Monday, 31 December 2012

Alexander's Heirs ONE PTOLEMY

Amongst the Hellenistic rulers referred to as Alexander's heirs only one seems to have been related to him -Ptolemy called  Ptolemaios in Greek whose name derives from an archaic version of the spelling of polemos - war. 

Rumor had it that he may have been Alexander's half brother and he was his cousin.

Just as many of the other generals adopted Persian and Asian costumes  and customs alongside of their Hellenic heritage likewise in Egypt Ptolemy and his descendants depicted themselves as being as much Egyptian as Greek although none of the Ptolemaic dynasty is known to have intermarried with Egyptians.

Hence these two images of the first Ptolemy.

The dynasty seems to have had a genuine policy of supporting "multiculturalism" in Egypt with Alexandria attracting dozens of ethnic groups. 

Perhaps this is why Egypt survived as an independent realm up to the time of the Caesars unlike other Hellenistic realms and empires?

More about Ptolemy in following blogs and others of Alexander's heirs.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Epiphany of *PHA

The Epiphany of Pha.

Have you ever considered just how productive the * pha stem has been in creating words in Greek, Latin, English, French, Spanish, and many other language, Indo-European and beyond?

Epiphany means Appearance and is a reference to the "showing" of Christ to the Gentiles. Its pronounced  epiphania in ancient Greek but modern Greek and English changes the ph to an F .

Phania comes from the verb phainoo which in term comes from *pha *phoo the stem or radical of PHWS Shining visible light.  Energy appearing.

This gives us Phaethoon the son of Apollo and is the source of Fantasy and Fantasia, Phantasm  and Fantastic.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Alexander in Sydney

If you're in Sydney this summer don't forget to visit the wonderful Alexander exhibition currently on at the Australian Museum. Truly I've been and it's excellent! A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers whoever you are!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Hellenistic Cameos

Hellenistic Cameos

We currently have a very splendid exhibition of Hellenistic coins, weapons, cameos,  jewellery, and other items connected sometiems rather loosely to Alexander the Great.

I was particularly impressed by the cameo.

This is not from the show but is an excellent good examples of an authentic Hellenistic cameo.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Grecian Reds

RED and scarlet and Crimson in Greek

κόκκινος was the scarlet color of berries.

Έρυθρός Red Ruber.

Πυρρός or πυρσός FLAME red Latin rufus darker orange or yellow.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Darkness and Black


Black in classical Greek

Μελας μέλαινα μέλαν Black dark gloomy dusky murky a dense darkness

Κελα(ι)νός Black dark swart

(ἀ)μαυρός The origin of moor via Latin Mauritinia Dark Dim obscure Eclipsed

Έρεμνός black Dark thought to be a contraction of Έρεβεννός

Ἔρεβος the Nether Darkness between Earth and Hell

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Color Yellow in Classical Greek

Yellow in Classical Greek

κνηκός Note Doric κνᾱκός a pale whitish yellow

κροκός the color of saffron or crocus the flower and the pollen derived from it which Also used as a spice perfume and dye κροκό / εις / εσσα / εν

ξανθος a yellow brown an adjective used to describe blondes. Perhaps the color we would call honey blonde. The Romans translated this as flavus so the word could also be translated as light brown chestnut or auburn. I pt for honey blonde that peculiar hair color some Italians and Greeks have?

The less common ξουθος seems to be a yellowish tawny dusky yellow.

Κίτρινος is the yellow to orange of citrus fruit specific the ancient ancestors of modern lemons and oranges the κίτρον fruit.