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The beauty of the soul shines

The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper. -- Aristotle

Cacoethes

Cacoethes, An irresistible urge; mania. Cacoethes stems from the Greek kakoethes, a combination of the roots kakos, "bad," and ethes, "character." The word occurs famously in Juvenal's Latin phrase insanabile scribendi cacoethes, "incurable passion for writing."

Candid Cancer: Understanding the language of medicine


Unless we happened to choose a career in the medical field, most of us gave up learning medical terminology in high school health or college biology, so when we're diagnosed with cancer, we understand about as much as we would if we traveled to a foreign country without knowing the language. At least visiting a foreign country is fun. Cancer Land — not so much.


When I was diagnosed, nobody said, "You have cancer. And oh, by the way, here's a glossary of new words you'll have to learn." As if I weren't panicked enough at facing a life-threatening illness, the incomprehensible words that I was hearing and reading only compounded my fear and confusion. No wonder I felt unequipped to make reasonably informed decisions that needed to be made.


And there were lots of incomprehensible words. For example, my earliest CT report referred to "bilateral inguinal lymphadenopathy." I figured that bilateral meant both sides and that lymphadenopathy might be swelling of some kind, but inguinal? What the heck was that? A good dictionary informed me that it is an adjective describing something in the groin region and that it originates from the Latin word "inguinalis," meaning groin. Geez, why couldn't somebody just say that the nodes in my groin area were swollen on both sides? How hard would that be?


If I was supposed to be impressed by big words, I wasn't. On the contrary, I was frustrated that I had to spend hours pouring through medical dictionaries just to understand what was happening — and where — in my body, and I complained to my husband Alex that Medicalese, as I called it, might as well be Greek.


Well, it is. Partly. The language of medicine is mostly based on Greek and Latin words. Medicalese began more than two thousand years ago when the Greek physician Hippocrates (c. 460 - c. 377 BC) coined the word carcinoma, from the Greek word "karkinos," meaning crab, and the suffix "-oma," meaning growth. He used the word to describe ulcer-forming tumors and chose "karkinos" because the tumors resembled the form of a crab. Years later, the Roman physician Celsus (28-50 BC) translated the Greek term into cancer, the Latin word for crab. By the beginning of the 19th century, carcinoma was synonymous for cancer.


And Galen, another Roman physician, used the Greek word "oncos," meaning tumor, to describe — what else? — tumors. Eventually, we got oncology and oncologists.


Hence, Medicalese started so long ago that it's unlikely to morph into something we can easily understand. Alas, it will only add more incomprehensible words to its lexicon, but that doesn't mean we can't master it. We can. And learning it doesn't have to be as hard as I made it in the beginning when I spent more time griping than grasping. In my own defense, I was initially too paralyzed to absorb anything, but it didn't take long to figure out that knowing the jargon makes navigating through Cancer Land a lot easier, and it helped me feel less like a victim and more in control of my own destiny.

So how do we learn it? One word at a time. The National Institutes of Health has an excellent online medical dictionary with easy-to-understand definitions of any medical term.


Additionally, doctors know that we're not fluent in their language. I've found that some are better than others at translating Medicalese into plain English, but most will do their best if we ask. I've even asked doctors to draw me a picture and have yet to be refused. And a well known "secret" among those of us who've had cancer is that nurses are excellent translators. The point is, when we have a devastating illness like cancer, it's not the time to be shy about asking for translations — once, twice or however many times it takes.


All too well, I know that having cancer and learning a new language at the same time feels daunting, even intimidating, but take it from me: it really is possible, even lacking a medical background. And understanding Medicalese helps us make informed choices and participate in our care, which can improve the quality of our lives. Isn't that enough of a reason to start translating those 36-syllable words you never wanted to know?


Betsy de Parry is the author of The Roller Coaster Chronicles, a book about her experience with cancer and the shorter, serialized version she wrote for annarbor.com. Find her on Facebook or email her.

The abduction of Sabine women

The Romans who controlled the world for nearly a thousand years, before they were overrun by barbarians, were one of the most pragmatic and ruthless rulers the world saw. Their religion had very little to do with spirituality and devotion and more to do with practical issues like institutions, organisations, rituals and soothsaying that ensured stability of their city and its vast empire.



