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Macedonian names and makeDonski pseudo-linguistics: The case of the name Atarchias

This article was originally published on May 15, 2009 in the American Chronicle.
Miltiades Elia Bolaris

Balkan Illusion - phantasia archaica:

"...it is very interesting to note that many of the authentic ancient Macedonian words, according to their etymology and pronunciation, have a striking resemblance to the appropriate words used in the modern Macedonian language (and other so called "Slav"[sic] languages)."..."Atarhi(as). The root of this name contains the noun "atar". This is a Macedonian archaism for the word "love". Names that contain the word "love" exist in a majority of lexicons." From: "Similarities between ancient Macedonian and today's' Macedonian Culture (Linguistics and Onomastics)" by Aleksandar Donski, celebrity folk "historian" from FYROM.

Atarchias/ Ἀταρχίας

In most Slavic languages we encounter the beautiful Slavic word Ljubov/любовь, Ljubav/љубав, Lubov, Ljubav/любaвь, Ljubov,/любов, with slightly changes from one Slavic language to another: it is the Slavic word for Love. There are other Slavic words for Love, like Kocham, Láska, Oбичам /Ovitsham etc. But search as much as I did, I could not find any language, Slavic or other, where "atar" means "love". While it is true that I am deficient in the occult and other spiritualist connections that some of the pseudo-makedonists seem to possess ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZE-v5Iqmvk ) I wish I was given more references as to where they get their profound linguistic, historical and other information. Not being privy of their assistance on this issue, and lacking their references for "atar-as-love", we decide to proceed alone in our search.

Τhere was a man in Thebes called Archias/Ἀρχίας, and during the turbulent times of the early 4th century BC in Greece he was one of the strongmen governing dictatorially that city. He was one of the oligarchs, an ally of oligarchic Sparta. The democratic Thebans, under the leadership of a young revolutionary, Pelopidas, with the support of democratic Athens, wanted to stage a coup and kill Archias and his fellowmen. They arranged to attack him in a party, given by the crypto-democrat Phyllidas/Φυλλίδας, where he had been invited. But another man also called Archias, an Athenian sent him a message, describing the plot to him:

ἧκε γάρ τις ἐξ Ἀθηνῶν παρ' Ἀρχίου τοῦ ἱεροφάντου πρὸς Ἀρχίαν τὸν ὁμώνυμον, ξένον ὄντα καὶ φίλον, ἐπιστολὴν κομίζων οὐ κενὴν ἔχουσαν οὐδὲ πεπλασμένην ὑπόνοιαν, ἀλλὰ σαφῶς ἕκαστα περὶ τῶν 8 πρασσομένων φάσκουσαν, ὡς ὕστερον ἐπεγνώσθη.

for a messenger came with a letter from one Archias, the Hierophant at Athens, to his namesake Archias, who was his friend and guest. This did not merely contain a vague conjectural suspicion but, as it appeared afterwards, disclosed every particular of the design.

τότε δὲ μεθύοντι τῷ Ἀρχίᾳ προσαχθεὶς ὁ γραμματοφόρος καὶ τὴν ἐπιστολὴν ἐπιδούς "ὁ ταύτην" ἔφη "πέμψας ἐκέλευσεν εὐθὺς ἀναγνῶναι· περὶ σπουδαίων γάρ τινων γεγράφθαι.

The messenger being brought in to Archias, who was now pretty well drunk, and delivering the letter, said to him, 'The writer of this desired it might be read at once; it is on urgent business

9 " καὶ ὁ Ἀρχίας μειδιάσας "οὐκοῦν εἰς αὔριον" ἔφη "τὰ σπουδαῖα," καὶ τὴν ἐπιστολὴν δεξάμενος ὑπὸ τὸ προσκεφάλαιον ὑπέθηκεν, αὐτὸς δὲ πάλιν τῷ Φυλλίδᾳ 10 περὶ ὧν ἐτύγχανον διαλεγόμενοι προσεῖχεν. ὁ μὲν οὖν λόγος οὗτος ἐν παροιμίας τάξει περιφερόμενος μέχρι νῦν διασῴζεται παρὰ τοῖς Ἕλλησι.

Archias, with a smile, replied, 'Urgent business tomorrow,' and so receiving the letter, he put it under his pillow, and returned to what he had been speaking of with Phillidas, and these words of his are a proverb to this day amongst the Greeks.

Two and a half milennia later, Greeks indeed still use this expression, that has so much mortal irony in it. It is like the negation of the Mexican Mañana (leaving things of today for tomorrow), with a heavy doze of black humor: εἰς αὔριον τὰ σπουδαῖα"/ eis aurion ta spoudaia /leaving important-urgent matters for tomorrow, is the expression still very popular among Greeks. But they mean the opposite: something that needs to be done NOW, needs to be done NOW, not Mañana: for there may never be a tomorrow!!

But let us see what happened to Archias:

ἐσπάσαντο τὰς μαχαίρας καὶ φερόμενοι διὰ τῶν τραπεζῶν ἐπὶ τὸν Ἀρχίαν καὶ Φίλιππον ἐφάνησαν οἵπερ ἦσαν, ὀλίγους μὲν ὁ Φυλλίδας τῶν κατακειμένων ἔπεισεν ἡσυχίαν ἄγειν, τοὺς δ' ἄλλους ἀμύνεσθαι μετὰ τῶν πολεμάρχων ἐπιχειροῦντας καὶ συνεξανισταμένους διὰ τὴν μέθην οὐ πάνυ χαλεπῶς ἀπέκτειναν.

they drew their swords, and making at Archias and Philip amongst the tables, disclosed who they were. Phillidas persuaded some few of his guests to sit still, and those that got up and tried to assist the polemarch, being drunk, were easily killed.

Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Pelopidas

The unfortunate Theban Archias was not the only one Greek man known by that name. There was also the Macedonian Archias son of Anaxidotus from Pella / Ἀρχίας Ἀναξιδότου Πελλαῖος / Archias Anaxidotou Pellaios, who was an officer and a geographer who served as Trierarch (governot of a trireme/τρίηρης ship) under admiral Nearchos/Νέαρχος, in Alexander's India to Mesopotamia navy. Alexander's army had taken the return road from India by land, while Nearchos had sailed along the Indian Ocean coast and then along the north coast of the Persian Gulf. They had lost each other, but at some point, Arrian tells us:

ἐνταῦθα ἐκβαίνουσί τε ἐκ τῶν νεῶν καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν πολλῶν πόνων ἄσ­μενοι ἀνεπαύοντο, μεμνημένοι, ὅσα κακὰ κατὰ τὴν θάλασσαν πεπονθότες ἦσαν, καὶ πρὸς τῇ γῇ τῶν Ἰχθυοφάγων, τήν τε ἐρη­μίην τῆς χώρης καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ὅπως θηριώδεες, καὶ τὰς σφῶν ἀπορίας ἐπι­λεγό­μενοι. καί τινες αὐτῶν ἀπὸ θαλάσσης ἐς τὸ πρόσω ἀνῆλθον, ἀποσκεδασθέντες τῆς στρατιῆς κατὰ ζήτησιν ἄλλος ἄλλου.

