It IS Greek to Me…
Many wonderful and talented authors writing tales of Alexander’s times sprinkle or even flood their stories with Greek or Persian words for military units, weapons, buildings, and titles that are, for lack of a better term, “foreign” to most contemporary readers. Some of these are so obscure or ungainly that even those of us who drink deep from the cup of history have to pause to ponder their meaning or go look them up on our bookshelves or online.
Rest assured, dear reader, that this author knows his sarissa from his taxeis (the one a very, very long spear, the other a body of men carrying them), but feels no compulsion to give constant proof of such knowledge. Instead, this author has sought to limit the use of such language and to write in such a way as to allow the reader to move ahead without the need to slow down for such verbal speed bumps. So, too, will there more often be yards, miles, and pounds instead of pygons, parasangs, and minae.
I have “but little Latin and less Greek” (at one time a thoroughly damning insult, especially among the previous generation of those who, like me, were fortunate enough to receive a classical education). Thus have I chosen to write in American English and not Greek-inflected, -affected or -afflicted English, for the first is my mother tongue, as I suspect it is of most of those who will open the cover and turn the pages of Throne of Darius.
I might add that the Greek terms, names and locations have been verified with my editor, for whom Greek is her mother tongue. As per her recommendation, however, for ease of reading, Alexander remains Alexander instead of the more correct Alexandros, and the Persian king of kings remains Darius rather than the more proper Darios, as most readers are more familiar with them by those versions of their names. Otherwise, all names and locations are left in Greek.
Krystallia Papadimitriou – my editor (and she’s the one on the right below)