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When Damocles told the king how fortunate he was, Dionysius offered to change places for a day. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! In response, Dionysius offered to switch places with Damocles for one day so that Damocles could taste that very fortune firsthand. In this way, the king demonstrated to Damocles just how precarious was the position of a king, who, although he had access to many luxuries and pleasant distractions, always lived in the shadow of fear. Damocles’ sword refers to an impending disaster; a danger or disaster that could occur at any moment. The anecdote apparently figured in the lost history of Sicily by Timaeus of Tauromenium (c. 356–260 BC). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. What is the difference between an STR and an LTR? When Damocles referred to the king as “the happiest of men” the Dionysius decided to teach him a lesson. badge, originally conceived, it is said, as the sword of Damocles. The term comes from the same Greek legend about Damocles that gave us hang by a thread. According to Greek legend, Damocles, a friend of King Dionysius of Syracuse, envied the ruler's great wealth and power. ", When the courtier Damocles described Dionysius I, ruler of Syracuse (. Dionysius committed many cruelties in his rise to power, such that he could never go on to rule justly because that would make him vulnerable to his enemies. Writer’s Digest, 2005, English Idioms: 22 Idioms About Happiness or Being Happy. Was Greta Van Susteren a defense attorney in the OJ Simpson case? All Rights Reserved. Where is Martha Elliott Bill Elliott ex-wife today? [13][14], The sword of Damocles appears frequently in popular culture, including novels, feature films, television series, video games, and music. In Greek mythology, the courtier Damocles was forced to sit beneath a sword suspended by a single hair to emphasize the instability of a king's fortunes. However, you need to apply proper grammar rules in any sentence. How To Use Damocles In a Sentence – Damocles sentence in English is simple to make. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. The famed sword of Damocles dates back to an ancient moral parable popularized by the Roman philosopher Cicero in his 45 B.C. “Democrat” vs. “Republican”: Where Did The Parties Get Their Names? Sword of Damocles (an imminent danger) – Terrorism is a sword of Damocles hanging over the whole world. If you say that someone has the Sword of Damocles hanging over their head, you mean that they are in a situation in which something very bad could happen to them at any time. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. Damocles finally begged the king that he be allowed to depart because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate, realizing that with great fortune and power comes also great danger. Damocles was an obsequious courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a 4th-century BC ruler of Syracuse, Sicily.. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary, the webmaster's page for free fun content, a straw will show which way the wind blows, a sword of Damocles hanging over her head, a sword of Damocles hanging over his head, a sword of Damocles hanging over one's head, a sword of Damocles hanging over our heads, a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, a sword of Damocles hanging over your head, a sword of Damocles hangs over (one's) head, a sword of Damocles hangs over one's head, a sword of Damocles hangs over their heads, A System for Tracing Object Oriented Requirements. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. Frozen with fear that the thread would break, he pointed out the predicament to the king. “Affect” vs. “Effect”: Use The Correct Word Every Time. The Bibliophile’s Dictionary: 2,000 Masterful Words and Phrases.

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