καὶ τὰς σφῶν ἀπορίας ἐπι­λεγό­μενοι. καί τινες αὐτῶν ἀπὸ θαλάσσης ἐς τὸ πρόσω ἀνῆλθον, ἀποσκεδασθέντες τῆς στρατιῆς κατὰ ζήτησιν ἄλλος ἄλλου.

ἐνταῦθα ἄνθρωπός σφισιν ὤφθη χλαμύδα τε φορῶν Ἑλληνικὴν καὶ τὰ ἄλλα ὡς Ἕλλην ἐσκευασμένος, καὶ φωνὴν Ἑλλάδα ἐφώνεε. τοῦτον οἱ πρῶτοι ἰδόντες δακρῦ­σαι ἔλεγον· οὕτω τι παράλογόν σφισι φανῆναι ἐκ τῶν τοσῶνδε κακῶν Ἕλληνα μὲν ἄνθρωπον ἰδεῖν, Ἑλλάδος δὲ φωνῆς ἀκοῦσαι. ἐπηρώτων τε, ὁπόθεν ἥκοι καὶ ὅστις ὤν· ὃ δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ στρατοπέδου τοῦ Ἀλεξάνδρου ἀποσκεδασθῆναι ἔλεγε, καὶ εἶναι οὐ πόρρω τὸ στρατόπεδον καὶ αὐτὸν Ἀλέξανδρον. τοῦτον τὸν ἄνθρωπον βοῶν­τές τε καὶ κροτέοντες ἀνάγουσι παρὰ τὸν Νέαρχον· καὶ Νεάρχῳ πάντα ἔφρασε, καὶ ὅτι πέντε ἡμερέων ὁδὸν ἀπέχει τὸ στρατό­πεδον καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἀπὸ τῆς θαλάσσης.

There they disembarked, and had a welcome rest from their long toils, remembering the miseries they had endured by sea and on the coast of the Fish-eaters; recounting one to another the desolate character of the country, the almost bestial nature of the inhabitants, and their own distresses. Some of them advanced some distance inland, breaking away from the main force, some in pursuit of this, and some of that. There a man appeared to them, wearing a Greek cloak, and dressed otherwise in the Greek fashion, and speaking Greek also. Those who first sighted him said that they burst into tears, so strange did it seem after all these miseries to see a Greek, and to hear Greek spoken. They asked whence he came, who he was; and he said that he had become separated from Alexander's camp, and that the camp, and Alexander himself, were not very far distant. Shouting aloud and clapping their hands they brought this man to Nearchos; and he told Nearchos everything, and that the camp and the King himself were distant five days' journey from the coast.

Reading the narrative above, I would think that someone who had doubts about the language of the Macedonians will think twice after this: Why should these battle hardened Macedonian men cry like children expressing their raw emotions after having heard someone speaking Greek to them, Ἑλλάδος δὲ φωνῆς ἀκοῦσαι/having heard the voice of Greece, in exact translation, had Greek not been their own language too? I cannot think that a Frenchman will cry out of joy hearing someone speaking German in a foreign land, yet these Macedonians ἰδόντες δακρῦ­σαι ἔλεγον· οὕτω τι παράλογόν σφισι φανῆναι ἐκ τῶν τοσῶνδε κακῶν Ἕλληνα μὲν ἄνθρωπον ἰδεῖν, Ἑλλάδος δὲ φωνῆς ἀκοῦσαι/ they burst into tears, so strange did it seem after all these miseries to see a Greek, and to hear Greek spoken. Being a Greek in the United States, I have yet to see a Slavomacedonian cry out of joy hearing me speak Greek to him, yet somehow I harbor the suspicion that had I ever spoken to them in their Bulgarian-derived Slavic dialect (which regrettably I do not speak) maybe they would! But let us allow Arrian to continue:

ἐν τούτῳ δὲ τῶν τινες κατὰ ζήτησιν τοῦ Νεάρχου ἐσταλμένων ἵππους τε ἐπὶ κομιδῇ αὐτῶν καὶ ἀπήνας δὲ ἄγοντες ἐντυγχά­νουσι κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτῷ τε Νεάρχῳ καὶ τῷ Ἀρχίῃ καὶ πέντε ἢ ἓξ ἅμα αὐτοῖσιν· μετὰ τοσούτων γὰρ ἀνῄει. καὶ ἐντυχόντες οὔτε αὐτὸν ἐγνώρισαν οὔτε τὸν Ἀρχίην - οὕτω τοι κάρτα ἀλλοῖοι ἐφάνησαν, κομό­ωντές τε καὶ ῥυπόωντες καὶ μεστοὶ ἅλ­μης καὶ ῥικνοὶ τὰ σώματα καὶ ὠχροὶ ὑπὸ ἀγρυπνίης τε καὶ τῆς ἄλλης ταλαι­πωρίης - ἀλλὰ ἐρομένοις γὰρ αὐτοῖς ἵναπερ εἴη Ἀλέξανδρος, ὑποκρινάμενοι τὸν χῶρον οἳ δὲ παρήλαυνον. Ἀρχίης δὲ ἐπιφρασθεὶς λέγει πρὸς Νέαρχον "ὦ Νέαρ­χε, τούτους τοὺς ἀνθρώπους δι' ἐρη­μίας ἐλαύνειν τὴν αὐτὴν ἡμῖν ὁδὸν οὐκ ἐπ' ἄλλῳ τινὶ συντίθημι, ἢ ὅτι μὴ κατὰ ζήτησιν τὴν ἡμετέρην ἀπεσταλμένους. ὅτι δὲ οὐ γιγ­νώσκουσιν ἡμέας, οὐκ ἐν θώματι ποιέο­μαι· οὕτω γάρ τι ἔχομεν κακῶς ὡς ἄγνω­στοι εἶναι. φράσωμεν αὐτοῖσιν, οἵτινές εἰμεν, καὶ αὐτοὺς ἐρώμεθα, καθότι ταύτῃ ἐλαύ­νου­σιν." ἔδοξε τῷ Νεάρχῳ ἐναίσιμα λέ­γειν· καὶ ἤροντο ὅποι ἐλαύνουσιν· οἳ δὲ ὑπο­κρίνον­ται, ὅτι κατὰ ζήτησιν Νεάρχου τε καὶ τοῦ στρατοῦ τοῦ ναυτικοῦ. ὃ δέ "οὗτος" ἔφη "ἐγώ εἰμι Νέαρχος, καὶ Ἀρχίας οὗτος. ἀλλ' ἄγετε ἡμέας· ἡμεῖς δὲ τὰ ὑπὲρ τῆς στρατιῆς Ἀλεξάνδρῳ ἀπηγησόμεθα."

