It’s a word I look up repeatedly as I don’t really use it. I was thinking it meant something to do with the ringing voices of a choir of archangels but it’s actually about dancing. What prompted me this time was the name of a woman who was the the mother of a distant cousin’s husband – she was named Terpsichori and her son Andrew Demetrios Antonatos married a Miss Bayliss in 1925 in Mudgee, New South Wales.

As quite a few other bloggers have done (look them up!) I looked up the meaning of Terpsichore again and found:

“In Greek mythology “Terpsichore” was one of the nine muses and goddess of dance and chorus…”

There is some suggestion that voice might be included as in a chorus or this could more resemble a “corps de ballet”. Anyway it’s an interesting word and a difficult name to pronounce so no wonder it’s sometimes converted to Teresa in Australia. I couldn’t find a Terpsichori Antonatos in the record of Australian deaths and burials, but there was a Teresa.

Terpsichore is usually interpreted by artists as a seated woman dressed in a classical toga with a lyre. She is not dancing but playing music so my interpretation may not be so far off the mark.


Terpsichore, the Muse of dance

As Mr Antonatos was listed in the Electoral Roll as a Confectioner, I looked up Sydney confectioners to see if he was notable, but nothing turned up. There is a family of Antonatos listed in Wikitree in Australia using the surname “Donnes” from the 1830s but Terpsichori’s family was claimed to come from Romania, although the names are clearly Greek. I concluded they were some type of refugee from Greece due to regional,political or religious persecution.

I was going to expand on the word meaning here but it seems to be far too late, so that’s it! Blog done for the day. Ariel??


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