Hopefully the following will give you some food for thought. In brief, and somewhat loosely, for the greeks essence preceded existence, but the romans turned it around :-
n.b. eidos = form or essence
In Greek thought energeia means “standing in the work,” where “work”
means that which stands fully in its “end.” But in turn the
“fully-ended or fulfilled” [das “Vollendete”] does not mean “the
concluded,” any more than telos means “conclusion.” Rather, in
Greek thought telos and ergon are defined by
eidos; they name the manner
and mode in which something stands “finally and finitely” [“endlich”]
in its appearance. ...
Aristotle says this in his own way in a sentence we take from the
treatise that deals explicitly with entelecheia (Meta. , 8, 1049 b
5): fanerin oti proteron energeia dynameis estis: “Manifestly
standing-in-the-work is prior to appropriateness for....” In this
sentence Aristotle’s thinking and pari passu Greek thinking, reaches
its peak. But if we translate it in the usual way, it reads: “Clearly
actuality is prior to potentiality.” Energeia, standing-in-the-work
in the sense of presencing into the appearance, was translated by the
Romans as actus, and so with one blow the Greek world was toppled.
From actus, agere (to effect) came actualitas, “actuality.”
"Dynamis became potentia, the ability and potential that
something has. Thus the assertion, “Clearly actuality is prior to
potentiality” seems to be evidently in error, for the contrary is more
plausible. Surely in order for something to be “actual” and to be able
to be “actual,” it must first be possible. Thus, potentiality is prior
to actuality. But if we reason this way, we are not thinking either
with Aristotle or with the Greeks in general. Certainly dynamis also
means “ability” and it can be used as the word for “power,” but when
Aristotle employs dynamis as the opposite concept to entelecheia
and energeia, he uses the word (as he did analogously with
xathgoria and ousia) as a thoughtful name for an essential basic concept in which beingness, ousia, is thought.
M. Heidegger: On The Essence and Concept of Physis in Aristotle's Physics, pages 26-27
Note, the Roman Catholics have for God, Actus Purus.