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In terms, matter (TR:951) (LH:14) (TL:965|#24) is a thing, body, or bound state, one typically comprised of atoms, with mass.[1]



A footnote by Walter Scott (1925) in an attempt to render one obscure sentence of the Hermetica (c.100BC), of Hermes Trismegistus, into English, wherein the Greek term yli (υλη) (NE:438) is defined as "gross matter", and the term "bia" (βια), which is related to "bios" (Βιος) (NE:282), defined as "violent shock", at which point we run into etymological muddle.


The English word "matter", in surface etymology, derives from the Latin materia.[2] This, in turn, is conjectured to derive from mater, meaning: “origin, source, mother” (Michiel, 2008).[3]


Matter in Greek renders directly as yli (υλη) (NE:438).[4] This Greek term yli (υλη), via citation to the Hermetica (c.100BC) of Hermes Trismegistus, tends to translate or render as "gross matter" (Scott, 1925). The specifics of the original Greek meaning of this term, however, become complex; e.g. there is conjecture that the term is found in the fragments of Heraclitus.[5]


The nearest Egyptian equivalent, knowing that the Greek alphabet derives from Egyptian logic, intuitively speaking, to what would have been conceptualized as “origin, source, mother” (Michiel, 2008) would be the goddess Maat and or the "maa" principle. The details of this Egyptian-to-Greek coding of this logic into the word "matter", if this indeed is the root etymology of the term, however, is an etymological puzzle yet to be unraveled.

End matter

See also


  1. Clark, John. (2004). The Essential Dictionary of Science (pg. 356). Barnes & Noble.
  2. Matter –
  3. (a) Michiel Vaan – Wikipedia.
    (b) Vaan, Michiel. (2008). Etymological Dictionary of Latin and other Italic Languages (pg. #). Publisher.
    (c) Matter –
  4. Barry, Kieren. (1999). The Greek Qabalah: Alphabetic Mysticism and Numerology in the Ancient World (pdf) (§:Dictionary of Isopsephy, pgs. 215-71; matter, pg. 233). Weiser.
  5. Trismegistus, Hermes. (c.100BC). Hermetica, Volume Two (note 6, pg. 192) (translator: Walter Scott). Publisher, 1925. Trismegistus, Hermes. (c.100BC). Hermetica, Volume Three (pg. 18) (translator: Walter Scott). Publisher.

External links

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