why greeks and not hellenes?


The ancient Greeks seem to have referred to themselves as “Hellenes.” It has long puzzled me where the term “Greek” came from. This morning I decided it would be pretty easy to run it down. And so it was.


The short answer to this question is that “Greek” comes from one name for many of the tribes in the area and predates the adoption of the term, “Hellenes.”

So when the Romans ran into the Greeks who were colonizing southern Italy, they, the Romans, used their word, “Graeci,” to name them. This term was pretty much the root term for subsequent European words to name them.


In the meantime, there was a famous and important leader named Hellen (a guy and NOT Helen of Troy) whose name became the one that the Greeks used for themselves.


There you are.

I was reading an article this morning online and was puzzled by the verb subject agreement in it:

Some of his finest fiction—including the stories “The South,” “The Dead Man,” and “The Intruder,” to name just a few—was kindled by the dagger.

With a little poking around, I found a reasonable explanation.

Some indefinite pronouns — such as all, some — are singular or plural depending on what they’re referring to. (Is the thing referred to countable or not?) Be careful choosing a verb to accompany such pronouns from Subject-Verb Agreement

Kellers’ cancer writing shows how broken journalism has become – Salon.com

Broken because facts are not checked.

American Independence Myths: Lies May Comfort, But Facts Matter | New Republic

Speaking of facts.

The Daggers of Jorge Luis Borges by Michael Greenberg | The New York Review of

This is a fascinating article about Borges.

Retracing Mao Zedong’s Long March—by Motorcycle – Adam Century – The Atlantic

Reaction of Chinese people that that this author runs into are one of the best parts of this interesting story.

SPIEGEL Interview with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Wow. Some observations from a player in Iraq. Not necessarily reliable, but still interesting.

not many thoughts for a blog today



Mark’s adult kids and their significant others and animals arrived yesterday. It was Leigh’s birthday.  She takes great delight in her kids, so I think she had a good birthday having them here in Grayling.

I have been spending a good amount of time with Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier volume I.


Leigh made a huge casserole for the group last night. She made a corner of it for me without meat. That was nice.

Finished reading The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson yesterday. Good read.

It’s basically a sci fi story. I liked this quote.

“What it means to be human… is to bring up your children in safety, educate them, keep them healthy, teach them how to care for themselves and others, allow them to develop in their own way among adults who are sane and responsible, who now the value of the world and not its economic potential. It means art, it means time, it means all the invisibles never counted by the GDP and the census figures. It means knowing that life has an inside as well as an outside.”

Well, I’m on vacation and not having enough thoughts for a blog post. That’s good.