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Noctuas Athenas Ferre

To carry coals to Newcastle. Athens abounded with owls, and Minerva was therefore symbolised by an owl. To send owls to Athens would be wasteful and extravagant excess.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Noctuas Athenas Ferre from Infoplease:

  • Noctuas Athenas Ferre - Noctuas Athenas Ferre To carry coals to Newcastle. Athens abounded with owls, and Minerva was ...
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  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: N - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "N"

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