"Sword of Damocles". The meaning and origin of the expression

To know history, to study it is a natural desire of a person. In this article we will look at the legend of Ancient Greece about Damocles and Dionysius, find out where the expression “sword of Damocles” came from. The meaning of the statement will be discussed in detail in this material. Let us analyze the feelings experienced by the protagonist of the old legend, talk about the possible consequences, about the methods of self-control, about the meaning of history in the life of modern society.

sword of Damocles idiom meaning

Legend of Ancient Greece

The meaning and origin of the “Damocles sword” phraseologism is rooted in the depths of history. According to the legends of ancient Greece, the Syracuse tyrant Dionysius the Elder knew about envy, which ate his favorite Damocles. And Dionysius ordered the Damocles dressed in luxurious clothes, anointed the body with incense and put on the throne. The servants executed the orders. During the feast, the contented favorite lifted his head up and stopped, a sword without a scabbard hung on his horsehair over his head, the point of which was right above him.At that moment he felt that the ruler had to constantly experience, a sense of danger enveloped his soul. Dionysius thus showed him that he always lives in the balance from death.

The meaning of the phraseologism of the sword of Damocles should be reduced to the following: imaginary well-being hides like a curtain the threat of death, in other words, this feeling of a constant threat that can turn into a real disaster at any moment.

sword of Damocles idiom meaning and origin

To be on the verge

The threat of losing a comfortable life with its privileges and capabilities certainly holds in high tension. What else can be concluded from the situation described above? This is the ability to hide their emotions, because those people who have an excessive amount of emotionality cannot control themselves, which leads to undesirable consequences, such as a quarrel with close people, problems at work and in the family.

But following some recommendations you can avoid unnecessary experiences. Similarly, the expression “sword of Damocles”, the meaning and origin of which were discussed above, is an example of how to suppress your emotions. Dionysius, despite the prescription of events, had an extraordinary perseverance.

So, firstly, on the occasion of emotions go only insecure people. This is not about you? Secondly, get into the habit of analyzing your strengths, successes and failures, which will allow you to regulate the degree of your self-esteem. Thirdly, to treat everything with a certain amount of humor, agree that it is better to laugh at the situation than to make a scandal. And finally, the ability to look at yourself "from the side" will provide an invaluable service. Check it out by watching people who react violently in moments of anger, especially for female persons, they look pretty unpresentable.

If you delve deeper into the meaning of the expression "sword of Damocles", its meaning will be revealed not on one side.

sword of Damocles meaning and origin

The benefits of useless

The story of the legend of Dionysius and Damoclus is silent, unfortunately, what happened then when the favorite saw a sword hanging over his head, as he behaved at that moment.

The sense of fear and danger that possessed him should have been the cause of his further behavior. And if it so happened, and you were in a similar situation and succumbed to emotions, then, most importantly, try not to make important decisions in this state.Breathe deeply, calmly, try to be alone, to calm down, soak your temples, hands and forehead with cold water. Drink a glass of water. Many people understand that it is useless to give advice in such moments of life, and psychologists often recommend showing their emotions, but is it worth it if there is peace of mind of your loved ones on the other side of the scale? Therefore, whatever the danger looms over you, keep yourself in hand, try!

Do not envy a friend

The expression "sword of Damocles" is a meaning that deeply affects in the process of analysis the mental state of each person. In addition to feelings of fear, the favorite is jealous, which eats him, it is mentioned at the beginning of the legend. It was this disgusting, sticky feeling that caused the hero of the story, being in the shoes of his master, could see, moreover, feel the situation from the other side, that is, realize that living in a dream is not what the dream itself is.

Thanks to the wisdom of the tyrant, the situation has exhausted itself, has not given rise to the root of envy and evil. So the expression teaches people another wisdom: do not envy your friend.The phrase "do not envy" and "friend" is especially frightening with its blackness. Envy is associated with black, a friend and the notion of friendship is associated with white, how can you dare to stain pure white?

sword of Damocles meaning


In conclusion, summing up what was said, I would like to note that when studying history in school, do not forget about those lessons in life, a vivid example of which can be the expression "sword of Damocles". Its value is defined as imaginary well-being, soak up all the valuable information that will help you understand life and peace, try to learn from someone else's example, using the example of the story itself you can see how to act and how not to what consequences rash actions can lead.

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