The "sword of Damocles" is a modern expression, which to us means a sense of impending doom, the feeling that there is some catastrophic threat looming over you. That's not exactly its original meaning, however. The expression comes to us from the writings of the Roman politician, orator, and philosopher Cicero BC. Cicero's point was that death looms over each of us, and we ought to try to be happy in spite of that. Others have interpreted his meaning to be similar to "don't judge people until you've walked in their shoes". The way Cicero tells it, Damocles was the name of a sycophant adsentator in Latin , one of the several yes-men in the court of Dionysius, a 4th century BC tyrant. To his subjects, Dionysius appeared to be very rich and comfortable, with all the luxuries money could buy, tasteful clothing and jewelry, and access to delectable food in lavish feasts. Damocles was prone to compliment the king on his army, his resources, the majesty of his rule, the abundance of his storehouses, and the greatness of his royal palace: surely, said Damocles to the king, there had never been a happier man. Dionysius turned to him and asked Damocles if he would like to try living Dionysius's life. Damocles readily agreed.
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Damocles , flourished 4th century bce , a courtier of Dionysius I of Syracuse , in Sicily , tyrant from to bce. Thus did the tyrant demonstrate that the fortunes of men who hold power are as precarious as the predicament in which he had placed his guest. Info Print Cite.
Damocles [a] is a character who appears in an likely apocryphal anecdote commonly referred to as "the Sword of Damocles",   an allusion to the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power. The anecdote apparently figured in the lost history of Sicily by Timaeus of Tauromenium c. The Roman orator Cicero may [ citation needed ] have read it in the texts of Greek historian Diodorus Siculus. Cicero used it in his Tusculanae Disputationes , 5. According to the story, Damocles was pandering to his king, Dionysius, exclaiming that Dionysius was truly fortunate as a great man of power and authority, surrounded by magnificence. In response, Dionysius offered to switch places with Damocles for one day so that Damocles could taste that very fortune firsthand. Damocles quickly and eagerly accepted the king's proposal. Damocles sat on the king's throne, surrounded by every luxury, but Dionysius, who had made many enemies during his reign, arranged that a sword should hang above the throne, held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse's tail to evoke the sense of what it is like to be king: Though having much fortune, always having to watch in fear and anxiety against dangers that might try to overtake him.
While that is the case sometimes, it Is much more of an exception than a rule. But realistically, if she is not open minded enough to even listen to someone who has a contrasting view of the church - how will she not continually discount you and your lack of beliefs. When my husband and I were sealed, I finally understood why my Dad had been stressing this to me my entire life. I'm engaged to a med student we met in undergrad 2 years ago and I've watched him go from playful college kid to serious med student. For me and the woman I'm in love with, we CAN discuss it without breaking down into spittle and hate.