Why do we say "When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Well-Known Expressions

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Meaning:

Don't try to set your own rules when you're someone else's guest.

Background:

The earliest known record of this proverb is in Richard Hill's commonplace book, written between about 1503-1536.

Commonplace books became popular in Early Modern Europe and were, in essence, scrap books filled with quotes, poems, sayings, prayers, proverbs and so forth. In short, they were used by their creators as an aid for remembering important information and useful concepts. In the normal course of events, London grocer Richard Hill would have been long forgotten by history, but thanks to his commonplace book (now housed in the library of Balliol College, Oxford) his notes on diverse topics ranging from literature to mathematics, religious verse to bawdy carols, practical recipes to frivolous riddles, and the births of his seven children: five boys and two girls (four of whom lived past the age of 8) provide modern-day historians with insight into London life 500 years ago.

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

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.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.