

Animal - to therion (The beast)
Aquam - to hudor (The water)
Auram - ton aera (The lower air)
Corpus - ton soma (The human body)
Herbam - ton phuton (The growing thing/plant)
Ignem - ton pura (The fire)
Imaginem - ten eikona (The image)
Mentem - ton noun* (The mind/intellect)
Terram - ten gen (The earth)
Vim - ten dunamin (the power/ability/capability)

In a Greek setting ten dunamin makes a credible name for the Gift.

  • ten psychen (the spirit/soul/breath) could possibly work for mentem as well.

considering that "puton" is a slang word for "whore" in spanish and that Herbam is one of our favourite forms, we will never be able to play in Greece. Damnit :laughing: Mantano ton phuton sounds too much like "I maintain your whore".

Nice to know the Greek versions of the Te+Fo formula :slight_smile: Thx


You are right Xavi, jejeje.
Or should be [FUzon] to evade "prostitution" problems.
But the point is interesting to the Theban Tribunal.

Great! I could only find a translator to greek that used the greek letters. Good to know, if nothing else then for flavour. BTWn we play a saga in Thebes but have steered clear of using ancient greek for names for magic arts and texts. We think it will only serve to isolate this tribunal from the others, since they can do little along trading texts. Also, with Latin being universal in all other tribunals, magi can move around with little heed to local language. Grogs after all can be taught latin. But being foreign to thebes really means you are foreign. this might be the whole point, but doesn't sit well with us. Sorry, I'm going off topic here.

PS is someone going to make a character sheet with the greek names for the arts and other latin phrases, like Parma Magica?

Does it get very strange if you drop the definite form("The") for forms? And if doing so, should it still be the same words?
My feeling at least is(after testing translating back and forth over a few languages) that "the" shouldnt be there.
The latin original is indefinite form. Otherwise it wouldnt be Ignem but rather Ignis if im reading correctly.

Either way, thanks for the effort. (and yes, Psychen sounds much better)

Why I love reading this forum.

I'm loving it :smiley:

Post it!

Ancient Greek uses the definite article in lots of places we would not, often as a case marker rather than as the word "the." It also has no indefinite article, but just to be extra confusing, does have an indefinite pronoun and adjective (tis/tinos). For example "ho Zeus estin theos" = lit "The Zeus is god" = "Zeus is a god." However, it has been too long for me to recall what the rules for the definite article definitely are. Generally, I err on the side of including the article. However, removing the article should not drastically change the word's meaning. I am not aware of any noun conjugation in Greek that changes between definite and indefinite form: ego elusa tous bous (I loosed the cattle) vs ego elusa tinas bous (I loosed some cattle).

Now I'm just waiting for the inevitable wise guy to say "It's all Greek to me."

You can download SPIonic, a Greek font, for certain non-commercial uses from this website:


Ok many thanks(while im very much into languages, Greek really IS all Greek to me hehe). Basically, one can simply drop the "to/ton/ten" then without any dramatic consequences. If nothing else that makes it look neater.

Parma Magica = he mageutikos aspis


As to the question of definite articles (to, ta, ten) and the relationship between Greek and Latin, it is important (in a needlessly pedantic way) to remember that Latin has no articles, and so by definition the names of the Forms used in the Latinate part of the Order (i.e. the bulk of it) would not have articles. My feeling, based solely on a reading of pre-Byzantine Greek texts is that a native ancient Greek Magician would likely have used the articles. We are not dealing with that here, but a Medieval magus from the Greek speaking part of the Roman Empire--I would probably say that Bonisagus' Magic Theory would be a sort of translation literature, and as such the Greek used in the Greek portions of the Order (mostly Thebes Tribunal) would have a strongly Latin flair to it. The two languages are pretty similar, and the articles in Greek are, as previously mentioned, somewhat optional. I would imagine that the Greek of the Order of Hermes has, in general, a strong Latin feel to it, being based, as I suppose, on translation literature.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and all that, but that is how I would hash it. I do appreciate the list (it saves me the work). Maybe I'll make an equivalent Hebrew list for the two or three Jewish magi in the Order. :smiley: