Definitions for damoclesˈdæm əˌkliz

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word damocles

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

Dam•o•clesˈdæm əˌkliz(n.)

  1. a flatterer of classical legend who, having extolled the happiness of Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, was seated at a banquet with a sword suspended over his head by a single hair to show him the perilous nature of that happiness.

    Category: Mythology

    Ref: Compare sword of Damocles .

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Damocles(noun)

    the Greek courtier to Dionysius the Elder who (according to legend) was condemned to sit under a naked sword that was suspended by a hair in order to demonstrate to him that being a king was not the happy state Damocles had said it was (4th century BC)

Freebase

  1. Damocles

    Damocles is a figure featured in a single moral anecdote commonly referred to as "the Sword of Damocles", which was a late addition to classical Greek culture. The figure belongs properly to legend rather than Greek myth. The anecdote apparently figured in the lost history of Sicily by Timaeus of Tauromenium. The Roman orator Cicero may have read it in Diodorus Siculus. He made use of it in his Tusculanae Disputationes, V. 61–2, by which means it passed into the European cultural mainstream.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Damocles

    a flatterer at the court of the elder Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, whom, after one day extravagantly extolling the happiness of kings, Dionysius set down to a magnificent banquet, but who, when seated at it, looked up and saw a sword hanging over his head suspended by a single hair; a lesson this which admonished him, and led him to change his views of the happiness of kings.

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