What Were People Called in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, names were given much importance as they were believed to hold power and reflect the character and destiny of the person. Let’s explore some of the common names used in ancient Greece.

Male Names

1. Alexander: This name means “defender of the people” and was a popular name among the Greek kings, including Alexander the Great.

2. Demetrius: Meaning “follower of Demeter,” this name was associated with fertility and agriculture.

3. Hercules: Named after the famous mythological hero known for his strength, this name means “glory of Hera.”

4. Leonidas: This name means “son of a lion” and was borne by the famous Spartan king who led 300 soldiers against the Persians at Thermopylae.

Female Names

1. Athena: Named after the goddess of wisdom, courage, and inspiration, this name means “wise.”

2. Artemis: Meaning “goddess of hunting,” this name was associated with nature and wilderness. Hera: Named after the queen of gods, this name means “lady” or “mistress. Persephone: This name means “bringer of destruction” and was associated with springtime growth and renewal.


Surnames were not commonly used in ancient Greece but sometimes people would adopt a descriptive surname based on their occupation or physical characteristics.

The most common surnames were:

  • Pappas – meaning priest
  • Kouros – meaning young man
  • Kalogeros – meaning monk
  • Petridis – meaning son of Peter


In ancient Greece, names were given much significance and were believed to hold power. Many names were derived from the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology, reflecting the importance of religion and spirituality in Greek culture.

While surnames were not commonly used, some people adopted descriptive surnames based on their occupation or physical characteristics. These names offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of ancient Greece.