The number of the beast

February 27, 2010

Two ways of writing the number of the beast. Upright, it reads χξϛ, which is 666 in old-fashioned Greek numerals. Inverted, it reads “Six 3,” also suggesting 666.

Λυκαων (Lycaon)

February 22, 2010
I’m still on my Greek ambigram kick. This one came very naturally: Λυκαων (actually ΛυκαΩν, with an uppercase omega) — that is, Lycaon, a son of Priam who is killed by Achilles in the Iliad, or, if you prefer, a mythical king of Arcadia who was transformed into a wolf by Zeus as punishment for his cruelty.
Why Lycaon? It just happened to be the first Greek name I thought of that started with lambda and ended with nu. The other letters in the name turned out to be equally cooperative.

Τρωιαδες (Trojan women)

February 22, 2010

The original Greek title of Euripides’s play The Trojan Women is Τρωιαδες — or, in capitals, ΤΡΩΙΑΔΕΣ. That’s what my Euripides book says, anyway. A Google search shows that the spelling Τρωαδες is overwhelmingly more common, so I hope the spelling with iota is a legitimate variant, not a simple error, since I made an ambigram of it:

Κυκλωψ (Cyclops)

February 22, 2010
My first Greek ambigram, the word Κυκλωψ (Cyclops):
Note: In the Greek alphabet, as in the Roman, some letters have very different capital and lowercase forms — omega (Ωω), for example — which may make it difficult for readers unfamiliar with Greek to see how my ambigram matches the original letterforms. The ambigram actually reads ΚυΚΛΩΨ, using all capital letters except for the second one.
This one is begging for an accompanying ambigraphic in which the Cyclops’s mouth is a mirror image of his single eye. The post-Ulysses Cyclops would be even easier, since gaping holes dripping blood would be appropriate for both eye-socket and mouth.