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Question
Hello. My name is Jon and I'm a researcher for the FOX television show Bones. It's my job to make sure our show is as accurate as possible and to achieve this goal, I often rely on professionals here at Allexperts.

The reason I'm contacting you is in the hopes you can help us with a question for our next episode. We want to make sure we pronounce a Greek name correctly and can't seem to find the answer online.

Could you tell us the proper pronunciation of POSIDIPPUS? Posidippus of Pella was an Ancient Greek epigrammatic poet. Posidippus was born in the city of Pella, capital of the kingdom of Macedon.

We are guessing it's either...

poss-EE-dee-puss?
poe-SID-eh-pus?

Would you be able to help us make sure we're accurate?

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Best

Jon

Answer
Hello, Jon.

Your man is Ποσείδιππος ο Πελλαίος, a.k.a. Ποσείδιππος Επιγραμματογράφος ("composer of epigrams").

Ancient Greek names have traditionally been latinised in the West, so that for example the philosopher Sokratis becomes Socrates; the rules for this are vague, and customary usage rules. Contemporary scholars tend to prefer a transliteration and pronunciation closer to the original (i.e. "Sokratis" rather than Socrates), but the latinised version is still the most common. So unless your character is very specifically a classics scholar, the odds are he would opt for the latter.

In that case, the name should be pronounced with the stress on the second syllable:

poss-EE-dee-puss

I hope this helps. Do please get back to me if you need anything more.

Best wishes,
Corax

Greek

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Corax

Expertise

I can answer questions and offer advice or, at least, an educated opinion on a range of questions concerning Greek culture. Particular areas of expertise include: Modern Greek language & literature; Greek history, ancient to contemporary; contemporary "high" culture; Greek politics; Greek society. I am unable to answer questions on the following: Ancient Greek language; Greek music; popular culture; sports and athletics; tourism and holiday issues.

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Multilingual Greek writer & journalist

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B.Sc. London University

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