Figure 1. Alexander Alexander monument. Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA. Photo: author.

Figure 1 shows the monument of Mr. Alexander Alexander (1928-2009) in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. Its stylized half-columns at each side and the fret pattern along the base of the monument allude to Greek architecture, and one assumes that someone named Alexander Alexander was of Greek descent.

I thought the subscript was Ancient Greek for a moment:

ΟΤΙΔΗΠΟΤΕ Η ΚΑΡΔΙΑ ΣΑΣ ΕΠΙΘΥΜΕΙ
[Whatever your heart wishes]

But the ΣΑΣ, which I thought might be some dialectal form, shows it’s actually got to be Modern Greek. If we tamped this into Ancient Greek I think we might write οὗτινος δή ποτε ἡ καρδία σου ἐπιθυμεῖ.

Anyway, it’s a rare pleasure to find Greek, ancient or modern, on a tombstone!

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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