Open Letter to Satanists

Being a retired departmental head in secondary education and a lecturer in tertiary education, perhaps I may be forgiven for the sin of being too particular in matters of Classical languages.

Unfortunately the errors of Anton LaVey and those who regurgitate his words from The Satanic Bible have never been corrected.(O.K. I know I display zero tolerance when discovering mistakes!)  So this lesson is for those who bleat "Ave, Satanas" or "Agios Satanas" etc. in their rituals.

The proper noun 'Satan' in Latin is 'Satana' - a first declension masculine noun similar to 'agricola' and is declined thus:-
Nominative (subject)
Vocative (addressing)
Accusative (object)
Genitive (possessive)
Dative ('to' or 'towards)
Ablative ('by' 'with' 'from')

Therefore, "Hail, Satan" is "Ave, Satana" (the vocative or addressing mode), not 'Satanas'.  In the 'Book of Iniquities', Matthew 4:11 it is written "Vade, Satana" ("Get thee hence, Satan" - again the vocative. )

Luke 10:18 demonstrates the accusitive case (object of the sentence): "Vidi Satanam" - "I beheld Satan."

"In the name of Satan" would take the genitive case: "In nomine Satanae."

What then is this version of the name - 'Satanas'?

(N.B.: One requires a Greek font to read the following white Greek quotations.  I use SPIonic which you can download here.)

'Satanas' is the Attic Greek form of the name and is declined in the following manner:-

There is no Ablative in Greek

'Satanas' is only used when He is the subject of a sentence.

The vocative when addressing would be 'Satana' as in
"pareimi o0 Satana" ("pareimi o Satana") which means "Hear am I, O Satan."

I quote from Matthew 12.26:- "Kai  ei0 o9 Satanaj ton Satanan e0kballei ("Kai ei ho Satanas ton Satanan ekballei" - "And if Satan [nominative] cast out Satan" [accusitive]).

"In the Name of Satan" takes the genitive case:  o0nomati tou Satanou" ("onomati tou Satanou").

Corinthians 5:05 shows the use of the dative case:- 
"paradoumai ton toiouton tw| Satana|"
("paradoumai ton toiouton to Satana" - "to hand over such a one to Satan.")   Both the omega' of tw| and the last alpha of Satana| have an iota subscript (i) denoting the dative case.

Apart from the vocative case, you have seen o# (ho), ton (ton), tou (tou) and tw| (toh) before Satan's cases.  These are the various cases of the word 'the' which is placed before all nouns.  'The' shown here is the masculine form, the feminine and neuter having their own. 

Where we say in English "I am going home", the Greeks said "I am going to the home" and our statement "I have a photo of dad", becomes to them "I have a photo of the father".

Occasionally I find some Satanists departing from a Latin-besprinkled text to emit a Greek exclamation “Agios o Satanas!”

Now the Greek word is  a9gioj and you should note that above the first letter 'alpha' is a back to front comma – 3.  This symbol is called a ‘rough breathing’, i.e. when you vocalize the vowel you must place an ‘h’ before the vowel.  There is always a symbol above an initial vowel but when one does not require a rough breathing, the symbol is an ordinary comma -  1

a0  = ah
a9  = ha (short a)
e0   = eh 

e9   = he (short e)
h0   = ey

h9   = hey (long e)
i0   = i
i9   = hi (short i) iota
o0  = o
o9  = ho (short o) omicron
w0 = ộh

w9 = hộ (long o) omega
u0  = oo

 u9  = hoo

Each capital vowel also has either  0A or  9A.  So when vocalizing a Greek word like a9gioj, one should say – hagios.

And bearing in mind the Greek vocative (greeting) case of  Satanaj (Satanas) is Satana (Satana), the whole phrase “Thrice blessed, O Satan!” becomes –  9Agioj o0 Satana! (Hagios O Satana).  (If you feel you really must use a language of which you possibly know nothing!)

One Satanic group, with which I had brief contact in 1983, to help it in its purchase of an adjoining building as a more commodious temple, was wont to try to make its scripts appear more 'up-market' by adding various Latin words. 

They has no understanding, however, of the five declensions of nouns in Latin and had seen words such as servus with a nominative plural of servi.  This, as Classics scholars know, is a 2nd declension word.  When the members had looked up a word for 'ritual', they found the Latin ritus and assumed the plural, 'rituals', was ritui.   "Simple", thought they.

Ah but, and here is a large BUT, ritus (with a short 'u') is a 4th declension word with a nominative plural of ritus  (with a long 'u' i.e. it is pronounced ritooz)!  Please beware the pitfalls in Classical languages such as Latin which not only sports 5 declensions but 6 case endings in the singular and another six in the plural for each declension.

Why did we put up with learning languages like Latin and Attic Greek?   No reason except - we loved them.

These few examples should help such as call upon this deity to tidy up their grammar should they wish to use classical Latin or Greek.  I know that many Satanists criticise the Church of Rome, its philosophies, hypocricies, etc., but the priests of that Church at least are highly fluent in Classical languages and  can address their god using the proper grammar and syntax and can communicate fluently in that language.  (Hebrew is ignored for general use so the language of Christian mysteries from an early epoch was Latin not Hebrew.)

It does make one a trifle irritable when two Classical languages are mixed together (the Latin "Ave" with the Greek "Satanas") - hell knows the number of times I was given a load of grief when I could not remember a certain Latin word and substituted the Greek equivalent.  My tutor would go absolutely wild with rage!

Here then is an overdue gift to those who call the Dominus Infernus, or should I say "Dominum Infernum" - accusitive case, as he is the object of this phrase.

As I mentioned Anton Szandor LaVey in the second paragraph, perhaps we should reappraise the man, his philosophy and his work by reading through this excellent review of his life history.

Oh yes - a very warm greeting to the worshippers of  SAT-TAN in the original and true concept who may read this page. 

                                                     Gareq (Gareth)

Copyright © Gareth Pengwerin 2001
All rights reserved 

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Especially for those on a vampiric path