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Opening Pandora's Box: Phrases We Borrowed from the Classics and the Stories Behind Them

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
To open Pandora's Box is to get yourself into trouble through unwise curiosity. It has been one of those days. You've worked like a Trojan, displaying titanic strength and stoic endurance in order to overcome the Herculean labours that have faced you in order to meet that deadline. We regularly employ classically-derived expressions in our everyday language, yet many of us ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Michael O'Mara Books (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Xyleen Qien
If you get the reader's digest version, it be worth it.
Apr 03, 2016 E rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Finding it hard to give a review and rating for 'Opening Pandora's' Box, because it wasn't the book I had thought it would be. I bought it almost a year ago, and had kind of forgotten what it was. I thought it was going to be a collection of Greek and Roman stories, myths and legends, comfortably reminding us of names we know so well, but never knew their full stories.

Well, I suppose it was kind of like that but in a different format. The way it worked (which I would have know if I'd reread the
Aug 07, 2012 Natascha rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun-reads
This book (like the titel suggests) gives an overview and explaination of the phrases and words in modern language that are rooted in Classical culture. I find it a very informative and fun read. The information about each phrase is not to overwhelming so the material isn't only destined for a experts in the field of Classical history.
Nov 11, 2015 Sean rated it liked it
Thin volume revisiting the origins of everyday phrases and terms and how they originated from some of the earliest European stories - Roman and Greek gods - histories and their writers. One for the language buffs - you probably know most of these - "ides of march" , "sword of damocles", "to be struck by cupids arrow" etc - but always good to have a refresher.
Apr 11, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
I found it pretty useful for a job I had to do for school about phrases we use nowadays that come from the classics but only to find the phrases if you want a more formal and detailed definition you will have to look it up.
Apr 14, 2016 Dinah rated it really liked it
A nice book that is more of an encyclopedia than an anthology. However, it still got across the point of many myths, debunked some prominent misconceptions surrounding some myths, and had wit and humor. Not a long book, but worth the read!
Mar 13, 2013 Gary rated it really liked it
Whether one wishes to refresh one's knowledge of some of the most interesting bits of classical mythology and history or to learn the source of phrases and peek into the creative wealth of the Classical heritage this book does the job admirably.

Loved it.
Richard Martin
May 09, 2014 Richard Martin rated it liked it
A compendium of words and expressions derived from Classical Greek and Roman cultures presented in dictionary format. The word/phrase is given first followed by its contemporary usage. Finally the historical background is cited. A nice refresher course of the classics.
Mar 17, 2014 Donald rated it really liked it
A pleasure to drop into for the purposes of reminding oneself of the meaning of phrases once investigated and of being jolted into recognising other familiar phrases the origins of which you've never bothered to track. Easily digestible which adds to the delight reading it occasions.
Feb 20, 2016 Wsclai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Learned a lot more about Greek and Roman mythologies and got to know that many of the words in English we use today have their origins from Greek or Latin. Interesting.
Colette Coen
Sep 11, 2015 Colette Coen rated it really liked it
A good book to dip in and out of with information on the phrases we have borrowed from the classical world.
Sep 21, 2012 Alexandros rated it really liked it
Really interesting book on the origins of phrases (most of them Ancient Greek or Latin).

A joy to read.
Julie Marr
Dec 20, 2014 Julie Marr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
I enjoyed this book, mainly because I enjoy the origins of words and phrases that we take for granted in everyday usage. A nicely written, short read.
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Ferdie Addis has loved classics since he first got his hands on a picture book version of the Odyssey aged four. After a degree in Greek and Latin at Oxford University, and a brief stint as a researcher for TV documentaries, he's extremely happy to be back where he started, reading and writing about the myths and legends of the ancient world.

More about Ferdie Addis...

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