Virgil's Aenied traces the origin of Romans to the Aeneas, the prince of Troy. When the Greeks destroyed the city of Troy, their leaders saw Aeneas carry his old father on his shoulders trying to escape. Impressed by his devotion to his father, they let him go unharmed. After many adventures, Aeneas reached the land we now call Italy, and settled there.


Among his descendants were the two brothers, Romulus and Remus, who were abandoned in the forest after their birth and were raised by a she-wolf. The two brothers grew up to be great warriors. One day, Romulus built a wall and said he would kill whoever jumped over it. Remus jumped over the wall in jest. Romulus did not appreciate this and killed his brother. Romulus then founded the city of Rome, protected by the very same wall he built as a child.


While Romulus built a city and gathered around him men who were willing to live and protect the city, he realised his men needed women to start a family and populate it. So, he approached the neighbouring Sabine tribe for their daughters in marriage.


The Sabines refused. Romulus and his men abducted their daughters and carried them into their homes. The Sabines were furious and attacked Rome. War and death would surely have followed had the Sabine women not intervened. "If you kill the Sabines, we lose our fathers. If you kill the Romans, we lose our husbands. Either way, we will be miserable, weeping as orphans or widows," they said.


Hearing this, the Sabines and the Romans lowered their weapons. The wisdom of the women was remembered and a special place was always given to Roman women in centuries to come.


The abduction of Sabine women is more popularly known as the 'rape' of the Sabine women (the word 'rape' does not mean what it means today). It is a common theme in art. The Christian practice of carrying the bride over the threshold comes from this Roman tale because the Romans carried the Sabine women over the threshold of their homes after abducting them. The author is Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group.



And today's word is

byzantine \BIZ-uhn-teen\, adjective:. Complex or intricate. Characterized by elaborate scheming and intrigue, esp. for the gaining of political power or favor. Byzantine derives its general reference to complexity from the intricate workings of the government of Byzantium, an ancient center of both the Roman and Ottoman empires.

Today's word origin is

idioglossia \id-ee-uh-GLOS-ee-uh\, noun:. A private form of speech invented by one child or by children who are in close contact, as twins.  A pathological condition in which a person's speech is so severely distorted that it is unintelligible. Idioglossia combines the Greek roots idio-, "particular to one,"and gloss-, "tongue."

Today's word origin is

hyperbolic \hahy-per-BOL-ik\, adjective: Using hyperbole; exaggerating. Hyperbolic is an alteration of the Greek hyperbole, hyper- meaning "beyond" and -bole "a throwing" (related to -bolt.)

Sextus Empiricus





Sextus Empiricus (fl. during the 2nd and possibly the 3rd centuries AD), was a physician and philosopher, and has been variously reported to have lived in Alexandria, Rome, or Athens. His philosophical work is the most complete surviving account of ancient Greek and Roman skepticism.

In his medical work, tradition maintains that he belonged to the "empiric" school (see Asclepiades), as reflected by his name. However, at least twice in his writings, Sextus seems to place himself closer to the "methodic" school, as his philosophical views imply.

Sextus' Writings
Sextus Empiricus's three known works are the Outlines of Pyrrhonism (Pyrrhoneioi hypotyposeis), and two distinct works preserved under the same title, Against the Mathematicians (Adversus Mathematicos), one of which is probably incomplete.
The first six books of Against the Mathematicians are commonly known as Against the Professors, but each book also has a traditional title (Against the Grammarians (book I), Against the Rhetoricians (book II), Against the Geometricians (book III), Against the Arithmeticians (book IV), Against the Astrologers (book V), Against the Musicians (book VI)). It is widely believed that this is Sextus's latest and most mature work.
Books VII-XI of Against the Mathematicians form an incomplete whole; scholars believe that at least one, but possibly as many as five books, are missing from the beginning of the work. The extant books have the traditional titles Against the Logicians (books VII-VIII), Against the Physicists (books IX-X,) and Against the Ethicists (book XI).
Against the Mathematicians VII-XI is sometimes distinguished from Against the Mathematicians I-VI by giving it the title Against the Dogmatists (in which case Against the Logicians are called books I-II, Against the Physicists are called books III-IV, and Against the Ethicists is called book V, despite the fact that it is commonly believed that the beginning of the work is missing and it is not known how many books might have preceded the extant books).
Note that none of these titles except Adversus Mathematicos (Against the Mathematicians) and Outlines of Pyrrhonism, are found in the manuscripts.

