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Tau uc lc.svg
Greek alphabet
Αα Alpha Νν Nu
Ββ Beta Ξξ Xi
Γγ Gamma Οο Omicron
Δδ Delta Ππ Pi
Εε Epsilon Ρρ Rho
Ζζ Zeta Σσς Sigma
Ηη Eta Ττ Tau
Θθ Theta Υυ Upsilon
Ιι Iota Φφ Phi
Κκ Kappa Χχ Chi
Λλ Lambda Ψψ Psi
Μμ Mu Ωω Omega
Obsolete letters
Digamma uc lc.svg Digamma Qoppa uc lc.svg Qoppa
San uc lc.svg San Sampi uc lc.svg Sampi
Other characters
Stigma uc lc.svg Stigma Sho uc lc.svg Sho
Heta uc lc.svg Heta

Greek diacritics

Tau (uppercase Τ, lowercase τ; Greek: Ταυ [taf]) is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 300. This letter in English is pronounced /ˈtaʊ/, but in Modern Greek, this letter's name is pronounced [taf]. This is because the pronunciation of the combination of Greek letters αυ has changed from ancient to modern times from one of /aʊ/ to either /av/ or /af/ (see Greek orthography).

Letters that arose from tau include Roman T and Cyrillic Te (Т, τ).

The symbolism of the cross was connected not only to the letter chi, but also to tau, the equivalent of the last letter in the Phoenician and Old Hebrew alphabets, and which was originally cruciform in shape.

Scientific uses

The lower-case letter τ is used as a symbol for:

Other uses

  • In ancient times, a symbol for life and/or resurrection, whereas the 8th letter of the Greek alphabet, theta, was considered the symbol of death.
  • In Biblical times, the Taw was put on men to distinguish those who lamented sin, although newer versions of the Bible have replaced the ancient term “Taw” with "mark" (Ezekiel 9:4) or "signature" (Job 31:35). Its original sound value is a voiceless alveolar plosive, IPA /t/,
  • Tau is usually considered as the symbol of Franciscan orders due to St. Francis' love for it, symbol of the redemption and of the Cross. Almost all Franciscan churches have painted a tau with two crossing arms, both with stigmata, the one of Jesus and the other of Francis; usually members of the Secular Franciscan Order wear a wooden τ in a string with three knots around the neck.
  • Tau mission, a proposal to send a space probe to a thousand astronomical units from the Earth and Sun.
  • The Tau Empire, one of the playable races in Warhammer 40K universe.
  • In Freelancer, the Tau systems make up much of the Border Worlds.
  • Hyundai Motors uses "Tau" to identify their recently introduced V8 engine.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, imitation-solar furnaces used to power the three Throne Gundams and later the United Nations' GN-X and Alvatore are referred to as GN Drives Tau, as opposed to the original drives used by Celestial Being.
  • In the game Half Life 2, the buggy uses a mounted Tau Cannon which fires bolts of electricity in rapid succession. It can also charge up a powered current.

Miscellaneous

An essay written around 160 AD, attributed to Lucian, a mock legal prosecution called The Consonants at Law — Sigma v. Tau in the Court of Seven Vowels contains a reference to the attribution. Sigma petitions the court to sentence Tau to death by crucifixion, saying:

Men weep, and bewail their lot, and curse Cadmus with many curses for introducing Tau into the family of letters; they say it was his body that tyrants took for a model, his shape that they imitated, when they set up structures on which men are crucified. Stauros (cross) the vile engine is called, and it derives its vile name from him. Now, with all these crimes upon him, does he not deserve death, nay, many deaths? For my part I know none bad enough but that supplied by his own shape — that shape which he gave to the gibbet named stauros after him by men.
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Greek alphabet
ΑαAlpha ΝνNu
ΒβBeta ΞξXi
ΓγGamma ΟοOmicron
ΔδDelta ΠπPi
ΕεEpsilon ΡρRho
ΖζZeta ΣσςSigma
ΗηEta ΤτTau
ΘθTheta ΥυUpsilon
ΙιIota ΦφPhi
ΚκKappa ΧχChi
ΛλLambda ΨψPsi
ΜμMu ΩωOmega
Other characters
Digamma Stigma
Heta San
Qoppa Sampi
Greek diacritics

