Thursday, August 27, 2009

Today's Word: stentorian

stentorian: Loud. Very, very loud. Usually referring to the volume of one's voice. In Greek mythology, Stentor was a Greek herald with a powerful voice. He is mentioned in Homer's The Iliad; here is an excerpt from the Samuel Butler translation (with thanks to Project Gutenberg):

When they [Minerva and Juno, a.k.a. Athena and Hera] came to the part where the bravest and most in number were gathered about mighty Diomed, fighting like lions or wild boars of great strength and endurance, there Juno stood still and raised a shout like that of brazen-voiced Stentor, whose cry was as loud as that of fifty men together. "Argives," she cried; "shame on cowardly creatures, brave in semblance only; as long as Achilles was fighting, if his spear was so deadly that the Trojans dared not show themselves outside the Dardanian gates, but now they sally far from the city and fight even at your ships."