How should agenda be translated into Greek?

The first thing that comes to my mind is just taking the future passive participle, neuter plural, of ἄγω (ᾰ̓χθησόμενα); however, there is a slight difference in meanings: in Latin, ago means "I act", "I do". In Ancient Greek, however, ἄγω means "I lead".

Thus, agenda literally means "the things that will be done", but ᾰ̓χθησόμενα means "the things that will be lead", which is not exactly the same.

So, what would be a semantically correct translation of agenda in Ancient Greek?

2 Answers 2


The closest Greek equivalent to a Latin gerundive is one of the verbal adjectives ending in -τέος (formed on the aorist passive stem). Both ποιέω and πράττω – unlike ἄγω, as you note – are generally equivalent in sense to Latin ago when it means 'to do.' Therefore, the corresponding equivalents to the neuter plural gerundive agenda would be τὰ ποιητέα and τὰ πρακτέα, respectively. Both of these, like agenda, mean 'the things that need to be done.'

  • 6
    FWIW, πρακτέα is the modern Gr translation equivalent of agenda. Jun 29, 2021 at 13:55
  • A collection of πρακτέα (sing. πρακτέον), are the items (to-do or what was done) of a πρόγραμμα (see below).
    – gts
    Jul 10, 2021 at 18:32
  • @gts, Sure, πρόγραμμα is a word that can be translated as 'agenda' (though it has other meanings too). However, the original question seemed to me to be getting at the larger question of how Latin gerundives can be rendered in Greek; so I framed my answer accordingly, by pointing to the adjectives in -τέος.
    – cnread
    Jul 11, 2021 at 3:17
  • Yes of course, this answer it's spot on when it comes to reasoning morphologically about it; and when translating this word and taking into account what context the latin use of agenda is in, I think πρόγραμμα is a pretty strong candidate too (regardless of both agenda and πρόγραμμα having other meanings too).
    – gts
    Jul 11, 2021 at 3:39

Πρόγραμμα is probably as good a candidate as any can be, http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/lsj/#eid=89478 (LSJ at TLG).

Also, Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek (2015) has a meaning for Πρόγραμμα of 'that which is written first, order of the day' as per Demosthenes' and Aristotle's corpora; and the Cambridge Greek Lexicon (2021) defines it at programme of business, agenda (for an official body).


As a translation precedent http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0045%3Achapter%3D44%3Asection%3D2 (Greek text containing πρόγραμμα) and translation to English (but, specifying 'list of agenda' maintaining the latin meaning instead of 'the agenda') http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0046%3Achapter%3D44%3Asection%3D2

[Update 2]

As discussed in comments, and probably useful to have better visibility here as part of the answer, agenda is a Medieval Ecclesiastical Latin word, and as such it is being used in the context of Church/State (i.e. examples at https://logeion.uchicago.edu/agenda), and as such I believe that Πρόγραμμα presents a good case as a candidate translation word to ancient Greek when taking context into account (list of items to do for an official body).

  • But... isn't this too specific? Quite close to its English usage? Agenda refers to things that simply have to be done, at some point, without specification of modalities, no? Jul 10, 2021 at 21:47
  • Not sure that it is simply used to refer in general to any things to be done; as this is a translation question then the context (interdependent with modality) has to be taken into account. If no context it'd be things to be acted on (πρακτέα), but when translating (more than equivalency of words is needed) agenda is a medieval Latin word and it is being used within a specific Church/State context (e.g. Latin usage examples at Logeion logeion.uchicago.edu/agenda) and as such it also came to have the secondary meaning of 'ritual'. So, as such to me πρόγραμμα looks like a good fit.
    – gts
    Jul 10, 2021 at 23:25
  • Having said that, it would be interesting if it could perhaps be found whether there are any Ecclesiastical Latin texts containing 'agenda' that are translations of Church Greek (Late Koine, Church Fathers etc), and check how the translation was done there. This would probably offer a definitive answer.
    – gts
    Jul 10, 2021 at 23:34

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