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The Sword of Damocles
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We always used to hear " The sword of Damocles". What is the story behind this?

The Damocles  was an  courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a fourth century BC tyrant of Syracuse, Italy. Pandering to his king, Damocles exclaimed that, as a great man of power and authority, Dionysius was truly fortunate, as it was "good to be the king." Realizing the folly of this courtier, Dionysius offered to switch places with him for a day, so he could taste first hand that fortune. The King required only that Damocles sit in the king's throne for the entire day. Damocles could think of no other place he would rather be and quickly accepted the King's proposal. The day finally came with Damocles having invited all his friends to the table to impress them with his one day of serving as king. He arrived fashionably late and, having received homage from his friends, sat down in the king's throne at the head of the table to enjoy his day. While his friends were dutifully servile to their "one day king," they appeared uneasy. Damocles sensed the uneasiness and looked about the room. Soon he looked up and realized there was a huge sword hanging above the throne, and his head, held at the tip only by the single hair of a horse's tail. Damocles immediately stood up and moved away from the throne. Dionysius, standing nearby, quickly reminded Damocles of the contingency that he agreed to remain on the throne for the full day. Damocles sat back down in the throne, but only for a few moments, unable to overcome the threat of the hanging sword. Finally, Damocles left the royal chamber in fear and shame.

From this story are two morals: First, "Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown." Second, and perhaps more prophetically, "The value of the sword is not that it fall, but rather, that it hangs." The first moral supports the age-old understanding that, while it may appear to be enviable to wear a crown of power, there are threats--at all times--to the one who wears the crown. The second moral is more relevant particularly to the 20th century and beyond; namely, it blends the theory of MAD (mutually assured destruction) as it relates to those with a nuclear potential, and that of terrorism; namely, that the threat of terrorism is greater than the act thereof.

( Reference: Wikkipedia)

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