Ianthe is an Ancient Greek female name meaning “purple flower” or “violet flower”. In Greek mythology, Ianthe is a ocean nymph, one of the three thousand Oceanids, as well as being the name of a girl who married Iphis, a girl who was raised as a boy in secret by her mother because the father had threatened to kill the baby if it was a girl. When Iphis falls in love with Ianthe, she and her mother pray to the temple of Isis and the goddess transforms Iphis into a male and presumably he and Ianthe live happily ever after; this story is found in Ovid’s Metamorphosis. I’ve always pronounced it as ee-an-thee though it may also be pronounced as eye-an-thee.
- Ianthe (English)