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The Topmost Kelli

The topmost kelli along the east wall

6 comments to The Topmost Kelli

  • Richard Saloom

    Father, I am not familiar with the term Kelli. Could you explain the term to me? Thanks! Richard

    • Father Justin

      In classical Greek, κέλλα means ‘room’, ‘chamber’. This word came into Latin as cella, and into English as ‘cell’. Κελλίον is the diminutive, ‘a small room’. In modern Greek, this has become κελλί, ‘cell’, or κελλιά, ‘cells’. It is traditional to speak about ‘a monk’s cell’, but increasingly, it seems, Greek words are simply transliterated, hence, kelli.

  • Richard Saloom

    Thank you Father!

  • Maria

    Perfect explanation Father Justin!

  • patsy

    when one transliterates a word from one language which has a sound unused by the second language is there an agreement of some sort as to what representative letters will be used?


    • Father Justin

      Letters can be altered to represent sounds that do not exist in English. An ‘h’ with a dot underneath represents the aspirated ‘h’ that you say from your throat when speaking Arabic. There are systematic transliterations for rendering Greek words in English, but then there must always be exceptions to the rule. One can speak about Saint Ioannis Koukouzelis, but transliteration gives way to the familiar when speaking about Saint John Chrysostom.

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