Meanwhile, however, some of those sent to search for Nearchos, who had horses to convey him, and chariots, did meet on the way Nearchos and Archias, and five or six others; that was the number of the party which came inland with him. On this meeting they recognized neither Nearchos nor Archias -- so altered did they appear; with their hair long, unwashed, covered with brine, wizened, pale from sleeplessness and all their other distresses; when, however, they asked where Alexander might be, the search party gave reply as to the locality and passed on. Archias, however, had a happy thought, and said to Nearchos: 'I suspect, Nearchos, that these persons who are traversing the same road as ours through this desert country have been sent for the express purpose of finding us; as for their failure to recognize us, I do not wonder at that; we are in such a sorry plight as to be unrecognizable. Let us tell them who we are and ask them why they come hither.' Nearchos approved; they did ask whither the party was going; and they replied: 'To look for Nearchos and his naval force.' Whereupon, 'Here am I, Nearchos,' said he, 'and here is Archias. Do you lead on; we will make a full report to Alexander about the expeditionary force.'

Arrian, Allexander Anabasis / Ἀρριανού, Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἀνάβασις

Archias seems to have been an immensely popular name among ancient Greeks. Hundreds of inscriptions with the names Archias have been found.


Among many others, there were actually several Greek poets by this very name, like Archias of Macedon/Αρχίας ο Μακεδών, Archias of Byzantium/Αρχίας Βυζαντινός, Archias of Mytilene/Αρχίας ο Μυτιληναίος, Archias the Grammarian or the Younger / Αρχίας ο Γραμματικός ή Νεώτερος, and others.

Here is a poetic fragment from Archias the Macedonian who wrote in the Doric Greek dialect (should we maybe ask the later day "makedonists" to "translate" it, using their Bugarski-derived Slavic dialect? I am sure professor Aleksandar Donski would be up to the task, or better yet, another pseudo-makedonist going under the pseudonym "Petrus Invictus", who published a "treatise" on why Homer's language is purely Slavic and has -of course!- no relation to Greek:

http://issuu.com/petro_invictus/docs/slavic_elements_in_homer ).

Then of course we also have the testimonial of another FYROM's pseudo-makedonist regime apologist, Dr. Petar Popovsky, who in all seriousness propagates in front of Skopje's Makedonska Televizija (the state-controlled tv station), why and how Homer wrote his Iliad and Odyssey epics in the yugo-Slavic Makedonski dialect, and not in the Greek language:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly3Gyq-5XGo&feature=related and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGshp9qS5Z8&feature=related .

Given the earth shaking nature of such a revelation, someone could propose the immediate and irrevocable shutting down of all the Homeric studies departments in Universities, worldwide, starting with Oxford, Sorbonne, Cambridge and Harvard for having so grossly misled us for centuries now! They might as well invite Dr. Petar Popovsky of Skopje instead, to assist them in the reconstitution of Homeric studies by incorporating them as part of the Slavic languages curriculum...

Balkan nationalistic delusions and Skopje-originating pseudo-macedonian propaganda aside, we move to Archias the (real) Macedonian's/Αρχίου τού Μακεδόνος poetic verses:

Καὶ γενέταν τοῦ νέρϑε καὶ οὔνομα καὶ χϑόνα φώνει,

στάλα, καὶ ποίᾳ κηρὶ δαμεὶς ἔϑανε. –

Γεννήτωρ Πρίαμος, γᾶ δ' ῎Ιλιον, οὔνομα δ' ῞Εκτωρ,

ὦνερ, ὑπὲρ πάτρας δ' ὤλετο μαρνάμενος.

And the family ancestor, the one below the ground and the name and the earth all cried loud

the gravestone, and what evil injury having he at last subdued he died,

Priamos was the Ancestor, and Ilion the land, and the name is Hector

having bargained for the sake of the fatherland, and destroyed it through fraternal strife

Archias the Macedonian 7.140 / Aρχίου τού Μακεδόνος 7.140 (translation by MEB)

Another poet named Archias was Aulus Archias/Αύλος Αρχίας, born circa 120 BC, in Antiochia/Αντιόχεια, Syria. Οnce he became a Roman citizen, he also added his Roman middle name Licinius: Aulus Licinius Archias/Αύλος Λικίνιος Αρχίας. Here is one of his epigrammatic poems, about the futility of fighting back an attack of Eros, the winged God of Love:

Φεύγειν δὴ τὸν ῎Ερωτα· κενὸς πόνος· οὐ γὰρ ἀλύξω

πεζὸς ὑπὸ πτηνοῦ πυκνὰ διωκόμενος.

Trying to escape from Eros? a futile effort; I won't get stressed over it!

since I am on foot while being closely chased by a winged one...

Archias/Αρχίας 5.59 (Translation: MEB)

Aulus Licinius Archias was accused by a certain Roman named Gracchus of pretending to have acquired the rights of the Roman citizen illegally and he had none other than his former student Cicero defend him at his trial, leaving for posterity one of the most celebrated speeches in Latin language: Pro Archia Poeta Oratio.

1] Si quid est in me ingeni, judices, quod sentio quam sit exiguum, aut si qua exercitatio dicendi,

in qua me non infitior mediocriter esse versatum, aut si hujusce rei ratio aliqua ab optimarum artium studiis ac disciplina profecta, a qua ego nullum confiteor aetatis meae tempus abhorruisse, earum rerum omnium vel in primis hic Archias Licinius fructum a me repetere prope suo jure debet.

IF there be any natural ability in me, O judges,—and I know how slight that is; or if I have any method in my oratory, drawn from my study of the liberal sciences, and from that careful training to which I admit that at no part of my life have I ever been disinclined; certainly, of all those qualities, this Aulus Licinius is entitled to be among the first to claim the benefit from me as his peculiar right.

Nam quoad longissime potest mens mea respicere spatium praeteriti temporis, et pueritiae memoriam recordari ultimam, inde usque repetens hunc video mihi principem et ad suscipiendam et ad ingrediendam rationem horum studiorum exstitisse.

For as far as ever my mind can look back upon the space of time that is past, and recall the memory of its earliest youth, tracing my life from that starting-point, I see that Archias was the principal cause of my undertaking, and the principal means of my mastering, those studies.

Therefore, I say that the men by whose genius these exploits are celebrated, make illustrious at the same time the glory of the Roman people.

Quae quorum ingeniis efferuntur, ab eis populi Romani fama celebratur.

