Mary Norris: Greek to Me

I read anything written by Mary Norris—even all things Greek, which are foreign to me. With her passion for language, culture, and history, Norris takes readers on a journey to discover the ancient and modern beauties of Greek. She is hilarious, curious, and adventurous. Her writing brings everything about Greek and Greece to life. On the Amazons, Norris writes:

The Amazons were a mythical tribe of warrior of women who scheduled conjugal visits with the opposite sex once a year, strictly for procreation. The excelled at archery, and legend has it that a girl’s right breast was cauterized so that she would grow up better equipped to shoot arrows. (The name Amazon is supposedly from a-mazos, without a breast.) In our time the word Amazon is more likely to be associated with the empire of Jeff Bezos and online shopping for books and for the bows and arrows—and for bras and prostheses, for that matter. The behemoth company was named for the Amazon River, which was named for the Amazons.

What I loved the most about this book is how Greek plays a part in the English language. An enlightening read in the pandemic.