An updated list of Priapus epithets

Because the list on theoi.com is sad af.

Let’s start with those actually. On the theoi.com page for Priapus are listed 5 epithets:

  • Ανδροσαθων, Androsathon “man-pricked”
  • Ιθυφαλλος, Ithyphallos “Erect-phallus”
  • Τυχων, Tykhon “Fortune”
  • Θριαμβος, Thriambos “Thriamb”
  • Διθυραμβος, Dithyrambos “Dithyramb”

And they’re fine, Ithyphallos and Tykhon are two important ones and I’m glad they’re there. However, it’s not really a representative list of the many domains Priapus rules over. This post will thus follow in two parts: first, I will list the historically attested epithets I have found and secondly, I will list my new list of epithets. Focusing on “my” here. It doesn’t mean you can’t use them, it just means that those are not historical.

Historically attested epithets

Note: All of them come from the epigrams in books 6 and 10 of the Palatine Anthology (also known as Greek Anthology).

As a rustic god:

  • Κηπουρός, Kepouros “keeper of the garden/gardener”
  • Γλυκερός, Glukeros “sweet” (to the taste)
  • Αγροιώτης, Agroiotes “rustic”

As a sea god:

  • Λιμενίτης, Limenites “god of the harbour”
  • Αἰγιαλῖτα, Aigialita “of the shore”
  • Ποντομέδων, Pontomedon “Lord of the Sea”
  • Ορμοδοτήρ, Ormodoter “harbour-giver”

My proposition for new epithets

Vegetation related

  • Κιστοφορος, Κistophoros, “basket-carrying”
  • Καρποφορος, Κarpophoros “fruit-carrying”
  • Καρποφυλος, Κarpophylos “watcher of fruit”
  • Αεικαρπος, Αeikarpos, “ever fruit-bearing”
  • Κηπος, Κepos “of the garden/orchard”
  • Μηλων, Μelon “of the (apple?) orchard”
  • Λαχανηλόγος, Lachanelogos “gathering vegetable”

Sea related

  • Αλίπλαγκτος, Aliplagktos, “sea-roaming”
  • Αλιεινὴ, Alieine “sea-blue”*
  • Αλιεργής, Alierges “working in sea, fishing”
  • Γριπηίς, Gripeis “of fishing”
  • Εὔπλοια, Euploia “fair voyage”

Representation-inspired

  • Διέμπιλος, Diempilos “well caped”**
  • Πιλοφόρος, Pilophoros “wearing a cap”**
  • Φαινομηρίς, Phainomeris “showing the thigh, with bare thigh”
  • ἡμίγυμνος, Hemigumnos “Half-naked”
  • Κάλινος, Kalinos “wooden”***

*“the sea-blue god” is a phrase that appears in the 1920s translation of epithet 9 book 10 of the Greek Anthology for Priapus. However, in the Greek text, the word is “glaucon” and despite what the translation would make believe, it doesn’t seem like it’s really used as an epithet in the original text. So I chose to keep the sentiment but actually go for a word that means “sea-blue” directly.

**A reference to the red Phrygian cap Priapus is shown wearing on the Pompeii fresco, but also on a bronze statuette found in Callatis (modern-day Romania).

*** Wood was the main and most common material for Priapus statues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: