Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Holy Season, part 2

Another Greek root meaning holy is hiero-, from hieros, sacred or holy. Let’s look at some representative samples.

• hierocracy: The rule of priests or religious dignitaries; government by priests or ecclesiastics
• hierodule: A slave (of either sex) dwelling in a temple, and dedicated to the service of a god. [Actually, they tended to be courtesans, a holy office at the time.]
• hierogamy: A sacred marriage.
• hieroglyph: A figure of some object, as a tree, animal, etc., standing for a word. [sacred carving]
• hierogram: A sacred symbol.
• hierograph: A sacred inscription or symbol
• hierography: A description of sacred things; a description of religions.
• hierolatry: Worship of holy beings or saints
• hierology: (1) ‘A discourse on sacred things’ (Webster 1828). Obs. (2) Hieroglyphic lore; the study of Egyptian records. Obs.
• hieromachy: A conflict of ecclesiastics.
• hieromancy: Divination from the observation of objects offered in religious sacrifices, or from sacred things.
• hieromartyr: In the Greek Calendar, a martyr who was in holy orders.
• hieropathic: Consisting in love of the clergy.
• hierophant: An official expounder of sacred mysteries or religious ceremonies, esp. in ancient Greece; an initiating or presiding priest.
• hierophobia: Fear or horror of sacred things or persons.
• hieroscopy: a kind of divination, performed by considering the victim, and observing every thing that occurs during the course of the sacrifice.

SIDEBAR: Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary

SIDEBAR: Hieroglyphic Ensemble [Go to June 26 on that site]

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