Sword of Damocles
The sword of Damocles is a danger that hovers over the heads of people who find themselves in positions of power or in an enviable situation. The term comes from the story of Damocles, who lived under the rule of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a tyrant. After Damocles made an observation about how good life was in Dionysius's royal palace, the ruler offered him an opportunity to taste of it himself. There was one caveat: Dionysius ordered that a sword be placed above Damocles hanging by a horse hair, as Damocles was seated amid the royal splendor. Damocles decided he had had enough and begged to be allowed to leave.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Jona Lendering. The Sword of Damocles, Tuscalan Disputations Book V, Sections LXI-LXII (Gavin Betts, trans.). livius.org. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero. M. TVLLI CICERONIS TVSCVLANARVM DISPVTATIONVM LIBER QVINTVS. Retrieved 20 August 2016.