Philosophy
Sextus Empiricus advises that we should suspend judgment about virtually all beliefs, that is, we should neither affirm any belief as true nor deny any belief as false. This view is known as Pyrrhonian skepticism, as distinguished from Academic skepticism, as practised by Carneades, which, according to Sextus, denies knowledge altogether.
Sextus did not deny the possibility of knowledge. He criticizes the Academic skeptic's claim that nothing is knowable as being an affirmative belief. Instead, Sextus advocates simply giving up belief: that is, suspending judgment about whether or not anything is knowable. Only by suspending judgment can we attain a state of ataraxia (roughly, 'peace of mind'). Sextus did not think such a general suspension of judgment to be impractical, since we may live without any beliefs, acting by habit.
Sextus allowed that we might affirm claims about our experience (e.g., reports about our feelings or sensations). That is, for some claim X that I feel or perceive, it could be true to say "it seems to me now that X." However, he pointed out that this does not imply any objective knowledge of external reality. For while I might know that the honey I eat tastes sweet to me, this is merely a subjective judgment, and as such may not tell me anything true about the honey itself.
Interpretations of Sextus' philosophy along the above lines have been advocated by scholars such as Myles Burnyeat, Jonathan Barnes, and Benson Mates.
Michael Frede, however, defends a different interpretation, according to which Sextus does allow beliefs, so long as they are not derived by reason, philosophy or speculation; a skeptic may, for example, accept common opinions in the skeptic's society. However, the content of such beliefs is purely conventional or subjective. Thus, on this interpretation, the skeptic may well entertain the belief that God does or does not exist or that virtue is good. But he may not believe that such claims are true by nature.

Sextus' Legacy
An influential Latin translation of Sextus' "Outlines" was published by Henricus Stephanus in Geneva in 1562. Petrus and Jacobus Chouet published the Greek text for the first time in 1621. Stephanus did not publish it with his Latin translation either in 1562 or in 1569, nor was it published in the reprint of the latter in 1619. Sextus's "Outlines" were widely read in Europe during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and had a profound impact on Michel de Montaigne, David Hume, and Hegel, among many others. Another source for the circulation of Sextus's ideas was Bayle's Dictionary.
The legacy of Pyrrhonism is described in Richard Popkin's The History of Skepticism from Erasmus to Descartes and High Road to Pyrrhonism. The transmission of Sextus's manuscripts through antiquity and the Middle Ages is reconstructed by Luciano Floridi's Sextus Empiricus, The Recovery and Transmission of Pyrrhonism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Epicurus




Epicurus (341 BCE, Samos ­ 270 BCE, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of Epicureanism, a popular school of thought in Hellenistic Philosophy that spanned about 600 years. Of his over 300 written works only a few fragments and letters survive; much of what we know about Epicureanism comes from later followers or commentators.

Epicurus was born into an Athenian emigre family - his parents, Neocles and Chaerestrate, both Athenian citizens, were sent to an Athenian settlement on the Aegean island of Samos. According to Apollodorus (reported by Diogenes Laertius at X.14-15), he was born on the seventh day of the month Gamelion in the third year of the 109th Olympiad, in the archonship of Sosigenes (about February 341 BC). He returned to Athens at the age of eighteen to serve in military training. The playwright Menander served in the same age-class of the ephebes as Epicurus.
He joined his father in Colophon after the Athenian settlers at Samos were expelled by Perdiccas due to their revolt after Alexander the Great died (c. 320 BC). He spent the next several years in Colophon, Lampsacus, and Mytilene, where he founded his school at the age of 32 and gathered many disciples. In the archonship of Anaxicrates (307-306 BC), he returned to Athens where he formed his school known as The Garden, named for the garden he owned about halfway between the Stoa and the Academy that served as the school's meetingplace.
Epicurus died in the second year of the 127th Olympiad, in the archonship of Pytharatus, at the age of 72. He reportedly suffered from a renal calculus, and despite the prolonged pain involved, he is reported as saying in a letter to Idomeneus:
"We have written this letter to you on a happy day to us, which is also the last day of our life. For strangury has attacked me, and also a dysentery, so violent that nothing can be added to the violence of my sufferings. But the cheerfulness of my mind, which arises from their collection of all my philosophical contemplation, counterbalances all these afflictions. And I beg you to take care of the children of Metrodorus, in a manner worth of the devotion shown by the youth to me, and to philosophy"

