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Ephialtes 2.0

March 1, 2015

There are not many cases where a man becomes so emblematic of something that his name becomes a synonym for that which he represents.
Sometimes his name becomes not only a synonym but it replaces the original word entirely.
Such is the case with the name Ephialtes. Those who are familiar with history and king Leonidas’ famous last stand at the battle of Thermopylae will recognize Ephialtes as the name of the traitor who told king Xerxes about a little known path that Xerxes’ troops could use to attack king Leonidas from the rear.
Since that time the name Ephialtes has become in the Greek language not only synonymous with nightmare but in modern Greek it has replaced the original word completely.
In fact, if you enter the word nightmare in an online dictionary the only result you’ll get is Ephialtes and very very few modern Greeks can tell you what the original word was.
With the impending sellout that a deal with the modern Persia would represent I wonder whether future generations would use the name of the current US President in a similar fashion.

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