Nam si quis minorem gloriae fructum putat ex Graecis versibus percipi quam ex Latinis, vehementer errat: propterea quod Graeca leguntur in omnibus fere gentibus, Latina suis finibus, exiguis sane, continentur. Qua re si res eae quas gessimus orbis terrae regionibus definiuntur, cupere debemus, quo manuum nostrarum tela pervenerint, eodem gloriam famamque penetrare: quod cum ipsis populis de quorum rebus scribitur, haec ampla sunt, tum eis certe, qui de vita gloriae causa dimicant, hoc maximum et periculorum incitamentum est et laborum. Quam multos scriptores rerum suarum magnus ille Alexander secum habuisse dicitur! Atque is tamen, cum in Sigeo ad Achillis tumulum astitisset: "O fortunate" inquit "adulescens, qui tuae virtutis Homerum praeconem inveneris!" Et vere. Nam nisi Illias illa exstitisset, idem tumulus, qui corpus ejus contexerat, nomen etiam obruisset.

For if any one thinks that there is a smaller gain of glory derived from Greek verses than from Latin ones, he is greatly mistaken, because Greek poetry is read among all nations. Latin is confined to its own natural limits, which are narrow enough. Wherefore, if those achievements which we have performed are limited only by the bounds of the whole world, we ought to desire that, wherever our vigor and our arms have penetrated, our glory and our fame should likewise extend. Because, as this is always an ample reward for those people whose achievements are the subject of writings, so especially is it the greatest inducement to encounter labors and dangers to all men who fight for themselves for the sake of glory. How many historians of his exploits is Alexander the Great said to have had with him; and he, when standing on Cape Sigeum at the grave of Achilles, said, "O happy youth, to find Homer as the panegyrist of your glory!" And he said the truth; for, if the Iliad had not existed, the same tomb which covered his body would have also buried his renown.

Pro Archia Poeta Oratio, Cicero / In Behalf of Archias the Poet, Cicero

Centuries before Cicero's teacher the poet Archias, another man by the same name, the semi-mythical person Archias of Corinth/Αρχίας ο Κορίνθιος, was a citizen of Corinth, in the Peloponnese. He was said to have led a colonial expedition of fellow Corinthian colonists to Cicily/Σικελία and he thus became the founder of the city of Syracuse/Συρακούσαι, circa 734 or 733 BC.

Τὰς δὲ Συρακούσσας Ἀρχίας μὲν ἔκτισεν ἐκ Κο ρίνθου πλεύσας.

As for Syracuse, Archias built them, having sailed from Corinth.

Στράβων, Γεωγραφία/Strabo, Geography, 6.2.4

For the Greek colonists of Cicily having as a leader a man named Archias, was actually quite appropriate, for it signified a new beginning for them, in their new life in their new land, beyond the Ionian Sea. I will explain:

Everything at some point has to have a beginning. Τhe word "beginning" in Greek is called Αrchê / Ἀρχή.

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος καί ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρός τόν Θεόν καί Θεός ἦν ὁ Λόγος· οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρός τόν Θεόν. ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 1:1

En archê een o Logos kai o Logos een pros ton Theon kai Theos een o Logos; outos een en archê pros ton Theon.]

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:1

This is the archê/ἀρχή of John's Gospel, in the original language it was written: the Alexandrian Coene/Koine/Κοινή which was a linguistic mix of Attic Greek with infusions of the Macedonian and other Greek dialects.

The Jews of Hellenistic Alexandria had forgotten their Hebrew, and (like American Jews today who speak only English, with bare minimal knowledge of Hebrew), they only spoke Greek Koine. To accommodate his Jewish subjects, Ptolemaios II Philadelphos / Πτολεμαίος Β' ο Φιλάδελφος (309-246 BC) ordered a translation to be undertaken of the sacred bible of the Jews into Koine Greek, at the library of Alexandria. It became known as the translation of the 0', the Greek numeral for the 70, for the number of the scholars who worked on it. This is how it begins:

1᾽Εν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ ϑεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν.

Γένεσις α΄1

En archê epoiesen o Theos ton ouranon kai ten gen.]

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1

Archê, is the source, the beginning, the starting point. And since everything has to have its own beginning, even archê/ἀρχή had its own archê: it started most probably as a humble Indo-European word: *h4erh2os, which meant the border, the line, the limit. Incidentally, if you were an Indo-European farmer, standing by your field, *h4erh2os would be the beginning of the boundary of your field and *termn would be the other end of it, the limit of your property. A Latin speaking Roman farmer would call that end terminus, and a Greek farmer would call this part of the field's border the archê/ἀρχή and the end of his property he would call it the terma/τέρμα. The politician's dreaded term santorinilimits come from this terminal word, and so is the term paper that college students have to write. And in modern Greek, the goalkeeper is called termatophylacas, the phylacas/φύλακας/guard of the terma/τέρμα, the net at the end of the field. But that is the end and we are still at the beginning: archê. If you were the owner of the land from here to there, you were the Archon/Ἄρχων of that property, the one in control. Archo/Ἄρχω, the verb, in Greek means:

I. a. of time: to begin, to make a beginning of a thing

b. to begin from or with

c. to make preparations

d. to show the way to someone

II. a. to rule to be a leader

b. passively Archomai/Ἄρχoμαι: to be ruled, under someone's control

Consequently, Archon/Ἄρχων in different circumstances can mean a property owner, a ruler, a captain, a noble, a magistrate, a king, etc.

In other words, the prefix Arche-/Ἀρχε- and the prefix Archi-/Ἀρχι- in the beginning of a word, can mean either "the leader of" or "the beginner of".

Ἀρχιτέκτων/Architecton is the "master builder", Ἀρχιερέυς/Archiereus is the "chief priest", Ἀρχιμανδρίτης/ Archimandrites is the "chief shepherd", Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος/Archiepiskopos is the "leader of the επισκοποι/episkopoi, the bishops,", Ἀρχηγός/Archegos is the "master guide", th leader, Ἀρχάγγελος/Archangelos is the "leader of the messangers", the master of all Angels, Ἀρχικυβερνήτης/Archikybernetes is the "supreme governor", or the chief pilot of a ship, Ἀρχιπέλαγος/Archipelagos is the "great, unrestricted, sea", Ἀρχἐλαος/Archelaos is "the leader of the people in arms".

On the other hand, Ἀρχηγενής/Archigenes is the "one causing the beginning or origin of something", Ἀρχέτυπον/Archetypon is the archetype, the "original, the beginning pattern". Ἀρχαίον/Archaion is "the ancient one, the very old", the one closer to the very beginning, in other words. Ἀρχαιολόγος/Archaiologos is the "person that is studying the ancient", the archaically original items, of our beginning, the writer of ancient history. Ἀρχαικός/Archaicos is the "very ancient one" the archaic one, Ἀρχαιότροπος/Archaiotropos is the "one imitating the very ancient ways" the very "original" ways.

