Konstantinos John Saitanis


The first name “Konstantinos”  (also appears as Kostas or Costas (…my nickname) comes from the Latin name Constantinus, the name of Constantine the Great [who transferred the Capital of the Roman state from Rome (4th century AD) to Constantinople  (the city (polis), of Constantine the Great)]. It comes from the participle “constans” which means “stable, steady, confident”, and possibly “patient” or “determined”].

The patronym “John”  is a Hellenized form of the Hebrew name John (Jonathan) which means the “Gift of God” or “the grace of God”. But a more descriptive and accurate translation is “God was generous”. In Greek appears also as Ioannis or Giannis or Yiannis and probably comes from the Italian version: Gianni. The name was spread because of the great honor that the church pays to John the Baptist. Through the Latin version Johannes spread widely in European languages: English: John; French: Jean; German: Johan, Johannes, Spanish: Juan; Russian: Ivan.

For the surname “Saitanis” there are the following two acceptations: 

First of all, it is compounded from the root “Saita-“ and the productive suffix “‑anis”.

The root “Saita” [Lat. sagitta]: means:
(a) arrow or spear and
(b) shuttle = a kind of arrow (a part of the loom, with which it passes the weft through the threads of the warp).

Related words: Saitevo (σαϊτέυω) (in medieval Greek it appears with two “t” saittevo  (σαϊττέυω)): I mark with a bow, I throw an arrow (mtf.- In literature: I inspire love in someone / I hit with the arrows of love | Saitia (σαϊτιά) (medieval Greek): the launch of a shuttle |Σαϊτοθήκη – Saitotheca = Saito-theca =  shuttle + theca (case) = Shuttle case = quiver. Saiteftis (σαϊτευτής): the one who throws an arrow, the archer.

The suffix “-anis”, is common in nationally derived surnames, and indicates:

a) the “origin” of someone from an area with a place name indicated by the first compound of the word (before the suffix) (e.g. Gouramanis = the one who comes from the area of Goura), etc.].

b) the “profession” of someone [e.g. Sinanis = the maker of swords (sinan = spear, sword) etc.]

Based on the above, the surname “Sait-anis” declares: 

1) either the one who makes arrows or spears (or maybe the archer) or the one who makes shuttles / loom stands or the one who shoots arrows of love and seduces (charming)… or

2) the most probable, the one who originates from the Mountain “Saitas, which is located in Peloponnese, between the prefectures of Arcadia, Argolis, Achaia and Corinth.…

It should be noted that the name of the mountain “Saitas” is very likely to come from an ancient toponym (place-name) associated with the worship of the goddess Athena (goddess of wisdom, knowledge and science – hence the emblem of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens). The Goddess Athena was worshiped in different areas with different surnames (see here and here). In ancient Athens the goddess Athena was worshiped as Athena “Parthenos” [Athena the “Virgin” (recall the word “parthenogenesis” in biology], in the temple of the “Parthenon”, while in some areas of the Peloponnese (for sure in the greater Argolis area) she was worshiped as Athena “Saitis” – which probably meant the Goddess with the spear, as she was the only goddess holding a spear.

The Goddess Athena holding her spear. She was worshiped with many adjectives, such as Athena Parthenos (with a Sanctuary at the Parthenon) in Athens, or as Athena “Saitis”, in Argolis, or as “Saida” in Egypt…

The name “Saida” or “Sais” was also given to an Egyptian city at the mouth of the Nile, which, according to Diodorus, was built by the goddess Athena, who was worshiped there as “Saida” or “Sais” (see here and here, page 410) and there was there a majestic sanctuary dedicated to her. “Saida” was the metropolis of the “Saitic” prefecture of Lower Egypt [founded in the around the Delta of Nile, and an administrative base during the 26th “Saite Dynasty” (664–525 BC). Diodorus also narrates that Athena built “Saida” before the Flood which was said to have destroyed Athens and Atlantis. While all Greek cities were destroyed during the Flood, Egyptian cities, including “Saida”, survived.

Sonchis of Saïs or Sonchis Saïtis (Greek: Σῶγχις ὁ Σαΐτης); fl. 594 BC) was an Egyptian priest who is mentioned in Greek writings as relating the account of Atlantis. Plutarch (in his work Ethics – About Isis and Osiris) in his detailed report on the Greek philosophers who visited Egypt and were consulted by the Egyptian priests, among others, mentions that Solon traveled to Egypt and was taught by Sonchis Saïtis. (see here)

It should be mentioned that “Saittas” Mt and a “Saitas” village exist also in Cyprus, where there is the monastery of Mesa Potamos which also has a church dedicated to Panagia Saittiotissa. Besides, two beaches in Samos island are called Mikro Saitani and Megalo Saitani

Thus, the names Saitas – Saitis – Saittas – Saida reveal the ancient connection between the Peloponnese-Cyprus-Egypt…


Concerning the geographical distribution of the surname Saitanis, except Greece, it has been found in the very old Catholic Church Records, 1636-1895, in Hungary (Elisabeth Saitani, Franciscus Saitani, Antonius Saitani, Georgius Saitani), in the Select Baptisms Index, 1642-1912, in Argentina (Teresa Saitani), in the West Virginia, Births Index, 1804-1938 (George Saitani, Mary Angeline Saitani), in the Fremantle, Western Australia, Passenger Lists, 1897-1963 (Georges Saitanis), in Japan (Saitani Kaoru, Hideo Saitani, Umetarō Saitani, Yukiko Saitani, Ryo Saitani, 才谷 遼, Film Director), as well as in New York, Canada, and elsewhere. Even in Japan there is a village, in the Nagaoka-gun county, named Saitani-moura and another region named “Saitani”

Saitan or Seitan is also a Japanese word meaning the wheat gluten as well as a vegan substitute for meat made of wheat gluten also known as “wheat meat”; this wheat gluten product dates back to ancient China and it is popular in Asia.

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