Irene (Ειρήνη)

Posted by: Maria Atalanti

Published on: 05/05/2021

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Dedicated to my dears Irene, Monica, Artemis, Agnes, Celia, and Martina)

Today, 5th of May, is a special day for me and a special celebration for many of my loved ones. Nationwide, women and girls called Ειρήνη (Irene, which means Peace), celebrate. On a personal level, many women I love, celebrate, whether they were born today or on the days adjacent to today.

Ειρήνη (Irene, which means Peace) is an ancient name whose origin goes back to Homer. She was considered the daughter of Zeus and Themis, goddess of justice and sister of Eunomia and Trial, with whom they constituted the deities Ores (Hours). According to Georgios Babiniotis, its origin is unknown, probably pre-Greek (pelasgian).

Nevertheless, Ειρήνη (Irene) is always a counterbalance to the word «Πόλεμος» (War). We can therefore study the origin of this word to understand better – but also to promote – the importance of Ειρήνη (Irene).

I quote below from an article by G. Babiniotis, on the etymology of the word «Πόλεμος» (War):

The word «Πόλεμος» (War) comes from the Homeric verb “πελεμίζω” which meant I fight, with the original meaning “I scare the enemy” (from a hypothetical type “πέλεμα” (terror, fear), cf. German. felma “terror”) and even “shake the spear” since the word has the same origin with the word “πάλλω” which means I shake. It should be noted that an ancient German word, werra “controversy”, gave the English word war and the French guerre, the words that mean “Πόλεμος” in the respective languages.”

Homer characterized the word “Πόλεμος” (War): bloody, whole, very tearful, fierce, evil, dull, cold, horrible, decaying, disastrous, androphonic (men killing), deciduous, murderous, destructive, miserable, painful, dull, wretched, repulsive, relentless.

All these, of course, are what Ειρήνη (Irene) is not! It is a situation with light, prosperity, joy, progress, growth, hope and countless other positive qualities.

Today is a day that women with this ancient name celebrate, bearing the heavy legacy of such importance. I dedicate this post to all women named Ειρήνη (Irene) but also to those who have their birthday today, or at a close date from today. It is an important day and a remarkable time because we celebrate the greatest virtue of our social status and human coexistence.

So, dearest all, be happy!



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