The remote background: prÒswpon in Greek Literature
Miguel Ángel Belmonte Sánchez
Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 59, Issue 139, 2010, pages 195-205
The word person and its derivatives in romance languages, comes from the Latin persōna, which, in turn, came from the Etruscan Persu. On the other hand, the Greek word prÒswpon evolved in such a way that, although originally meaning face, it also ended up including the meaning of the Latin word persōna. Moreover it included lately the sense of mask, which was just the meaning of the Etruscan
Persu. This article succinctly shows the evolution of the term prÒswpon from its use in the most ancient Greek Literature texts until the time when it became available to the early medieval theologists. Throughout its evolution a whole range of potential meanings were covered by the term prÒswpon. In spite of not having specific philosophical connotations at the beginning of its use, it ended up encompassing several meanings which were later used to define the metaphysics of the person
prÒswpon, person, etymology, mask.