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Echthroi (Ἐχθροί) is a Greek plural meaning "The Enemy" (literally "enemies"). The singular form of the word, Echthros (Ἐχθρός), is used in many versions and translations of the Bible for "enemy".

The words Echthros and Echthroi occur mainly in connection with biblical studies and in literary criticism of classical literature, specifically Greek tragedy. Aristotle and others classified people encountered by characters in tragedy into philoi (friends and loved ones), echthroi (enemies) and medetoeroi (neithers), with the characters and their audience seeking a positive outcome for the first group and the downfall of the second.[1]

The term also appears in Canto XII of the little-known epic The Purple Island by seventeenth-century poet and rector Phineas Fletcher, apparently in the general meaning of enemies.[2]


  1. ^ Lowe, N. J.; S (2000). The Classical Plot and the Invention of Western Narrative. Cambridge University Press. p. 178. ISBN 0-521-60445-1.
  2. ^ The Poems of Phineas Fletcher. Google Books. Retrieved 2008-03-01.