The School
Epicurus' school had a small, but devoted following in his lifetime. The primary members were Hermarchus, the financier Idomeneus, Leonteus and his wife Themista, the satirist Colotes, the mathematician Polyaenus of Lampsacus, and Metrodorus, the most famous popularizer of Epicureanism. This original school was based in Epicurus' home and garden. An inscription on the gate to the garden is recorded by Seneca in his Epistle XXI:
Stranger, here you will do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure.
The school's popularity grew and it became, along with Stoicism and Skepticism, one of the three dominant schools of Hellenistic Philosophy, lasting strongly through the later Roman Empire. In Rome, Lucretius was the school's greatest proponent, composing On the Nature of Things, a poem designed to recruit new members. The other major Roman source is Diogenes of Oenoanda, who composed a large inscription at Oenoanda in Lycia.
A library, dubbed the Villa of the Papyri, in Herculaneum, owned by Julius Caesar's father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, was preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, and was found to contain a large number of works by Philodemus, a late Hellenistic Epicurean, and Epicurus himself, attesting to the school's enduring popularity.
After the official approval of Christianity by Constantine, Epicureanism was repressed. Epicurus' theory of gods unconcerned with human affairs had always clashed strongly with the Judeo-Christian God and the philosophies were essentially irreconcilable. For example, the word for a heretic in the Talmudic literature is "Apikouros".
Lactantius criticizes Epicurus at several points throughout his Divine Institutes. The school endured a long period of obscurity and decline. However, there was a resurgance of atomism among scientists in the 18th and 19th Centuries, and in the late 20th Century, the school was revived.

Teachings
Epicurus played an important part in what is known as the "Greek miracle": when men first tried to explain the nature of the world, not with the aid of myths or religion, but with material principles. He is a key figure in the development of science and the scientific method because of his insistence that nothing should be believed except that which was tested through direct observation and logical deduction. Many of his ideas about nature and physics presaged important scientific concepts of our time. He was a key figure in the Axial Age, the period from 800 BCE to 200 BCE, during which similarly revolutionary thinking appeared in China, India, Iran, the Near East, and Ancient Greece. His statement of the Ethic of Reciprocity as the foundation of ethics is the earliest in Ancient Greece, and differs from the usual formulation by emphasizing the minimization of harm to oneself and others as the way to maximize happiness.
Epicurus's teachings represented a departure from the other major Greek thinkers of his period, and before, but was nevertheless founded on many of the same principles as Democritus. Like Democritus, he was an atomist, believing that the fundamental constituents of the world were indivisible little bits of matter (atoms, Greek atomos, indivisible) flying through empty space (khaos). Everything that occurs is the result of the atoms colliding, rebounding, and becoming entangled with one another, with no purpose or plan behind their motions. (Compare this with the modern study of particle physics.)
His theory differs from the earlier atomism of Democritus because he admits that atoms do not always follow straight lines but their direction of motion may occasionally exhibit a 'swerve' (clinamen). This allowed him to avoid the determinism implicit in the earlier atomism and to affirm free will. (Compare this with the modern theory of quantum physics, which postulates a non-deterministic random motion of fundamental particles.)
He admitted women and slaves into his school and was the only philosopher to do so, introducing the new concept of fundamental human egalitarianism into Greek thought, and was one of the first Greeks to break from the god-fearing and god-worshipping tradition common at the time, even while affirming that religious activities are useful as a way to contemplate the gods and to use them as an example of the pleasant life.
Epicurus participated in the activities of traditional Greek religion, but taught that one should avoid holding false opinions about the gods. The gods are immortal and blessed and men who ascribe any additional qualities that are alien to immortality and blessedness are, according to Epicurus, impious. The gods do not punish the bad and reward the good as the common man believes. The opinion of the crowd is, Epicurus claims, that the gods "send great evils to the wicked and great blessings to the righteous who model themselves after the gods," when in reality the gods do not concern themselves at all with human beings.
Epicurus' philosophy is based on the theory that all good and bad derive from the sensations of pleasure and pain. What is good is what is pleasurable, and what is bad is what is painful. Pleasure and pain were ultimately, for Epicurus, the basis for the moral distinction between good and bad. If pain is chosen over pleasure in some cases it is only because it leads to a greater pleasure.
Moral reasoning is a matter of calculating the benefits and costs in terms of pleasure and pain. Although Epicurus has been commonly misunderstood to advocate the rampant pursuit of pleasure, (primarily through the influence of Christian polemics) what he was really after was the absence of pain (both physical and mental, i.e., suffering) - a state of satiation and tranquility that was free of the fear of death and the retribution of the gods. When we do not suffer pain, we are no longer in need of pleasure, and we enter a state of 'perfect mental peace' (ataraxia).
Epicurus explicitly warned against overindulgence because it often leads to pain. For instance, in what might be described as a "hangover" theory, Epicurus warned against pursuing love too ardently. However, having a circle of friends you can trust is one of the most important means for securing a tranquil life.
Epicurus also believed (as opposed to Aristotle) that death was not to be feared. When a man dies, he does not feel the pain of death because he no longer is and he therefore feels nothing. Therefore, as Epicurus famously said, "death is nothing to us." When we exist death is not, and when death exists we are not. All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the false belief that in death there is awareness.
In his epistemology he emphasized the senses, and his Principle of Multiple Explanations is an early contribution to the philosophy of science: if several theories are consistent with the observed data, retain them all.
 
