Quite often in everyday life, people use expressions that come from ancient Greek mythology. This gives a special color and expression to the usual life. In this case, it is important to know exactly the meaning of the spoken phrases.
According to a mythological legend that has come down to the present day from Ancient Greece, many years ago, one of the states was ruled by the tyrant king Dionysius. He was a wise, honest and just ruler. But he ruled a huge country alone and capriciously, did everything in his own way, without listening to anyone. Nevertheless, his state flourished and brought in a large stable income.
The ruler himself lived in high esteem, surrounded by all kinds of honors and material benefits. Gold, silver and jewelry were innumerable, the tables were bursting with food and various dishes. Feasts and festivities were often held. From the outside, the life of Dionysius seemed easy, secure and rather idle.
Nobody knew that the tsar lived in constant fear for his health and even his life. Therefore, it is natural that he made himself a huge number of envious people. But a greater number of people hid their feelings, it was not possible only for the king's close friend - Damocles. He very much and too clearly dreamed of taking the place of Dionysius on the throne, experiencing the fullness of power and enjoying the various benefits inherent in the ruler of a successful country.
Dionysius guessed everything. Therefore, he went to the trick to show Damocles, and at the same time all the other envious people, what it really is like to be a king, bear the burden of power and responsibility and at the same time constantly fear for his well-being and even life. He wanted to convey to people that being the ruler of the country is just an illusion of a happy, carefree life.
Dionysius put Damocles on the royal throne and allowed all his privileges to be used. It is not surprising that the envious person was overjoyed with the happiness that had fallen on him. But suddenly, he raised his eyes to the ceiling and saw a sword hanging directly above his head, point down. At any moment, a terrible weapon could fall down and pierce the head of the person sitting on the throne.
All this clearly demonstrated the true position of the ruler of a large prosperous country.
Modern use of the expression "Sword of Damocles"
Since then, pronouncing the catch phrase, people mean by it the danger that hangs in the air at the moment when it seems that everything is safe. This does not mean a small nuisance, but a serious event that carries a great threat or even mortal danger to the one over whom this "Sword of Damocles" hovers.