Author: Nick Nicholas

About this author:
Data analyst, Greek linguist


By: | Post date: 2017-09-20 | Comments: 7 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

This post is about a mediaeval Greek bird name. This post is, of course, not about a mediaeval Greek bird name at all. I coauthored with George Baloglou an analysis of a vernacular mediaeval Greek poem, the Entertaining Tale of Quadrupeds (Διήγησις Παιδιόφραστος των Ζώων των Τετραπόδων). The Tale recounts a parliament of animals, who […]

Against the recent PhD on Nathanael Bertos

By: | Post date: 2017-09-19 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Culture, Literature, Mediaeval Greek

My post on Nathanael Bertos was occasioned by a Google search that led me to find out that there had been a recent PhD thesis, which had just been published, by Despoina Athanasiadou-Stefanoudaki. I bought the book. Bertos was advertised as one of the earliest writers in Greek vernacular prose, and I knew nothing about him; […]

Four Romaic names for Greece

By: | Post date: 2017-09-15 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Culture, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek

As ably explained in Wikipedia: Names of the Greeks, there is a tension in mediaeval and modern times between names for Greeks based on their ancient heritage (Hellenic; Hellenes), and names for Greeks based on their Roman and Byzantine heritage  (Romaic; Romioi = Romans). The tension was clearer within Greek, because Western languages used a term […]

Nilus-Nathanael Bertos (?) (ca. 1460?): On a captive freed through the prayers of priests

By: | Post date: 2017-09-13 | Comments: 19 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Literature, Mediaeval Greek

I rejoin Hellenisteukontos with a translation of a sermon possibly by Nilus-Nathanael Bertos. No, most people have not heard of him, and justifiably so. He isn’t all that good. But the sermon struck me as so… WTF, so divorced from the world I know (a world substantially informed by the Reformation and the Enlightenment), that […]

I’m back

By: | Post date: 2017-09-12 | Comments: 8 Comments
Posted in categories: Admin

I’m back. This is going to all sorts of audiences, so I now need to spell out where I’m back to, and where I’m back from. I maintained two blogs up until 2011. was a blog about Greek linguistics, and was a blog about everything else. Hellenisteukontos in particular developed quite a following, […]

Why do Israelis love Stelios Kazantzidis’ music?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-18 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Music

I’ll give Stelios Kazantzidis – Wikipedia’s take, but I’m very interested in hearing from Israelis why Greek Levantine-flavoured music, and his in particular, appear to have had such resonance in Israel. In Israel, he was a musical icon. Many of his songs were translated into Hebrew and performed by the country’s leading singers. Yaron Enosh, […]

How different is the modern Greek alphabet from the ancient one? Other than the fact that ancient Greek had only capital letters, does the alphabet also contain letters that modern Greek speakers do not use?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-18 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Writing Systems

In antiquity, every city had its own variant of the Greek alphabet; they varied not only on shape of letter, but also on which letters they used. Athens undertook a spelling reform in 403 BC, under the archonship of Eucleides, which adopted the Milesian variant of the Ionian alphabet, including the letters eta and omega. […]

Are you Greek? And if yes then where in Greece are you from?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-18 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

A far from straightforward question for those of us in the Greek diaspora. My dad does not speak a word of Pontic Greek. But this Pontic revival song, sung by Stelios Kazantzidis towards the end of his life, shook him: Πατρίδα μ΄ αραεύω σε Five houses have I built; unhoused from all.A refugee from […]

Why use the term straight instead of heterosexual?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-16 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

Let me answer a different question. As I wrote on A cis lament for the Greek language and How to say transgender in Greek, the Greek language has a Greek term for transgender, diemphylikos. Trans Greeks were involved in coining it. The Greek peak body of LGB (with only token T) uses diemphylikos. Greek trans […]

The Ancient Greek Language: Is it similar to Modern Greek? The first link states that modern Greek descended from ancient Greek, however the second link says otherwise. What is really the truth? (links are down in the “answers” area)

By: | Post date: 2017-08-16 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

I’m to take seriously a doctor’s tongue-in-cheek commentary in a medical journal, as evidence that Modern Greek is not descended from Ancient Greek? Quoting a phrase book as his authority? Over an answer with contributions from several good minds that know both languages, including some (like me) with academic training in linguistics? Really? A guy […]

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