Legacy

Elements of Epicurean philosophy have resonated and resurfaced in various diverse thinkers and movements throughout Western intellectual history. The Epicurean paradox is a famous argument against the existence of God.
Epicurus discussed a human being's natural right to "life, liberty, and safety."
This was later picked up by the democratic thinkers of the French Revolution, and others, like John Locke, who wrote that people had a right to "life, liberty, and property."
To Locke, one's own body was part of their property, and thus one's right to property would theoretically guarantee safety for their persons, as well as their possessions.
This triad was carried forward into the American freedom movement and Declaration of Independence, by American founding father, Thomas Jefferson, as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Epicurus was also a significant source of inspiration and interest for Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche cites his affinities to Epicurus in a number of his works, including The Gay Science, Beyond Good and Evil, and his private letters to Peter Gast. Nietzsche was attracted to, among other things, Epicurus' ability to maintain a cheerful philosophical outlook in the face of painful physical ailments. Nietzsche also suffered from a number of sicknesses during his lifetime.

Zeno of Citium




Zeno of Citium (The Stoic) (333 BC-264 BC) was a Hellenistic philosopher from Citium, Cyprus. Zeno was the son of a merchant and a student of Crates of Thebes, the most famous Cynic living at that time in Greece.

Zeno was, himself, a merchant until the age of 42, when he started the Stoic school of philosophy. Named for his teaching platform, the Painted Porch ("stoa" is Greek for "porch"), his teachings were the beginning of Stoicism.
Stoicism is a school of philosophy founded (308 BCE) in Athens by Zeno of Citium (Cyprus). It teaches self-control and detachment from distracting emotions, sometimes interpreted as an indifference to pleasure or pain. This allows one to be a clear thinker, levelheaded and unbiased. In practice, Stoicism is intended to imbue an individual with virtue, wisdom, and integrity of character. Students are encouraged to help those in need, knowing that those who can, should. Stoicism also teaches psychological independence from society, regarding it as an unruly and often unreasonable entity.
Virtue, reason, and natural law are prime directives. By mastering passions and emotions, it is possible to overcome the discord of the outside world and find peace within oneself. Stoicism holds that passion distorts truth, and that the pursuit of truth is virtuous. Greek philosophers such as Cleanthes, Chrysippus, and later Roman thinkers such as Cicero, Seneca the Younger, Marcus Aurelius, Cato the Elder, Cato the Younger, and Epictetus are associated with Stoicism. In Cicero's case, it should be emphasised that while he shared many of the moral tenets of Stoicism, he was not a Stoic himself but an eclectic. Stoic philosophy is usually contrasted with Epicureanism.
Stoicism first appeared in Athens in the Hellenistic period around 301 BCE and was introduced by Zeno of Citium. He taught in the famous stoa poikile (the painted porch) from which his philosophy got its name. Central to his teachings was the law of morality being the same as nature. During its initial phase it was generally seen as a back-to-nature movement critical of superstitions and taboos. The philosophical detachment also encompassed pain and misfortune, good or bad experiences, as well as life or death. Zeno often challenged prohibitions, traditions and customs. Another tenet was the emphasis placed on love for all other beings.
