μάγος

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Μάγος (Mágos), from indeterminate Old Iranian language origin (see Μάγος for details).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

μάγος (mágosm, μάγος f, μάγον n; second declension

  1. magical

Inflection[edit]

Noun[edit]

μάγος (mágos) (genitive μάγου); m, second declension

  1. (common, nonspecific) magician, and derogatorily sorcerer, trickster, conjurer, charlatan
  2. (common, specific) a Zoroastrian priest. Compare e.g. Herodotus Hist. 1.132f, Xenophon Cyropedia 8.3.11, Porphyry Life of Pythagoras 12, Heraclitus apud Clemens Protrepticus 12, etc.
  3. (hapax) name of one of the tribes of the Medes. This usage is only attested once; Herodotus Histories 1.101.
Note 1: meanings #1 and #2 overlap in classical usage— both derive from the Greek (and generally Hellenistic) identification of "Zoroaster" as the "inventor" of astrology and magic. The first meaning ('magician') derives from the sense of "practitioner of the Zoroaster's craft", and the second meaning ('priest') from the sense of "practitioner of Zoroaster's religion".
Note 2: meanings #2 and #3 were frequently conflated as one in 18th/19th/early 20th-century usage, giving "name of a Median priestly tribe" or similar. This combined meaning is no longer used in current scholarship.

Inflection[edit]

References[edit]

  • LSJ
  • Bauer lexicon
  • Joseph Bidez and Franz Cumont, Les Mages hellénises I, Paris, 1973.

Greek[edit]

Noun[edit]

μάγος (mágosm (plural μάγοι, feminine μάγισσα)

  1. magician
  2. wizard, sorcerer

Declension[edit]

Related terms[edit]