The verb Ἀρχετέω/ Archigeteo means "to make a beginning", while on the other hand Ἀρχιγετεύω/ Archigetevo means "to be a leader".

There are numerous words in Greek that are associated with leadership positions which end with arche, the power. The usual endings are -arches/ -άρχης and -archos/ -αρχος and in Dorian or Aeolian also -archas/ -αρχας.

Let us look at some typical examples of words ending in -arches/ -άρχης:

Εθνάρχης/Ethnarches, leader of the ethnos, the tribe,, Θιασάρχης/Thiasarches, leader of a theatrical troup, a thiasos, Νομάρχης/Nomarches leader of the Nome, province, Πατριάρχης/Patriarches, the religious father-leader, Tαξιάρχης/Tachiarches, leader of a Taxis in the Macedonian army, Tαγματάρχης/Tagmatarches and Συνταγματάρχης/Syntagmatarches, leader of a Tagma or syntagma Syntagma (many tagmata-taxeis), respectively, in the Macedonian army (the last three words are still being used in the modern Greek army), Γενεάρχης/Genearches, leader of the genos, the family, Τοπάρχης/Toparches, leader of the topos, the land, Μακεδονιάρχης/Makedoniarches, leader of the Macedonians, etc etc.

There are also many names ending in -arches/ -άρχης:

Female names (the "s" is eclipsed in the female form): Ἀριστάρχη/Aristarche, Ἀγαθάρχη/Agatharche, Δημάρχη / Demarche, Πολυάρχη/Polyarche, Πλουτάρχη/Ploutarche, Φιλάρχη/Philarche, Ναυάρχη/Nauarche, Φοινάρχη/Phoinarche, and also male names:

Ἀσιάρχης/Asiarches, Νεάρχης/Nearches, Πολυάρχης/Polyarches, Ἑλλαδάρχης/Helladarches, Πολεμάρχης/Polemarches, etc.

Now let us look at typical examples of words ending in -archos/ -αρχος: Πολέμαρχος/Polemarchos the leader in war, ∆ήμαρχος/Demarchos, leader of the Demos, ie the mayor of the city, ἴλαρχος/ilarchos, leader of the ile, the cavalry squadron, in the Macedonian or Thessalian cavalry, now used in the modern Greek army to describe the captain of tank squadron, χιλίαρχος/chiliarchos, leader of a thousand (chilioi) infantry men in the Macedonian army, γυμνασίαρχος/gymnasirchos, the manager of the Gymnasion, the athletic club, Ναύαρχος/Nauarchos, the admiral, leader of the naus, the ships, Φίλαρχος/Philarchos, leader of the phyle, the local tribe, into which most cities were divided, φρούραρχος/ phrourarchos, the leader of a phrourion/castle, a castle guard leader.

Here are a few typical Greek names ending in -archos/ -αρχος:

Πλούταρχος/Plourtarchos, Κλέαρχος/Clearchos, Πλείσταρχος/Pleistarchos, Ἀρίσταρχος/Aristarchos, Ἄρχος/Archos, Ξέναρχος/Xenarchos, Θεσσάλαρχος/ Thessalarchos, Μνήσαρχος/ Mnesarchos, Ἐτέαρχος/ Etearchos, Κώμαρχος/Komarchos, Τίμαρχος/Timarchos, Εἴσαρχος/Eisarchos, Ἀγάθαρχος/Agatharchos, Νίκαρχος/Nicarchos, Πολ̣ίαρχος/Poliarchos, Θαλίαρχος/ Thaliarchos, Βούλαρχος/ Boularchos,

Πρώταρχος/Protarchos, etc etc. There is simply too many of them!

We can also mention some typical examples of words ending in -archas/ -αρχaς, an ending more typical with Dorians, Aeolians, and Northwest dialect speaking Greeks: ἱππάρχας/hipparchas, leader of the men with hippoi/horses, a cavalry leader, Φωκάρχας/Phokarchas, leader of the Phocian league, Βοιωτάρχας/Boiotarchas, leader of the Boiotian league, etc.

Now we mention some names ending in -archas/ -αρχας:

Ἀρχὰς/Archas, Πυθάρχας/Pytharchas, Δικαιάρχας/Dikaiarchas, and more commonly used, names with a derivative similar ending very common in Sparta and other Dorian areas, names such that end in: -ᾱρχίδας/ -archidas:

Ἀρχίδας/Archidas, Ἀγαθαρχίδας/Agatharchidas, Ἀρισταρχίδας/Aristarchidas, Ἀρχωνίδας/Archonidas, Δαμαρχίδας/Damarchidas, Εὐαρχίδας/Euarchidas, Θυναρχίδας/Thynarchidas, Λαρχίδας/Larchidas, Λααρχίδας/Laarchidas, Μνασαρχίδας/Mnasarchidas, Νεαρχίδας/Nearchidas, Νικαρχίδας/Nicarchidas, Ξεναρχίδας Πολεμαρχίδας/Polemarchidas, Τειμαρχίδας/Teimarchidas, Φιλαρχίδας/Philarchidas etc.

Finally, there are other names, all leader-related that have other endings, names like: Ἀρχῆς/Arches, Ἀρχῆναξ/Archenax, Ἀρχὴν/Archen, etc.

Ἀρχίας/ Archias as it becomes obvious, is a well attested Greek name which means "the leader" and it is not a "lonely" name: there is literally hundreds of ancient Greek names that include the "leader" formative part "ΑΡΧ" / "ARCH" in them:

But our name is not Ἀρχίας/ Archias, it is Ἀταρχίας/ Atarchias. Atarchias is a contemporary of Alexander the Great and most probably followed the young Macedonian king in his expedition to conquer Asia, from Anatolia and Syria to Mesopotamia, Bactria and India.

Let us also travel with Atarchias to India for a moment and find the meaning of a Sanskrit word that has become so popular lately through the internet: the word Avatar. When you want to put your own image on the internet, or a symbol of yourself, your alter ego, you are being asked to upload your "avatar". Avatar, or Avatara (in Sanskrit: अवतार, Avatāra) meaning incarnation. The divinity takes on a human manifestation, it brings himself or herself embodied in human form. In its divine descent to the earth we see a change and a transition of one self into another, of the divine to the human. Change means that you were this but now you are manifesting yourself as that, before you were a god but now you seem to be a human. In Sanskrit "or" is "va".

One word for "but" in Greek is Ἀλλά/Alla, from which the word "change" is derived. The noun "change" is called Ἀλλαγή/Allage, while the verb "to change" is Ἀλλάσσω/Alasso. The word "but" in Latin is "Autem" and it is linguistically and thematically connected and related to the Sanskrit "va" and "avatara". But they are both related to the ancient Greek Aυτάρ/Autar which is another Greek word for "but".

Let us look at a beautiful Greek poem written on the funerary marble stele of a twelve year old boy from Thessaloniki, the capital of Macedonia, circa 2nd c AD:

Regions : Northern Greece (IG X) : Macedonia

SEG 26:777 SEG 26:773 SEG 27:246

Makedonia (Mygdonia) — Thessalonike — ca. 2nd c. AD — IG X,2 1 368 — ZPE 22 (1976) 92 (W. Peek)

See also: IG X,2 1 368

Μοῖρα πικρή, Λήθης Ἀχερουσίδος ἔν-

τροφε, λυγρὸν θρῆνον ἐναψαμένη

Μάγνον ἄγ´ εἰς Αΐδεω· παῖδα δυωδε-

χέτη {δωδεκέτη} πατρὶ μὲν γόον, ἄλγεα μητρὶ

ἠδὲ κασιγνήτῳ πένθεα λυγρότατα·

ἄρτι γὰρ ἦν γονέεσσι μέριμνα μέν,

αὐτὰρ ἀδελφῷ κόσμος· χἠ πικρὴ

Μοῖρ´ ἀπενοσφίσατο· ἀλλ´ ὦ τὸν πάν-

τεσσι βροτοῖς μόνον οἶκον ἐσοιχνῶ

Μάγν´, ἐπιτυμβιδίοις χαῖρε καὶ εἰνὶ τάφο

Μοῖρα πικρή/Moira pikre/Bitter Faith, it starts...and I will translate the 6th and 7th lines which concern us:

ἄρτι γὰρ ἦν γονέεσσι μέριμνα μέν,

just now he was on the one hand the solicitude of his parents

αὐτὰρ ἀδελφῷ κόσμος· χἠ πικρὴ Μοῖρα

αὐτὰρ – autar = but

but (αὐτὰρ) also the good example to his brother, the bitter Moira

Now let us read another similar funerary inscription, this one from Samos:

Samos 483

Samos (IG XII,6 1)

μ̣ή̣ με λίπηις ἀγέρασ̣[τον, ἀτὰρ χαίρειν με κελεύσας]

αὖθις ἄπει, δήμου, ξεῖν̣[ε μαθὼν χάριτας,]

I translate the first line:

μ̣ή̣ με λίπηις ἀγέρασ̣[τον, ἀτὰρ χαίρειν με κελεύσας]

ατὰρ – atar = but

don't feel sorry for me that I never grew old, but (ἀτὰρ) happily having called on me...

There is a difference between the two inscriptions on the "but":

One is αὐτὰρ – autar and the other is ἀτὰρ – atar.

Let us look it up at our Liddell & Scott Greek English Lexicon, Oxford University, 1952 reprint:

ἀτάρ, Ep. also αὐτάρ (q.v); ἀFυτάρ.

What does this mean? Atar is semantically the exact equivalent to Autar, and both were derived from ἀFυτάρ/aFutar, the ancient Greek F being pronounced approximately as the W. Therefore it was originally: Awutar.

Without regard to dialectical or geographic differentiation, "but" was pronounced by Greeks at this time (classical years, 5th and 4th c BC) as either αὐτὰρ – autar or ἀτὰρ – atar, whether in Athens, Macedonia, Ionia or south Italy. Both forms are found to have been used alternatively, everywhere where Greek was spoken. This (occasional) disappearance of the "u" vowel is called synairesis in Greek, and is not unusual at all. Let us take another word as an example:

We will start again with Sanskrit, to make it more interesting.

There is the Sanskrit word ātman/आत्मन् , which originally meant breath', but it later came to connote 'soul' or 'principle of life'. As it happens, this word has an Indo-European cousin isogloss word in Homeric Greek: ἀυτμή/autme:

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ κατὰ μη̂ρ' ἐκάη καὶ σπλάγχνα πάσαντο,

μίστυλλόν τ' ἄρα τἀ̂λλα καὶ ἀμφ' ὀβελοι̂σιν ἔπειραν. [365]

καὶ τότε μοι βλεφάρων ἐξέσσυτο νήδυμος ὕπνος,

βη̂ν δ' ἰέναι ἐπὶ νη̂α θοὴν καὶ θι̂να θαλάσσης.

ἀλλ' ὅτε δὴ σχεδὸν ἠ̂α κιὼν νεὸς ἀμφιελίσσης,

καὶ τότε με κνίσης ἀμφήλυθεν ἡδὺς ἀυτμή.

but (αὐτὰρ) as soon as the thighs were well burned and they had tasted the innards,

they cut the rest to pieces and spitted it. [365]

and then it was that sweet sleep escaped from my eyelids,

and I walked to the swift ship and the sea's shore.

but when, as I went, I came close to the double curved ship,

and then the hot smell of the fat came to me, sweet vapors(ἀυτμή),

Aυτμή/autme, also meant breath, and vapor but also fumes from burning fire, and even parfume, according to our Homeric Dictionary, by Georg Autenrieth (original in German), University of Oklahoma Press, 1958.

A word closely related to ἀυτμή/autme is ατμός/atmos. It was originally αFετμός/awetmos, but through synairesis it lost first the F and becoming αετμός/aetmos to finally take the form ατμός/atmos, meaning vapor in Greek. (Ioanne Stamatakou, Lexicon tes Archaias Hellenikes Glosses, Athens, 1972). Atmos also been borrowed into English and used in words such as atmosphere (vapor sphere-surrounding the earth), atmology, atmolysis, atmonauti, etc, all of which are vapor related words. In modern Greek it is used in words as varroed as atmomechane (steam engine) and atmoloutro (steambath-sauna).

In the same way that αFετμός/awetmos became αετμός/aetmos to finaly become ατμός/atmos, so ἀυτμή/autme became through synairesis ἀτμή/atme and ἀτμίς/atmis losing the "υ"/"u" sound. The proof is in Hesiod's Theogony 862/ Ἡσιόδου Θεογονία, 862

Φλὸξ δὲ κεραυνωθέντος ἀπέσσυτο τοῖο ἄνακτος

οὔρεος ἐν βήσσῃσιν Ἀίτνης παιπαλοέσσῃς, [860]

πληγέντος. Πολλὴ δὲ πελώρη καίετο γαῖα

ἀτμῇ θεσπεσίῃ καὶ ἐτήκετο κασσίτερος.

