Etymology of AGAQOS

Steven Craig Miller scmiller at
Thu Nov 25 12:18:05 EST 1999

Perhaps this question is a little off-topic, since it is not about Biblical 
Greek Grammar. But I was wondering what is the current opinion concerning 
the etymology of AGAQOS. The intermediate LS [1889] states that the 
derivation of AGAQOS is uncertain, and "An Etymology of Latin and Greek" by 
Charles S. Halsey [1893] (which is a great book, by the way) omits any 
mention of AGAQOS. But the "Etymological Lexicon of Classical Greek" by 
Edward Ross Wharton [1882] suggests that AGAQOS is related to the Gothic 
"gods," which I've always taken to be related to the OE "god" from which we 
get "good." Is an etymological connection between AGAQOS and "good" too 

Are etymological studies out of fashion today? Or are they merely suffering 
the same fate as classical studies generally? Has there been any new Greek 
etymological studies in English lately?

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
scmiller at

"For the ancients, to mediate is to read a text and to learn it 'by heart' 
in the fullest sense of this expression, that is, with one's whole being: 
with the body, since the mouth pronounced it, with the memory which fixes 
it, with the intelligence which understands its meaning, and with the will 
which desires to put it into practice" (Jean Leclercq, "The Love of 
Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture," 1961:17).

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