Circe (pr. SUR-see) is the Latinized form of Kirke, the name of a sorceress who turned Odysseus‘s men into pigs before being forced to turn them back when she was bested by Odysseus with the help of Hermes, after which he spent a year on the island with her before leaving. She is also the aunt of Medea, another famous enchantress. The meaning behind her name is uncertain. It could be derived from Greek kírkos meaning “circle, ring” which could essentially mean “to encircle” in reference to her magical power to bind, derived from PIE *(s)ker- (to bend, turn). I’ve also seen it listed as meaning “bird”, referring to a type of hawk or falcon.
- Kirke (Ancient Greek)