- Classical Mythology. the shield or breastplate of Zeus or Athena, bearing at its center the head of the Gorgon.
- protection; support: under the imperial aegis.
- sponsorship; auspices: a debate under the aegis of the League of Women Voters.
Origin of aegis
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a rare spelling of aegis
sometimes US egis
- sponsorship or protection; auspices (esp in the phrase under the aegis of)
- Greek myth the shield of Zeus, often represented in art as a goatskin
Word Origin and History for egis
"protection," 1793, from Latin aegis, from Greek Aigis, the name of the shield of Zeus, said by Herodotus to be related to aix (genitive aigos) "goat," from PIE *aig- "goat" (cf. Sanskrit ajah, Lithuanian ozys "he-goat"), as the shield was of goatskin. Athene's aigis was a short goat-skin cloak, covered with scales, set with a gorgon's head, and fringed with snakes. The exact use and purpose of it is not now clear.
The goatskin would be worn with the two forelegs tied in front of the wearer's breast, or possibly with the head passed through an opening made at the neck, by the removal of the animal's head. [F. Warre Cornish, ed., "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities," London, 1898]