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Dec 11, 2019
This week’s theme
Biblical allusions

This week’s words
corbie messenger
land of nod
Apollyon
Magdalene
goliath

apollyon
Apollyon (top) battling Christian
From John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
Illustration: H.C. Selous & M. Paolo Priolo, c. 1850

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Apollyon

PRONUNCIATION:
(uh-POL-yuhn)

MEANING:
noun: One who destroys; another name for the Devil.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin, from Greek Apollyon, from apollynai (to destroy), from apo- (from, away) + ollynai (to destroy). Earliest documented use: 1382.

NOTES:
The Bible’s Book of Revelation 9:11 introduces Apollyon as: “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”

USAGE:
“William Shuter, though, ... saw the text as a word of warning to Oscar Wilde, in the early 1890s infatuated with the young, beautiful, narcissistic, and heartless Lord Alfred Douglas, an Apollyon capable of doing great harm to an ageing impressionable aesthete.”
Lene Østermark-Johansen (editor), Walter Pater; Imaginary Portraits; The Modern Humanities Research Association; 2014.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth. -Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (11 Dec 1918-2008)

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