Friday, 15 June 2012

ARCHEE the source and the origin

The Source and the Power ΆΡΧΗ

In Latin the Gospel of John begins with the famous statement

In principio verbum erat

But this is a Latin translation from Greek.

Here's Verse 1 of St John's Gospel in Greek

1. Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

Ἀρχῇ is the dative form of ἡ Ἀρχὴ the beginning or source.

The word first appears in Greek in Homer's Odyssey and then Pindar's Odes.

This word has another meaning of being a source of origin of a flow of power and so we see it used as a suffix or prefix as – archos – arch(ee) and – arch(y) in English.

A good example especially given the Diamond Jubilee this week would be Monarch and Monarchy, two words with Greek origins that have become thoroughly established in English.

Rather like the Force in Star Wars or the Tao in Chinese?

You will see it used with a sense very similar to this if you read some Neoplatonists and Christian orthodox mystics and theologians writing in Greek.

IN French it becomes – arce, Italian arce and arci, Spanish arce, and German erz and I have seen it borrowed inot other languages with a spelling of - arky.

Don't forget there is a verb - ἄρχω