******* Biting Back ********
A fantasy about the life of Diogenes the Cynic
through the eyes of various contemporaries.
© Gavin Wraith 8/8/03
****** Notes ********
Gates of Heracles = Straits of Gibraltar
Hicesius: name meaning "granter of prayers",
a divine attribute.
Diogenes: name meaning "descended from Zeus".
Sinope (mustard) was the wealthiest Athenian colony on
the shores of the Black Sea at this time.
Pontus was the territory bordering the south west of
the Black Sea, bounded on the east by the river Halys.
Delian oracle: the island of Delos, where Apollo
and Artemis were born, was sacred to all the Greeks.
There was an oracle in the temple of Apollo there,
but major cities sometimes had local agencies for it.
Erinyes = Eumenides (The Kindly Ones): avenging Furies.
Deucalion, son of the Titan Prometheus, was the Hellenic
version of Noah. Zeus destroyed by a flood all mankind except
Deucalion, king of Phthia, and his queen, Pyrrha, who survived
in a ship. Themis ("Justice") told them that they could create
a new race of men, by covering their heads and throwing the "bones
of Mother Earth" (i.e. stones) over their shoulders.
The root "lawo" means both "stone" and "people" in early Greek.
It is tempting to associate this widespread story with the
catastrophic eruption that wiped out the human population in
the subcontinent of India and Indonesia.
Gorgias: a famous teacher of rhetoric.
Euxine Sea = Black Sea
Philiscus is supposed to be the author of various
works which at one time were attributed to Diogenes.
Phocion the Honest was an eminent Athenian who played
an important role in Athens' relationship with the
Macedonians. He is known to have attended lectures by
Sharrihapili: I have used the words 'sharri' (above)
and 'hapi' (treasure) to cook up this name, to provide a link
to the conflicting names 'Harpalus' (found in Cicero) and
'Scirpalus' for the captain's name. A Macedonian called
Harpalus was appointed satrap of Babylon and treasurer
by Alexander. He embezzled Alexander's money and fled to
Athens in 324 BC.
Cydonia: a Cretan port. I have no idea whether it actually
had a slave market.
Lycian: a language of Hittite derivation spoken in Cilicia
(from the Assyrian 'Hilakku') famed for pirates. The Cilician
pirate problem became much more serious in the century after
Tyrrhenian = Etruscan
The Cranium was so called because it was on hard rocky ground.
Ilissus: a small river flowing through the east side of Athens.
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