Tau (uppercase Τ, lowercase τ; Greek: Ταυ /ˈtaf/) is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 300. The name in English is pronounced /ˈtaʊ/, but in Modern Greek it is /ˈtaf/. This is because the pronunciation of the combination of Greek letters αυ has changed from ancient to modern times from one of [au] to either [av] or [af], depending on what follows (see Greek orthography).

Letters that arose from tau include Roman T and Cyrillic Te (Т, τ).

The symbolism of the cross was connected not only to the letter chi, but also to tau, the equivalent of the last letter in the Phoenician and Old Hebrew alphabets, and which was originally cruciform in shape.

Contents

Scientific uses

The lower-case letter τ is used as a symbol for:

Other uses

  • In ancient times, a symbol for life and/or resurrection, whereas the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, theta, was considered the symbol of death.
  • In Biblical times, the Taw was put on men to distinguish those who lamented sin, although newer versions of the Bible have replaced the ancient term “Taw” with "mark" (Ezekiel 9:4) or "signature" (Job 31:35). Its original sound value is a voiceless alveolar plosive, IPA /t/,
  • Tau is usually considered as the symbol of Franciscan orders due to St. Francis' love for it, symbol of the redemption and of the Cross. Almost all Franciscan churches have painted a tau with two crossing arms, both with stigmata, the one of Jesus and the other of Francis; usually members of the Secular Franciscan Order wear a wooden τ in a string with three knots around the neck.
  • Hyundai Motors uses "Tau" to identify their recently introduced V8 engine.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, imitation-solar furnaces used to power the three Throne Gundams and later the United Nations' GN-X and Alvatore are referred to as GN Drives Tau, as opposed to the original drives used by Celestial Being.

Miscellaneous

An essay written around 160 AD, attributed to Lucian, a mock legal prosecution called The Consonants at Law — Sigma v. Tau in the Court of Seven Vowels contains a reference to the attribution. Sigma petitions the court to sentence Tau to death by crucifixion, saying:

Men weep, and bewail their lot, and curse Cadmus with many curses for introducing Tau into the family of letters; they say it was his body that tyrants took for a model, his shape that they imitated, when they set up structures on which men are crucified. Stauros (cross) the vile engine is called, and it derives its vile name from him. Now, with all these crimes upon him, does he not deserve death, nay, many deaths? For my part I know none bad enough but that supplied by his own shape — that shape which he gave to the gibbet named stauros after him by men.

References


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also tau

Contents

German

Wikipedia-logo.png
German Wikipedia has articles on:
Tau

Wikipedia de

Etymology 1

Old High German tou, akin to Old Norse dǫgg (> Danish dug), Old Saxon dau.

Noun

Tau m.

  1. dew

Etymology 2

Middle Low German

Noun

Tau n.

  1. rope

Etymology 3

Greek, see tau

Noun

Tau n.

  1. tau (greek letter)

Simple English

Common letters
ΑaA ΜmEm
ΒbBe ΝnEn
GgGe ΟοO
ΔdDe ΠpPe
hHa ЖжZhe
ΕɛE RrAr
ΖzZe SsEs
ΗeEe ΤtTe
ΘөEth UuU
ΙiI FfEf
JjJe WwWa
ΚkKa ΧxXa
LlEl ОWоwWe
VvVe
Uncommon letters
Digamma Qoppa
San Sampi
Other letters
Stigma Sho

Greek alphabet


Tau (uppercase/lowercase Τ τ), is the letter of the Greek alphabet, used to represent the "t" sound in Ancient and Modern Greek. In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 300. Letters that came from it include the Roman T and Cyrillic Т.



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