Why do we say "Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts.

Well-Known Expressions

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts

Meaning:

Don't trust an enemy even when he appears to bring you a gift

Background:

In Virgil's retelling of the Trojan Wars as recorded in the Aeneid, when the Greeks leave the shores of Troy they leave behind a wooden horse apparently as a gift for the people of Troy who they have besieged for so many years. As we all know, despite the protestations of Laocoon who advises the Trojans not to bring the horse into the city: Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes ("I fear the Greeks, even when they are bringing gifts,"), the people bring the horse into the city, not knowing that hidden inside are a small band of Greeks who, once the city is asleep, leave the horse and open the gates of Troy to the invading Greek army who have quietly sailed back - and thus Troy was defeated.

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Music of the Ghosts
    Music of the Ghosts
    by Vaddey Ratner
    Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival ...
  • Book Jacket: Castle of Water
    Castle of Water
    by Dane Huckelbridge
    When a whopping 24 out of 27 readers give a book 4 or 5 stars, you know you have a winner on your ...
  • Book Jacket: Havana
    Havana
    by Mark Kurlansky
    History with flavor...culture with spice...language with gusto...it would be hard to find a better ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

The most successful people are those who are good at plan B

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

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -