|(Secretary of State John Kerry, U.N. Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. photo by Larry Downing, Associated Press)|
I opened the Oregonian this morning, and saw this picture, which for some reason made me google the term "laurel wreath".
Which led me to this entry in Wikipedia:
"In Greek mythology, Apollo is represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head. In ancient Greece wreaths were awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions, including the ancient Olympics made of wild olive-tree known as "kotinos" (κότινος), (sc. at Olympia) and in poetic meets; in Rome they were symbols of martial victory, crowning a successful commander during his triumph."
Then, of course I had to click the link for Apollo:
"In the Illiad, Apollo is the healer under the gods, but he is also the bringer of disease and death with his arrows, similar to the function of the terrible Vedic god of disease Rudra. He sends a terrible plague (λοιμός) to the Achaeans. The god who sends a disease can also prevent from it; therefore, when it stops, they make a purifying ceremony and offer him a hecatomb to ward off evil."
So, what is a hecatomb, you ask? I won't go into the full description (you can click on the link above if you're that curious), but suffice to say it involves the sacrifice of a hundred cows, followed by a giant barbecue and feast (accompanied by lots of wine, of course), and much singing and praying.
At this point, I'm starting to get a little unnerved by where all this is going: Syria > John Kerry > Greek mythology > plagues > barbecues.
Maybe I should lay off the coffee until after I read the paper.