The closest I have come is khrysodory Athenaie (χρυσόδόρυ Αθηναία). Since I am piecing this together from the internet, I am uncertain if this is correct. I have also pieced together the latin, which is hastam auream Minervae. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • You said you pieced this together from the internet. Can you show that process? What sites did you use? What was your logic? That might help people in giving some feedback.
    – cmw
    Commented Feb 23 at 3:49

1 Answer 1


χρυσός does mean 'gold' (as a noun), and δόρυ does mean 'spear', but you can't really productively mash the two together like that (anymore—in attested Greek tatpuruṣa compounds are much more limited than they once must have been); you'd just express it as a noun modified by an adjective.

The adjective associated with χρυσός is χρυσοῦς in Attic or χρύσειος in Epic Greek, so that's easy enough, but I'd actually use a different word than δόρυ. One of the Homeric hymns to Athena uses ἄκων 'javelin' for Athena's weapon, but it isn't described as being golden; the only times that I'm aware of Athena is described as "golden-speared" are in Euripides' Ion (v.9) and Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae (v.318), and both use the adjective χρυσόλογχος—a bahuvrīhi compound, combining χρυσός and λόγχη. Just as δόρυ originally referred to the wooden shaft of a spear and then metonymically to the whole spear (it's cognate with English tree), λόγχη originally referred to the spearhead (it may or may not be related to English lance), which is probably the only part you might want to make out of gold anyway.

The goddess Athena, then, is Ἀθηνᾶ, though Ἀθηναία is also attested in Attic poetry; Epic poetry uses the Ionic form Ἀθηναίη, and Euripides, in the mentioned passage, uses the epithet Παλλάς. (Aristophanes doesn't use her name in the relevant passage and just calls her "bright-eyed girl".) Regardless of your choice, it should be in the genitive: Ἀθηνᾶς, Ἀθηναίας, Ἀθηναίης, Παλλάδος.
(In principle you could also use an attributive adjective, so that you're in effect saying "the Athenian golden spear", which is a pretty archaic-feeling thing to do, but in practice the adjective Ἀθηναῖος is only attested to mean 'Athenian' in the sense of the city of Athens.)

Putting it all together:

  • in Attic (as in the tragedies of Euripides or the comedies of Aristophanes): ἡ χρυσῆ λόγχη τῆς Ἀθηναίας
  • in Epic Greek (as in Homer and the Homeric hymns): χρυσείη λόγχη Ἀθηναίης

Neither of these is actually attested, of course.

  • 1
    (Small correction, χρυσόλογχος is a bahuvrihi rather than a tatpuruṣa.)
    – TKR
    Commented Feb 25 at 18:27
  • 1
    @TKR Goddammit.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Feb 25 at 19:03
  • Thank you for your answer and the steps you used to get to it. I've asked this same question in Reddit, and got a different answer. enkhos chrýseon Athinás (ἔγχος χρύσεον Ἀθηνᾶς) They said the same thing as you, that the dory refers more to the wooden staff of the spear, than the spear itself and that enkhos more accurately means spear.
    – Walter
    Commented Feb 26 at 6:55
  • 1
    @Walter δόρυ originally did mean 'wood(en pole)', but it does also just mean 'spear' as early as Homer; ἔγχος does typically mean 'spear' in Homer, but later it became a generic word for just about any weapon. The problem with χρύσεον and Ἀθηνᾶς is that one is an Ionic form (χρύσεον would be χρυσοῦν in Attic, with contraction and different accentuation) and the other is Attic (Ἀθηνᾶ would be Ἀθήνη in Ionic). /r/ancientgreek is pretty abysmal in my experience.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Feb 26 at 12:53

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