And flame shot forth from the thunder- stricken lord

in the dim rugged glens of the mount, when he was

smitten. A great part of huge earth was scorched by the terrible

vapor (ἀτμῇ) and melted as tin melts

Let us remember now:

αFετμός/awetmos through synairesis αετμός/aetmos and then ατμός/atmos

ἀυτμή/autme through synairesis ἀτμίς/atmis or ἀτμή/atme and both coexist.

αὐτὰρ – autar through synairesis ἀτὰρ – atar, but both coexist.

Leaving poetry and grammar we return to Atarchias. Attarchias was a general, a strategos/στρατηγὸς of Cassander/Κάσανδρος/Kassandros, who later became king of Macedonia. Attarchias was being sent to guard the passes from Epeiros into Macedonia, to prevent king Aeakides from sending reinforcements to Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great, who had been besieged into Pydna:

Ὀλυμπιὰς δὲ πυθομένη Κάσανδρον μετὰ μεγάλης δυνάμεως πλησίον εἶναι τῆς Μακεδονίας, Ἀριστόνουν μὲν ἀπέδειξε στρατηγόν, κελεύσασα διαπολεμεῖν τοῖς περὶ Κάσανδρον, αὐτὴ δὲ παρῆλθεν εἰς Πύδναν ἔχουσα τὸν υἱὸν τὸν Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ Ῥωξάνην καὶ Θετταλονίκην τὴν Φιλίππου τοῦ Ἀμύντου θυγατέρα, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις Δηιδάμειάν τε τὴν Αἰακίδου θυγατέρα τοῦ βασιλέως τῶν Ἠπειρωτῶν, Πύρρου δὲ τοῦ πρὸς Ῥωμαίους ὕστερον πολεμήσαντος ἀδελφήν, καὶ τὰς Ἀττάλου θυγατέρας, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν ἀξιολογωτάτων φίλων τοὺς συγγενεῖς...

who now having recovered the passes at Perrhaebia, so as that he had his way open to Pydna, begirt the town round with a mud wall from sea to sea; and sent for shipping, and all sorts of weapons and engines of battery from his confederates, with a design to block up Olympias both by sea and land.

As soon as Olympias heard that Cassander was entering Macedonia with a great army, she created Aristonus general, and commanded him to fight Cassander. She herself, taking along with her the son of Alexander, and Roxana his mother, and Thessalonica the daughter of Philip the son of A myntas,Deidamia the daughter of Aeacidas king of Epirus, and sister to Pyrrhus, (who afterwards made war upon the Romans), and the daughters of Attalus, and other kindred and eminent relations, entered into Pydna...

19,36] ὃς τότε διελθὼν τὰ κατὰ Περραιβίαν στενὰ καὶ παραγενόμενος πλησίον τῆς Πύδνης τὴν μὲν πόλιν περιεχαράκωσεν ἐκ θαλάττης εἰς θάλατταν, παρὰ δὲ τῶν συμμαχεῖν βουλομένων μετεπέμπετο ναῦς καὶ βέλη παντοδαπὰ καὶ μηχανάς, διανοούμενος πολιορκεῖν τοὺς μετ´ Ὀλυμπιάδος καὶ κατὰ γῆν καὶ κατὰ θάλασσαν. πυθόμενος δ´ Αἰακίδην τὸν Ἠπειρωτῶν βασιλέα μετὰ δυνάμεως μέλλειν βοηθήσειν Ὀλυμπιάδι, στρατηγὸν ἐξέπεμψεν Ἀταρρίαν, δοὺς στρατόπεδον καὶ συντάξας ἀπαντᾶν τοῖς Ἠπειρώταις.

But when he had intelligence that Aeacidas king of Epirus was coming with a strong army to the relief of Olympias, he delivered some forces to the command of Atarchias, with orders to meet the Epirots, who presently executing what he was commanded, possessed himself of the passes into Epirus, so that /Eacidas was wholly defeated in his design.

For the Epirots were forced against their wills to the expedition into Macedonia, and therefore mutinied in the camp: however, Aeacidas, desirous by any way possible to relieve Olympias, cashiered all those that favoured not his design; taking in those who were willing to run the same risk with himself; he was indeed very forward to engage, but had not yet force enough; for the party that stuck to him was very small.

Diodoros Sikelos Book XIX, 19.35-36 / Διοδώρου Σικελού ἐννεακαιδεκάτῃ τῶν βύβλων 19.35-36

The same grammatical rules that gave us ἀτὰρ – atar from αὐτὰρ – autar are the ones that gave us Atarchias/Ἀταρχίας from Autarchias/Αὐταρχίας through synairesis. That means that a name Autarchias/Αὐταρχίας must exist, do that the synairesis can take away its "υ". We search the epigraphic record and we find an early Christian inscription from the city of Pergamos/Πέργαμος, in Ionia:

Regions : Asia Minor : Mysia [Kaïkos], Pergamon

MDAI(A) 35.1910.481,71

Mys. — Pergamon — Chr.0


Ἰη(σοῦ) κ(ύριε) βοή(θει) Τί-

θῃ Αὐταρχί-

ου καὶ τοῖς

παιδίοις αὐ-



Jesus lord help Ti-

the (the daughter) of Autarchi-

as and also



Αὐταρχίας/Atarchias, therefore is indeed attested in the record, but so are several other versions of this very name. From the Macedonian island of Thasos we find evidence of the name Autarchos/Αὐταρχος, as the patronym of a certain Simalion (8th line from the top, written in the genitive form, as all patronyms: -ou not -os):

Regions : Aegean Islands, incl. Crete (IG XI-[XIII]) : Northern Aegean (IG XII,8)

IG XII,Suppl 391

Thasos — beg. 3rd bc















Suppliants to



son of Skymnos


son of Euphrilos


son of Autarchos


son of Sopolis


son of Euphrilos


son of Herophantes

Another man called Autarchos/Αὐταρχος is found on an inscription (on the 6th line from the top) from the Boeotian city of Thespiai, close to Thebes, in central Greece. Here we find the names:

Roesch, IThesp 119Megaris, Oropia, and Boiotia (IG VII) : Thespiai

Ἀρίσταρχος Ἀριστάρχου

Δάμων Στασάρχου

Παρά[μονος Παραμ]όνου

Εὐτε— — — —

Ξενοκράτης Ξενοκράτου

Αὔ̣τ̣α̣ρχος Δαμασίππου

Δαμοκλῆς Σιλίου

Ἄνδρων Ἄνδρωνος

Ἀφροδίσιος Ἀπολλοδώρου

Aristarchos son of Aristarchos

Damon son of Stasarchos

Paramonos son of Paramonos

Eute— — — —

Xenocrates son of Xenocrates

Autarchos son of Damassipos

Damocles son of Sillios

Andron son of Andron

Aphrodisios son of Apollodoros

A linguistic twist on this name happens in Megara, where the name Autarchias/Αὐταρχίας takes in an "s" after ch/χ : AutarchSias/ΑὐταρχΣίας. Chs/Χσ cannot exist in Greek phonetics so the fusion makes an "Χ", in Greek "Ξ", and the final form of the name becomes: Autarxias/Αὐταρξίας. This is not out of the ordinary, since the "x" sound is already part of the future tense of the verb Archomai/Ἄρχομαι. In Future tense it becomes Αrxomai/Ἄρξομαι or dialectically Αrxeumai/ Ἄρξευμαι instead of Achomai.

