Popular Phrases. Their Original and Meaning
A round table conference. A round table conference is a formal discussion or meeting all the participants of which have perfectly equal rights. It is associated with King Arthur and his knights, the Knights of the Round Table, so called from the large circular table round which they sat. The table was circular to prevent any heart- sore about precedence. It was given to Arthur on his wedding- day by Merlin the wizard. The Knights of the Round Table, famed for their valor, went into difference countries in quest of adventures and are said to have fought to put down evil.
Money has no smell. This proverb is ascribed to Vespasian, an emperor of Rome. Suetonius, a Roman historian, writes that the words were used by Vespasian on the following occasion. When the emperor’s son Titus reproached his father for having introduced a tax on public lavatories, Vespasian told him to smell the money he was holding in his palm, and to see if the smell was foul. On being told that it was not, Vespasian remarked that the money was of the urine for it had been just paid as the tax on lavatories.
Seven Wonders of the World. The ancients looked upon the following man- made things as the seven wonders of the world: the Pyramids of Egypt; the Handing Gardens of Babylon ( a series of terraced gardens rising three hundred feet above the ground, said to have been built by king Nebuchadnezzar to please his wife, who wearied of the plains of Babylon); the Temple of Diana at Ephesus burnt down by Herostratus who wanted to make himself famous; the Statue of Jupiter by Phidias at Olympia; the Colossus of Rhodes, a gigantic statue of bronze over one hundred feet high, a towering above the entrance to the harbor; the Mausoleum, or tomb of Mausolus, at Halicarnassus; and the Pharos ( lighthouse) of Alexandria.