Pronounced: OH-lid, adj
Notes: Another new word for me
The word anabasis is
- a going or marching up; advance; especially a military advance
- a difficult and dangerous military retreat
The word came into English in the early 1700s
Background / Comments
Strange definitions; practically opposites. The word comes from Greek – the prefix ana- (up) and bainein (to go). The word in Greek meant “inland march”, and this is the origin of the first definition. The second definition came from an anabasis gone wrong; in 401 BC, Greek mercenaries fighting for Cyrus the Younger marched into the Persian Empire and found themselves cut off hundreds of miles from home. As a result, they undertook an arduous and embattled retreat across unknown territories. A Greek historian, Xenophon, was with the mercenaries on the march and wrote the epic narrative Anabasis about the experience… and the word came to mean a dramatic retreat as well as an advance.