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31 Rare and Unique Baby Names from Greek Mythology

From immortals to deities, to titans, and beyond, there are literally hundreds of figures that make up the body of ancient Greek mythology. Some names are so well-known they’ve become household names, like Zeus, whereas others, like Gaia and Astraea, may not be as synonymous with Greek mythology, but are just as significant.

I’ve rounded up over 30 of the names I thought best suited for our modern times, and compiled a list rich with heritage and meaning. If you love ancient Greek mythology and literature, then this list is for you!

1. Apollo – Apollo was the god of light, music, arts, knowledge, healing, prophecy, poetry, athleticism, and enlightenment, among other things. He was also the son of Zeus and Leto.

2. Ajax – While not the most common of names, I can see this being perfect for a modern hip couple looking for a strong boy’s name. He was a mythological Greek hero and played an important part in Homer’s Iliad.

3. Ares – Ares was the Greek god of war, and the son of Zeus and Hera. Homer portrayed him in his writings as moody and unreliable. Moody or not, the name is strong and has risen in popularity.

4. Astraea – Daughter of Zeus and Themis, she was the Greek goddess of justice, and was personified with innocence and purity. A pretty name suitable for any sweet baby girl.

5 . Athena – The Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, law, and justice, as well as the arts and crafts. A very well-rounded goddess if you ask me, and quite a beautiful name too.

6. Calliope – The Greek muse of epic poetry, she is believed to be Homer’s muse and served as the inspiration for the Iliad and the Odyssey. This name has dramatically jumped in popularity.

7. Cassandra – Cassandra was the daughter of the King and Queen of Troy, and her beauty was so great it caused Apollo to grant her the gift of prophecy.

8. Castor – Castor was a hero from Greek mythology and the twin brother of Pollux. It is believed that when he died, his twin Pollux asked Zeus to let them remain together, and they were transformed into the constellation Gemini.

9. Clio – Clio was the Greek muse of history, and was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne.

10. Damon – The name Damon is from a story in Greek mythology, of Damon and Pythias, and symbolizes trust and loyalty in a friendship. The legend tells the tale of Damon risking life and death to stand in for his friend, and his friend’s vow to not let him down. A remarkable story and a great name to go along with it.

11. Daphne – Daphne was the daughter of the Greek river god and the name means “laurel tree.” It has risen in popularity over the last several years.

12. Dionysius – The god of wine, parties, and festivals, the name doesn’t even show up on U.S. baby name charts for the last 10 years, so it is most definitely a unique one, well-suited for your little night owl party animal.

13. Gaia – Gaia was one of the Greek primordial deities, and the goddess of Earth, mother creator of all the earth and universe. Quite a name for a little baby to live up to, but I thought it was too pretty and significant not to include.

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14. Griffin – Griffin is actually a form of the word gryphon, which was a powerful mythological Greek creature, combining the power of the lion and the majesty of the eagle. It is one of the most popular names in this whole list.

15. Hector – Hector was a great Greek hero, and most notable for being the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War. He was the firstborn son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, he was truly a prince of royalty.

16. Helen – Helen was daughter of Zeus and Leda, and was considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world, and her abduction by Paris is what brought on the Trojan war.

17. Hera – Queen of the heavens and goddess of marriage, women, and childbirth, among other things, Hera was the wife of Zeus.

18. Hermes – While Hermes may be synonymous with luxury handbags, Hermes in Greek mythology was the god of travel and trade, and was the son of Zeus and Maia.

19. Iris – In Greek mythology, Iris is the rainbow personified, and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and sky.

20. Janus – Janus is from Roman religion and myth, and is the god of beginning and transitions. He is often shown to have two heads because he looks to the future and in the past.

21. Jason – Jason is considered quite a common American name nowadays, but the name dates back thousands of years. Jason was a great Greek hero, famous for his role as the leader of the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece, which was made up of the gold-haired winged ram. He was current in the time of Homer.

22. Medea – Connected to Jason and Golden Fleece, Medea actually helped him and Argonauts capture the fleece, and was later to become Jason’s wife. The name means “middle child.”

23. Minerva – Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, and therefore the name translates to “wise.”

24. Paris – Paris appears in a number of Greek legends, but is most famous for marrying Helen of Troy, and thus causing the Trojan War. While the name has become more familiar as a girl’s name, in Greek mythology it was pure boy.

25. Penelope – Penelope was the ever-faithful wife of Odysseus, who stayed true and loyal to him while he was away, therefore her name has traditionally meant to symbolize marriage faithfulness. The name has landed in the top 200 spot for the last several years in a row.

26. Perseus – Perseus was a demi-god who defeated Medusa and rescued Andromeda from a sea monster. A brave and courageous one, whose name would make quite an unusually cool pick.

27. Phoebe – As one of the first sets of children of Uranus and Gaia, Phoebe was one of the original titans in Greek mythology, often symbolized with being radiant and bright. The name therefore means shining and brilliant.

28. Rhea – Rhea was a Greek Titan and mother of the gods including Zeus, she represents fertility and motherhood.

29. Selene – Selene was the Greek goddess of the moon and was in the top 1000 baby names in the U.S. for the last several years.

30. Troy – Troy is included here because it is one of the most famous cities in all of Greek mythology, and was the place where the Trojan War took place. It makes for a great strong boy’s name and means “water” or “foot soldier.”

31. Zeus – This roundup couldn’t be complete without including the king of all the gods in Greek mythology!

Image: Getty

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