Zeno preached that "man conquers the world by conquering himself". He lectured his students on the value of apatheia, which he explained to be "the absence of passion". Only by controlling one's emotion and physical desire, he argued, could we develop wisdom and the ability to apply thereof. By developing an indifference to pain and pleasure through meditation, the practicing Stoic will develop a wisdom stemming from suppressing the influence of passions, and ultimately, will attain wisdom. He is the inventor of the concept of Kathekon.
Zeno died around 264 BC. Laërtius reports about his death: "As he left the school, he tripped, fell and broke a toe. Hitting the ground with his hand, he cited words of Niobe: "I am coming, why do you call me thus?". Since the Stoic sage was expected to always do what was appropriate (kathekon) and Zeno was very old at the time, he felt it appropriate to die and consequently strangled himself.
During his lifetime, Zeno received appreciation for his philosophical and pedagogical teachings. Amongst other things, Zeno has been honoured with the golden crown, and a tomb was built in honour of his moral influence on the youth of his era. The Zeno crater on the Moon is named in his honour.

LIST OF GREEK UNDERWORLD GODS & GODDESSES

AEACUS (Aiakos) One of the three judges of the dead in the Underworld. He was originally a king of the island of Aegina who obtained his position as a reward from the gods.

ACHERON (Akheron) The god of the underworld river of pain whose brackish stream guarded the borders of Hades. Charon ferried the souls of the dead across his waters.

AMPHIARAUS The prophetic Daemon of a subterranean oracle at Oropus in Boeotia.

ARAE (Arai) The underworld Daemones of curses.

ASCALAPHUS (Askalaphos) An underworld Daemon who tended the orchards of Hades. He was transformed into a screech owl by Demeter as punishment for reporting that Persephone had tasted the pomegranate seed.

CACODAEMONES (Kakodaimones) Evil spirits which issued forth from the underworld to cause harm.

CERBERUS (Kerberos) The mighty, three-headed, serpent-maned hound of Hades who guarded the entrance to underworld.

CEUTHONYMUS (Keuthonymos) A mysterious underworld Daemon. He was the father of Hades cattleman Menoetes.

CHARON (Kharon) An underworld Daemon who ferried the souls of the dead across the streams of Acheron into Hades. His fee was a single coin which was placed beneath the tongue of the dead.

COCYTUS (Kokytos) The god of the underworld river of tears and wailing.

CORE (Kore) "The maiden," another name for Persephone.

CRONUS (Kronos) The old king of the Titans. He was appointed king of the islands of the blessed, the home of the favoured dead, by Zeus after his release him from the prison-house of Tartarus.

DAEIRA An underworld Nymph and companion of the goddess Persephone. She was connected with the Eleusinian Mysteries.

EMPUSA (Empousa) A monstrous underworld Daemon with flaming hair, the leg of a goat and a leg of bronze. She was the bogey-monster in Greek fable.

EPIALES The underworld Daemon of nightmares. He was related to the Oneiri or dream-spirits.

EREBUS (Erebos) The primeval god of darkness. Like the other protogenoi he was elemental, being the substance of darkness, rather than a man-shaped god. His mists encircled the underworld and filled the hollows of the earth.

ERINYES The three goddesses of vengeance and retribution. They were called forth from the underworld to inflict suffering and madness upon the evil-doer, to bring drought and famine to nations, and punish the souls of the damned in Hades.

EURYNOMUS (Eurynomos) An underworld Daemon who stripped the flesh from the corpses of the dead. He was described with blue-black skin and was possibly imagined with a vulture's head.

GORGYRA An underworld Nymph. She was the wife of the River-God Acheron.

HADES (Haides, Aidoneus) The grim King of the Underworld, the ruler of the dead. He received his dark domain when the three sons of Cronus drew lots for the division of the universe.

