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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



words that came into Russian from Greek during the Byzantine period (through Slavic translations of religious books); also, terms formed from Greek roots and affixes.

Grecisms may be found in church usage (Russian lampada, “icon lamp”; angel, “angel”; episkop, “bishop”; ladan, “incense”; ikona, “icon”). Christian personal names (Andrei, “man”; Georgii, “farmer”; Evgenii, “wellborn”), and terms in the arts and sciences (Russian istoriia, filosofiia, drama, tragediia, and melodiia). A large number of modern scientific terms consist of Greek roots and affixes (Russian gen from Greek genos, “race” or “family”; mono- from Greek monos, “one.” “single”; psevdo- from Greek pseudos, “lie,” “falsehood”; psikho- from Greek psyche, “soul”: sin- from Greek syn, “with.” “together”;fob- from Greekphobos, “fear”). The Russian terms avtogennyi (autogenous), monotip (monotype), psevdonim (pseudonym). psikhologiia (psychology), sinkhronnyi (synchronous), and gidrofobiia (hydrophobia) are formed in this way.


Pokrovskii, M. M. Semasiologicheskie issledovaniia ν oblasti drevnikh iazykov. Moscow, 1895.
Iushmanov. N. V. Elementy mezhdunarodnoi terminologii: Siovar’-spravochnik. Moscow. 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.