The meaning of, and background to, the well-known expression "The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.

Well-Known Expressions

The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine

Meaning:

Justice maybe slow but it will come eventually.

Background:

The earliest known use of this expression is by 3rd century Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus, who wrote 'The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small.'

Sextus Empiricus lived in the early 3rd century AD, possibly late 2nd century. He was a physician and philosopher who is thought to have lived mainly in Alexandria and Athens.

Although little is known of his life, some of his writings (Outlines of Pyrrhonism and Against the Dogmatists) survived the European "Dark Ages" to be rediscovered in the mid-16th century, at which point they were translated into Latin and caused quite a stir as they represented the most complete surviving account of ancient Greek and Roman skepticism.

Skepticism, in the context of classical philosophy, refers to the teachings and the traits of the Skeptikoi, a school of philosophers who took the position that one should avoid the postulation of final truths.

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading, you wish the author that wrote it was a ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.