A Blog Post About Greece’s Floral Emblem, the Acanthus

Acanthus: Greece's Floral Emblem Never Suffers From Summer Heat

April 24, 2017

Add to Hatena Bookmark
Greece's Floral Emblem

Hello again, Naho here. As it continues to grow hotter each day, summer fatigue is slowly but surely getting to me. Greece's floral emblem Acanthus, however, is an unrelenting flower that always stays strong against high temperature.


Today I would like to write about the land of art and culture, Greece, and some secrets behind its beloved national flower, the Acanthus.

Acanthus: A Symbol of the Arts and Strength

The name of Acanthus originates from "akantha," the Greek word for "thorn," referring to the flower's thorn-bearing bracts.

In ancient Greece, a sculptor named Callimachus used the pattern of acanthus leaves in some of his works, the design was thus named after the flower. Roman architects erected the Corinthian capital employing the "acanthus design," and the pattern is also often seen on church ceiling paintings during the Medieval Period. Perhaps it is from such association to the history of architecture that the acanthus derived the meanings of "the arts" and "craftsmanship."

It is said that Callimachus first discovered the artistic pattern when he was visiting a cemetery where an acanthus flower grew through a votive woven basket, forming a beautiful tangled shape. Strong against heat and cold, the acanthus grows even in the most severe conditions of minimum water and exposure to sunlight. No wonder the flower is beloved as a symbol of strength and perseverance.

Greece's Beautiful Islands of the Aegean Sea

As the cradle of Western civilization, Greece is home to various tourist attractions with stunning landscapes. The islands of the Aegean Sea, in particular. are sought after as one of the top tourist attractions even among the best-travelled.

The Amoudi port of Oia, located on the island of Santorini, is a popular honeymoon destination for its reputation of having the world's most beautiful sunset view. What is more romantic than seeing the lovely houses painted in white and blue stretching into the distance against a horizon of golden dusk?

Located on the island of Chios in the area of Aegean Sea near Turkey, there is also the Pyrgi village that's famous for the fascinating geometric patterns seen on most of its houses. The otherworldly atmosphere full of the oriental charm will surely make you feel like a guest to the world of a fairy tale.

English Words of Greek Origin

As mentioned earlier, Acanthus derives its name from the Greek word "akantha." In Japanese, it is pronounced as "akansasu."

It is believed that the New Testament was first written in ancient Greek, and the language also has great influence on European academic vocabulary. Some say that approximately 12% of English words have a Greek origin. For example, names of academic disciplines such as "mathematics", "astronomy" and "philosophy," and other words such as "photography" and "cinema."

With its rich culture and great legacy, Greek has been and always will be respected as the cradle of distinguished arts and science.

Related Services

Add to Hatena Bookmark
<< Edelweiss: The Secrets Behind Switzerland's Floral Emblem English Rose: the Characteristics of England's Floral Emblem >>

To Contact Us Regarding Our Translation Services

For urgent needs, call:

Back to Top