halicarnassus_cityI must say that I am an absolute sucker for classical Grecian names, both of people and of places.  And as I reread my Herodotus, I am reminded that one of my very favorite city names from ancient times is Halicarnassus.

It isn’t necessarily because Herodotus himself was a native of this city in what is now southwestern Turkey.  It isn’t because the original Mausoleum was there. It isn’t because there was a famous seige there later between Alexander the Great and the Persians.  It isn’t because at the time of the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, the place was under the control of Artemesia of Caria, who joined Xerxes’ fleet for the battle of Salamis and famously escaped the Greeks by attacking one of her own ships, thereby fooling the Greeks into thinking she had gone over to their side.

No, I simply love the name.  There’s something truly delightful about the Greek language that I simply cannot put into words.  And there are certain place names in the language – Mytilene comes to mind, for example, as do Naxos and Homer’s Sandy Pylos – which just give great pleasure.   Ditto with proper names:  Agamemnon, Pericles, Themistocles, Leonidas, Xenophon….the list goes on.

I can’t really explain it, but there it is.