Does the phrase "Zeus Pater" appear in ancient Greek sources?

  • The Wikipedia article "Sky Father" includes the following passage:

    "Sky Father" is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeus Pater and Roman Jupiter, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity's name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr.

    The similarity between "Zeus Pater" and "Jupiter" is compelling, but I can't find any references to that name online. Where, if anywhere, does the name "Zeus Pater" appear in ancient Greek sources, and what is its significance?

    Pater means father. A quick and dirty translation of the phrase would be father Zeus, and yes, it does appear in ancient Greek sources. eg: "Ὑπερβίῳ δὲ Ζεὺς πατὴρ ἐπ᾽ ἀσπίδος..." - Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, line 512.

    @yannis I'd be very interested in hearing about the context in which it's used. Is it a stock phrase, a sort of official title, perhaps used ritualistically in specific contexts? Or is it just that coincidentally, people once or twice referred to Zeus as a father? Essentially, is there any way of confirming that this really is the original *full* name of Zeus, validating the idea that it's cognate to "Jupiter"?

  • Sam

    Sam Correct answer

    5 years ago

    "Zeus Pater"

    Pater means father. A quick and dirty translation of the phrase would be 
    father Zeus, and yes, it does appear in ancient Greek sources. eg: "Ὑπερβίῳ δὲ 
    Ζεὺς πατὴρ ἐπ᾽ ἀσπίδος..." - Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, line 512.
    

    Yes, "Father Zeus" or "Zeus Pater" did appear in Greek sources "Ζεὺς πατὴρ".

    "Jupiter"

    "Sky Father" is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeus Pater and Roman Jupiter.

    This is pulled from a Wikipedia page on "Sky Father." If you translate "Jupiter" to English from Latin, you get "Jupiter," "Jove," or "Sky." However, if you go on Dictionary.com and look at the word origin for "Jupiter," you find that it comes from, "Iuppiter." That word just means "Jupiter," but a Wiktionary is helpful here:

    The nominative Iuppiter, for Iūpiter (with shift of the length from vowel to consonant per the "littera" rule), comes from a vocative combined with pater, and essentially meant "father Jove": Proto-Italic *djous patēr, from *djous (“day, sky”) + *patēr (“father”).

    So it brings us right back to knowing that "Jupiter" means "Sky Father" and so does "Zeus Pater."

    Conclusion:

    1:

    Yes, as yannis♦ pointed out "Zeus Pater" appears.

    2:

    Yes, the two terms are related, "Jupiter" comes from "djous patēr," which means "Sky Father," and "Zeus Pater" literally means "Sky Father."

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM