“Rich as Croesus” “Eureka!” It’s All Greek to Me, Part 2

If you’ve read my earlier blog entry It’s All Greek to Me, Part 1, you’ll see that a handful of figures of speech still in use refer to Ancient Greek culture, history, arts, writings and mythology.

But what I was lamenting in Part 1 was that fewer and fewer Americans know the backstory of these idioms. And without that knowledge, eventually these expressions, rich in culture and history, will fade away.

Which is too bad, because not only will we lose some really fascinating figures of speech, it also means that before that happens a lot of us will have already lost a valuable part of our cultural heritage.

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“Opening Pandora’s Box” “The Midas Touch” … It’s All Greek to Me, Part 1

I dunno. When I was a kid, maybe five years old, my parents gave me an illustrated children’s book of Greek mythology.

Famous Myths of the Golden Age - 1958.
Famous Myths of the Golden Age – 1958.

And it was all there – Apollo in his golden chariot, Prometheus chained to a rock, Icarus falling into the sea, Jason, Medusa, the Golden Fleece, even tales of the brave Odysseus. And I ate it up with a spoon. I loved every page.

But today, how many people do you think really have had any direct exposure to the history, ideas, art, and culture of Ancient Greece, except maybe having once attended a toga party at a Greek fraternity in college?

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