Despite a considerable numerical advantage, the Italian army failed in its attempt to invade Greece from Albania. German forces attacked from Bulgaria on the 6th of April, 1941, with support from artillery and bombers. Despite courageous opposition from Greek and British Commonwealth forces, their advance was swift and efficient, and they reached Athens on the 27th of April. The Battle of Greece was known to the Germans as Operation Marita.
The return of Mandras as a filthy beggar has a clear parallel in the story of Odysseus, who journeyed for 10 years before reaching his home after the end of the Trojan War. Odysseus, who some say came from Cephallonia, disguised himself as a beggar until he could overcome the suitors pursuing his wife, Penelope. Penelope's delaying tactic, endlessly stitching and unstitching a burial shroud for Laertes, has a further parallel in the wedding blanket that Pelagia never quite finishes.
Favus, from the Latin for honeycomb, is a chronic fungal disease of the scalp, resulting in encrustations and hair loss. It is caused by the fungus Trichophyton schoenleinii . Once widespread, it is now easily curable and has been eliminated from most parts of the world.
Scabies is caused by a mite ( Sarcoptes scabiei ), and is characterised by superficial burrows and intense itching (scabere means "to scratch" in Latin). Crab lice and fleas are parasitic insects that feed on blood. Crab lice are typically found around the genitals.
Pityriasis is the flaking of skin.
Eczema is the inflammation of the epidermis, leading to rashes, swelling and blistering.
Georgios Vlachos was a Greek lawyer and publisher:
If called upon, the army of Greece, whatever it is that remains free, will stand in Thrace they way it stood in Epirus. It will fight in Thrace as it did in Epirus. It will fight hard. It will die. And it will await the return from Berlin of the runner who came here five years ago and took with him the flame from Olympia, only to return with a torch to light a fire that threatens this land which may be small but is also great. This land that taught the world to live will now teach it how to die.
Britain took Cephallonia from France in 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars. Together with Cerigo, Ithaca, Zante, Santa Maura, Paxo and Corfu, in 1815 it became part of the United States of Ionia. The islands remained under British protection until 1863 when they were ceded to Greece.
Lord Napier, who ruled Cephallonia as governor and is remembered kindly in local history, named his daughter Emily Kefalonia.