Which came first?

February 4, 2020

The word pharos is of Greek origin and means lighthouse. So, I wondered whether the word for lighthouse came from the name of the island, or the name of the island came from the word for lighthouse. To my surprise, the island was named first. Moreover, from Greek to Latin and then to the other Romance languages, the word came to mean lighthouse in French (phare), Italian and Spanish (faro), Catalan and Romanian (far), and Portuguese (farol).

 

In any case, in THE DEADLIEST THIEF, Miriam searches for her kidnapped friend on Pharos Island. Now she’d been to Pharos Island a few times as a tourist, but she explains how this expedition was different:

 

Instead of the thrill of exploration, I felt alarm clawing at my innards with every stride of the bearers. My longing to bring Phoebe home was matched by the dread of finding her body like a rotten melon in a soup of blood or worse. So, the similarities between this trip and my earlier ones were only the salt-laden gusts that thrashed the weeds, the odor of raw seaweed that filled my nostrils, and the half-human screech of the gulls as they dove, wheeled, and soared over the harbor.  

 

I won’t tell you whether she ever finds Phoebe, but she searches among the houses sprinkled around the base of the lighthouse (to the right on the image), where the workers live who keep the lantern burning around the clock. To find out more, click here.

 

 

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