Here is the inscription from Megara, a city close to both Athens and Thebes, where on the 2nd line we encounter the female name Autarxia/Αὐταρξία, a dialectical form of Atarchias:

IG VII 2420

Megaris, Oropia, and Boiotia (IG VII)

γραμματίδδοντος Καφισοδώρω

Ἀκαστίδαο, ἐπάνθετα· Αὐταρξία

Δάμωνος Θεισπικὰ πόρπαν χρουσί-

while secretary was Kifisodoros

son of Akastidaos, additional offerings were made: Autarxia

daughter of Damon for oracular payment a golden porpe (a brooch).

So what does the name Atarchias/Autarchias mean? We already explained earlier that arche besides beginning also means the rule, the political power. Oligarchia/ὀλιγαρχία is the rule of the Holigoi/ὀλιγοι, the few. Μonarchia/Mοναρχία is the rule of the monos/μόνος, the lone person,

Apolyrtarchia/ Ἀπολυταρχια is the absolute/apolytos/ἀπόλυτος power of someone. Related to that are two more words: Autocratoria and Autarchia. Autocratoria/Αὐτοκρατορία (Αὐτο/Auto + Κρατω/Crato) and Autarchia/Αὐταρχία (Αὐτο/Auto + Αρχή/Arche). Autocratoria/Αὐτοκρατορία is the Greek word for empire: Roman empire = Romaike Autocratoria. Autarchia/Αὐταρχία is the absolute, unrestricted power. Autarchikos/Αὐταρχικός in Greek means someone who is tyrannical, and it can be used in personal relationships too, a husband or a father or a teacher can be called autarchikos/αὐταρχικός. Liddell & Scott defines in this way the verb αὐταρχέω: to be an absolute ruler, and the noun αὔταρχος as autocratic. The Michigan Press Greek English dictionary (Modern Greek to English) translates αὐταρχία as autocracy, absolute power, absolutism (= Ἀπολυταρχια).

An online dictionary gives the definition of autarchy as a government in which a single leader or party exercises absolute control over all citizens and every aspect of their lives: absolutism, autocracy, despotism, dictatorship, monocracy, tyranny and offers Anarchy as its opposite.

This is How Wictionary explains autarchia: ( http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/autarchy )


From Ancient Greek αὐταρχία (autarcheia), "´absolute governing´")






autarchy (plural autarchies)

1.A condition of absolute power.

2.An autocratic government; an autocracy.

3.Self-government; a condition of economic self-sufficiency or national independence.

I need to insert a note here (MEB): Number (3) is of course wrong, since here the lexicographer is confusing autarchy as in autarchia/αὐταρχία with autarky as in αὐτάρκεια, which is totally unrelated [in the second forming word arkeo/αρκέω, meaning I have enough, I can endure, I am content] and it means self sufficiency and self reliance). One more reason why the Classics departments worldwide need to be strengthened and not weakened in our age. You cannot speak proper English, French , Italian, German or any other European language unless you know good Greek and Latin first, and if not everyone, at least the lexicographers must! Now someone must tell that to good people at the University of Illinois UIC, so they do not weaken their well respected Classics - Greek and Latin- department even further!)}


(self-government): independence, self-sufficiency; autonomy

Derived terms






Related terms



My note again (MEB): autarky is autarkeia/αὐτάρκεια, which is totally unrelated – the second part of the word- and it means self sufficiency and self reliance, not related to autarchia/αὐταρχία)}

Since we mentioned Autarchia, let us also look at a few other words ending in "-archia", just to make sure we are not making things up here:

ἱεραρχία/hierarchia, κυριαρχία /kyriarchia, φυλαρχία /phylarchia, δημαρχίαdemarchia, τοπαρχία/toparchia, ὑπαρχία/hyparchia, ἐπαρχία/eparchia, ὀλιγαρχία/holigarchia, μοναρχία/monarchia, γυμνασιαρχία/gymnasiarchia, εἰρηναρχία/eirenarchia, τριηραρχία/trierarchia, λαμπαδαρχία/lampadarchia, δισφυλαρχία/disphylarchia, ἱππαρχία/hiparchia, βουλαρχία/boularchia, λιμεναρχία/limenarchia, συμποσιαρχία/ symposiarchia, σι̣τ̣α̣ρ̣χ̣ία/sitarchia, χειλιαρχία/cheiliarchia, κωμαρχία/comarchia, ἑκατονταρχία/hekatontarchia, and also: Βειθυνιαρχία/Beithyniarchia, Πονταρχία/Pontarchia, Λυκιαρχία/Lyciarchia, Μακεδοναρχία/Macedonarchia, etc.

All the above are words attested in the epigraphic record.

Having made clear the meaning of Atarchias, we now need to go back and look into a detail that a person who cannot read the Greek original would have missed. It is the spelling of the name Atarchias in the original text. We read the Greek text once again, more carefully this time, and we compare it against the English translation:

The Greek text:

στρατηγὸν ἐξέπεμψεν Ἀταρρίαν, δοὺς στρατόπεδον

The Roman letters transliteration of the Greek text:

strategon exepempsen Atarrian, dous stratopedon

An English translation (word by word):

a general he sent out Atarrian (whose name was Atarrias),(having) given (him) an army force

The English translation (not word to word):

he delivered some forces to the command of Atarchias

What happened here? Is Atarchias not Atarchias after all? Obviously not in the Greek text, he is not: The text is specific enough: Ἀταρρίας/Atarrias: No "ch/χ" sound after the "r", just a double "rr".

Autarchias who was Atarchias is now also Atarrias! Is the translator wrong or we simply have yet another spelling of the same Autarchias/Atarchias? Actually no, the translator knew very well what he was reading and his understanding of ancient Greek was just fine.

What we have here is the same dialectical situation as it appears in the names Arrianos/Ἀρριανός and Arrios/Ἄρριος: the "rch" / "ῥχ" has been transformed and rolled into a double "r" : "rr" / "ρρ". We can easily restore the original accent without the dialectical change, and read Arrianos/Ἀρριανός as Archianos/Ἀρχιανός, Arrios/Ἄρριος as Archrios/Ἄρχιος and finally: Ἀταρρίας/Atarrias as Atarchias/Αταρχίας or as: Autarchias/Αὐταρχίας.

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