His hands trembled. Plutarch reports that he was known to have led a licentious life in Syracuse with lots of drinking parties, and when he was exiled to Corinth, he frequented the taverns there and earned his living by teaching girls how to be useful at drinking parties. Read the next short story; The Ungrateful Guest. I have a sword over my head all the time. The books were part of a vibrant period of Cicero's intellectual life, written six months after the death of his daughter Tullia, and, say, modern philosophers, they were how he found his own path to happiness: the blissful life of a sage. In 1812 just as England invaded the United States in the War of 1812 an English Painter, Richard Westall, painted a picture titled “Sword of Damocles”. Damocles was given beautiful servants who waited on him and did everything he said. –Sam —– —– —– The Sword of Damocles. Do You Need a Master's Degree to Teach High School? Log in. Select a subject to preview related courses: While Damocles was enjoying his new life of riches and power, Dionysius II had his servants take a big, sharp sword and hang it right over Damocles' head. One of its more famous uses came in 1961 during the Cold War, when President John F. Kennedy gave a speech before the United Nations in which he said that “Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness.”. Only at the end of the meal did he look up and notice a sharpened sword hanging directly above his head, held only by a single horse-hair. Mader G. 2002. The five volumes of the Tusuclan Disputations are each devoted to the things that Cicero argued were essential to a happy life: indifference to death, enduring pain, alleviating sorrow, resisting other spiritual disturbances, and choosing virtue. (in Plutarch 's. Since this life delights you, an annoyed Dionysius replied, do you wish to taste it yourself and make a trial of my good fortune? by James Baldwin, illustrated by Unknown. Did you know… We have over 220 college Damocles is a character in a Greek myth called 'The Sword of Damocles.' Create a library and add your favorite stories. Cicero's point was that death looms over each of us, and we ought to try to be happy in spite of that. succeed. "Yes," said Dionysius, "I know there is a sword above your head, and that it may fall at any moment. There was once a king whose name was Dionysius. There were all kinds of exquisite food and ointments, and even incense was burned. What was it that was dangling above him, with its point almost touching his head?