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Damocles, Sword of

Damocles, Sword of

Damocles was a member of the court of Dionysius, ruler of the Sicilian city of Syracuse during the 300s b.c. According to a legend passed on by the Roman writer Cicero, Damocles told Dionysius how much he envied his kingly wealth, power, and happiness. In response, Dionysius invited Damocles to come to a magnificent banquet.

imminent about to take place; threatening

Damocles was seated before a marvelous feast, when he happened to glance up in horror. Above his head hung a sharp sword, suspended by nothing more than a single thread. In this way, Dionysius showed Damocles that a ruler's life may appear grand, but it is filled with uncertainty and danger. The "sword of Damocles" has thus come to symbolize imminent danger.

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"Damocles, Sword of." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Damocles, Sword of." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/damocles-sword

"Damocles, Sword of." Myths and Legends of the World. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/damocles-sword

sword of Damocles

sword of Dam·o·cles • n. see Damocles.

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"sword of Damocles." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"sword of Damocles." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sword-damocles

"sword of Damocles." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sword-damocles