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Briareos

or Ægeon. A giant with fifty heads and a hundred hands. Homer says the gods called him Briareos, but men called him Ægeon. (Iliad, i. 403.)

Not he who brandished in his hundred hands
His fifty swords and fifty shields in fight,
Could have surpassed the fierce Argantes' might.

Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered, book vii.

The Briareus of languages.
Cardinal Mezzofanti, who knew fifty-eight different tongues. Byron called him “a walking polyglot; a monster of languages; a Briareus of parts of speech.” (1774-1849.) Generally pronounced Bri'-a-ruce.

Bold Briareus. Handel (1685-1756).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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