Naming Choices in Book 1

I had to make some choices in translating names from Greek to English. For the horses, that was an easy choice, I just used the straight translation of their names – Oxhead for Boukephalas (Βουκεφάλας), and Fearless for Atromitos (Ατρόμητος) Hephaistion’s horse. But for the people, it was harder.

The Macedonian custom of naming the first-born son after the paternal grandfather caused a shortage of first names. At times, it seemed as though every other Macedonian male was called Philip or Alexander. Other names were also common, such as Amyntas and Lysimachos. To solve this problem, I chose to use some other name to identify the different characters, such as where they had come from.

I also chose to use a form of pseudo-Greek translation from the Latinised names we are more used to. There is no letter ‘c’ in the Greek alphabet, so I attempted wherever possible to give a direct translation from the Greek to the English alphabet. Also with name endings – occasionally I reverted to the latinised form of a name. At other times, the Greek version seemed the better choice. But this was all simply my personal preference and others will no doubt disagree. However, I hope that my naming conventions will not interfere with your enjoyment of the book as a story.

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