HECATE (Hekate) The goddess of magic, necromancy and the haunting ghosts of the dead. She who issued forth from the underworld with a train of torch-bearing Lampades, demonic Lamiae, ghosts and hell-hounds. Hecate was the minister of Persephone.

HERMES CHTHONIUS (Khthonios) The guide of the dead who led the ghosts to their final resting place in Hades.

HYPNUS (Hypnos) The god of sleep who dwelt in a silent realm on the borders of Hades. He issued forth from the underworld with his mother Nyx the Night.

KERES Monstrous she-Daemones of violent death and disease. They presided over the battlefield carnage, driving the weapons of death and tearing free the souls from the dying.

LAMIAE (Lamiai) Underworld Daimones in the train of the goddess Hekate. They were vampiric monsters who assumed the forms of beautiful women to seduce and devour young men.

LAMPADES Torch-bearing underworld nymphs in the train of the goddess Hecate. They may have guided the spirits of the blessed dead (initiates of the Eleusinian Mysteries) to their final resting place in Elysium.

LETHE The goddess of the underworld river of oblivion. The souls of the dead tasted her waters to forget their former lives.

LEUCE (Leuke) A Nymph abducted by teh god Hades to the Eleusinian fields where she was transformed into a white poplar.

MACARIA (Makaria) The goddess of blessed death or else the leader of the blessed dead (i.e. initiates of the Eleusinian Mysteries). She was a daughter of Hades and Persephone.

MELINOE A frightful underworld Daemon who led ghosts forth from the underworld to haunt the earth. One side of her body was coloured pitch black, the other was stark white. She was probably identical to Hekate.

MENOETES (Menoites) An underworld Daemon who herded the black-skinned cattle of Hades. He was wrestled by Heracles who cracked his ribs.

MINOS One of the three Judges of the Dead. He was originally a king of Crete, who was awarded his position in Hades as a reward for the establishment of laws on earth.

MINTHE An underworld nymph loved by the god Hades. She was turned to dust by Persephone, and these remains into a mint plant by Hades.

MOIRAE (Moirai) The three goddesses of fate. They were sometimes portrayed as ministers attendant on the throne of Hades.

MORMOLYCEIA (Mormolykeia) Underworld Daemones in the train of Hekate. They were the similar to the Lamiae.

NYX The primeval goddess of the night. She issued forth from her home in the underworld trailing her dark mists across the sky.

ONEIRI (Oneiroi) The Daemones of dreams. They issued forth from the underworld at night through one of two gates : those who passed through the gate of horn brought false, lying dreams ; while those who passed through the ivory were messengers of truth.

ORPHNE An underworld nymph, the wife of the river Acheron.

PERSEPHONE The goddess Queen of the Underworld. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades to become his bride. But her mother Demeter, secured her partial release, allowing her to return to the earth for six months of the year. Her annual return marked the coming of spring, whilst her descent in Hades brought on the barren months of winter.

PYRIPHLEGETHON The god of the infernal river of fire.

RHADAMANTHYS One of the three Judges of the Dead and king of the Elysian Fields, home of the favoured dead. He was a famously just lawmaker who was appointed this position as a reward after death.

STYX The goddess of the underworld river of hate, whose streams encircled the entire realm of the dead. The gods swore their most solemn oaths by her pitch-black waters.

TARTARUS (Tartaros) The primeval god of the dark, stormy pit which lay beneath the foundations of the earth and beneath even the realm of Hades. Tartarus himself was the pit, rather than a man-shaped god. His realm was the prison of the ancient Titan gods, sealed on all sides with walls of bronze, and guarded by the hundred-handed Hekatoncheires.

THANATUS (Thanatos) The winged Daemon of death. He was the minister of Hades.

TROPHONIUS (Trophonios) The Daemon of the subterranean oracle of Lebadea in Boeotia.

Paphian, like I said, its all Greek to me

Paphian \PEY-fee-uhn\, adjective:


1. Of or pertaining to love, esp. illicit physical love.
2. Of or pertaining to Paphos, an ancient city of Cyprus sacred to Aphrodite.
3. Noting or pertaining to Aphrodite or to her worship or service.
Paphian relates to the ancient Greek paphios, "of the Greek goddess Aphrodite."