What are some ancient words that mean forgiveness? I’m looking for words that were used before the common era (before 0 CE). I’m looking for words from Latin, Greek, German, and other languages. These words can be nouns, verbs, or adjectives.
Was this question overlooked because of Thanksgiving?
- venia: typically used of the gods for indulgence or permission, but developed a meaning of "pardon" or "forgiveness" already with Cicero (if not earlier)
- remissio: this became the Ecclesiastical word for forgiveness of sin
- clementia: this adds a connotation of "merciful" to the forgiveness
- ignoscentia: post-classical "very rare" but makes etymological sense
- ignoscere: takes a dative; the most basic way to express forgiving someone/asking for forgiveness
- condonare: it means "to give up", but you can "give up" a grudge or debt, thus the forgiving aspect
- concedere: less common, but the basic idea is withdraw -> to allow -> to forgive someone (dat.) of crimes (acc.)
- exorabilis: "easily moved", i.e. forgiving if entreated
- clemens: adjective, from which the noun clementia is derived
In the gospels, the verb seems to be ἀφίημι, meaning literally to let go. See, for example, Mark 1:4.