From the Ancient Greek ἐρμηνεύς
(ermeneus, “translator, interpreter”), from ἑρμηνεύω
(ermeneuo, “translate, interpret”), from unknown origin. The term was introduced c.360 BC by Aristotle
in his text Περὶ Ἑρμηνείας
(Peri Hermēneias, “On Interpretation”). It is often suggested that the Greek word root is etymologically related to the name of the Greek mythological deity Hermes
, but cognate to a corrupted composite borrowing from Hebrew Har [ha]Emet (Emes) referring to the Biblical Mount Sinai where Moses interpreted the Jewish Law (known as haEmes
(“the Truth”)) to the people.