Fanax: the Mycenaean term for "king"; pronounced "wanax". The funny initial letter, "F", is called digamma and shows up in Archaic Greek epigraphy (papyrus and tablet writings). The sound, if not the letter form, and its linguistic equivalent initially show up in the heiroglyphic writings (Linear B) of Bronze Age Greece both at Pylos, in the far west of Greece (Peloponnese), and at Knossos in north central Crete, the funny "F". Specifically, digamma shows up in the Greek of Homer's Iliad with the word "F"anax, but there it's a "rough breathing" in the form "(h)anax", where the term is linked to an important individual at Pylos. In Classical and Hellenistic Greek, the F continues in this aspirant, or "h" sound, form at the beginning of many Greek words.

Cicada Hell

May 2, 2008 ·

Hopefully they won't be nearly as numerous as the massive invasion of 2004, which was Brood X, but Brood XIV is on its way, having been dormant since 1991.  Should be on the emergence over the next few weeks, and supposedly mostly a bit east of us, but not by much.  Guess we'll get what we get, but they really are truly disgusting, especially in these massive 17-year swarms.  I just hope there are few enough of them this year that the cats and dogs and birds don't get full and stop eating them!

For those who remember and those who don't, we had a very fun collective fiction on the occassion of their 2004 appearance, which can be read in full on the blog.  For those who have never been through it, or were too young to remember or have some other lame excuse, just trust me that if we get the full swarm, we're going to need your prayers!

Tags: family

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