What Is The Function of Epithet In Sentence

Epithet (in ancient Greek : ἐπίθετ-ος, ον , transl .: Epítheton  – trad .: “Added, placed next to it” [ 1 ] ) is a noun, adjective or expression that is associated with a name to qualify it. It can be applied to people, deities, objects or, in the taxonomy of living beings , to designate the species or genus of a vegetable or animal , respectively, specific epithet and generic epithet.


  • 1Rhetoric and stylistic
    • 1Examples of Brazilian Epithets
  • 2Biology
  • 3References

Rhetoric and stylistic 

In epic , Homeric epithets can replace a character’s name with antonyms . In the Iliad , for example, Achilles is often referred to only by his epithets (“the Son of Tethys “, “the One with Light Feet”, “the Best of the Akhaians ” etc.). [ 2 ] The same resource is used in the songs of gestures : in the Cantar de Mío Cid , Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar ( El Cid ) is “the one who girded his sword in good time”. Still in literature , Don Quixote is the “Knight of a Sad Figure”.

Historical characters can also be referred to by their epithets, as happens abundantly with monarchs and the military, although the same phenomenon occurs in other cases such as:

  • Aristotle is “the Stagirite “, or “the Philosopher”;
  • Catarina is “the Great”;
  • Cicero is “the Arpinate”;
  • Jesus is “the Christ ” ( Anointed);
  • Attila is “the scourge of God”;
  • Kant is the “philosopher from Conisberga”;
  • Simon Bolívar is “the Liberator”;
Examples of Brazilian epithets edit edit source code ]
  • Duque de Caxias is the “Peacemaker”;
  • Pedro I is the “Soldier-King” and the “Liberator”;
  • Pedro II is the “Magnanimous”;
  • Castro Alves is the “Poet of the slaves”;
  • Rui Barbosa is the “Eagle of the Hague”;
  • Princess Isabel is the “Redeemer”.

Some epithets are usually used to distinguish characters with the same name, as is the case with kings and queens: Pedro the Great ; Pepino the Brief ; Ricardo Coração de Leão ; D. Manuel, the Venturoso . However, epithets are not always pleasant and flattering. Some are true stigmas, not always fair, for their unfortunate carriers: D. Maria, the Madwoman ; Henrique the Powerless ; Nicholas the Bloodthirsty . [ 3 ]


In botanical taxonomy , the epithet is an essential part of an individual’s denomination, according to binomial nomenclature , as it defines his species or subspecies ; it must therefore follow the name of the genre . Examples: Arisaema candidissimum ( candidissimum is the epithet); Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa ( edulis and flavicarpa are epithets).

In zoology , both terms of the binomial nomenclature are called epithets: the first, relative to gender, is the generic epithet; the second, referring to the species, is the specific epithet

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