Lions

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The lion is not so fierce as they paint him.

Lions are one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India, having disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans.

Highly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognised by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture. Depictions have existed from the Upper Paleolithic period, with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves, through virtually all ancient and medieval cultures where they once occurred. It has been extensively depicted in sculptures, in paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature. Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoos the world over since the late eighteenth century.

Sourced[edit]

The food of the lion (causes) indigestion to the wolf.
  • The food of the lion (causes) indigestion to the wolf.
    • Arab proverb, as quoted in John Lewis Burckhardt and William Ouseley, Arabic Proverbs: Or, The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, (1830).
  • The lion's work hours are only when he's hungry; once he's satisfied, the predator and prey live peacefully together.
    • Chuck Jones, Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist (1999), p. 146.
  • The lion who breaks the enemy's ranks
    is a minor hero
    compared to the lion who [[Kenosis|overcomes himself.
    • Rumi, Rumi Daylight (1990).
  • If thou wert the lion, the fox would beguile thee; if thou wert the lamb, the fox would eat thee; if thou wert the fox, the lion would suspect thee, when, peradventure, thou wert accused by the ass...

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 461.
  • The lion is not so fierce as they paint him.
  • Noli
    Barbam vellere mortuo leoni.
    • Do not pluck the beard of a dead lion.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book X. 90.
  • They rejoice
    Each with their kind, lion with lioness,
    So fitly them in pairs thou hast combined.
  • Rouge the lion from his lair.
  • The man that once did sell the lion's skin
    While the beast lived, was killed with hunting him.

Variations on an army of sheep led by a lion[edit]

  • An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.
    • Attributed to Alexander the Great, as quoted in The British Battle Fleet: Its Inception and Growth Throughout the Centuries to the Present Day (1915) by Frederick Thomas Jane, but many variants of similar statements exist which have been attributed to others, though in research done for Wikiquote definite citations of original documents have not yet been found for any of them:
    • I should prefer an army of stags led by a lion, to an army of lions led by a stag.
      • Attributed to Chabrias, who died around the time Alexander was born, thus his is the earliest life to whom such assertions have been attributed; as quoted in A Treatise on the Defence of Fortified Places (1814) by Lazare Carnot, p. 50
    • An army of stags led by a lion would be better than an army of lions led by a stag.
      • Attributed to Chabrias, A History of Ireland (1857) by Thomas Mooney, p. 760
    • An army of stags led by a lion is superior to an army of lions led by a stag.
      • Attributed to Chabrias, The New American Cyclopaedia : A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge (1863), Volume 4, p. 670
    • An army of sheep led by a lion are more to be feared than an army of lions led by a sheep.
      • Attributed to Chabrias, The Older We Get, The Better We Were, Marine Corps Sea Stories (2004) by Vince Crawley, p. 67
    • It is better to have sheep led by a lion than lions led by a sheep.
      • Attributed to Polybius in Between Spenser and Swift: English Writing in Seventeenth Century Ireland (2005) by Deana Rankin, p. 124, citing A Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, from 1641 to 1652 (1880) by John Thomas Gilbert Volume I, i, p. 153 - 157; but conceivably this might be reference to Polybius the historian quoting either Alexander or Chabrias.
    • An army composed of sheep but led by a lion is more powerful than an army of lions led by a sheep.
      • "Proverb" quoted by Agostino Nifo in De Regnandi Peritia (1523) as cited in Machiavelli - The First Century: Studies in Enthusiasm, Hostility, and Irrelevance (2005) by Mathew Thomson, p. 55
    • Greater is an army of sheep led by a lion, than an army of lions led by a sheep.
    • I am more afraid of one hundred sheep led by a lion than one hundred lions led by a sheep.
      • Attributed to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754 – 1838) Variants: I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.
        I am not afraid of an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep. I am afraid of army of 100 sheeps led by a lion.
    • Variants quoted as an anonymous proverb:
      Better a herd of sheep led by a lion than a herd of lions led by a sheep.
      A flock of sheep led by a lion was more powerful than a flock of lions led by a sheep.
      An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
      It were better to have an army of sheep led by a lion than an army of lions led by a sheep.
      An army of sheep led by a lion, will defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
      An army of sheep led by a lion would be superior to an army of lions led by a sheep.
      Unsourced attribution to Alexander: I would not fear a pack of lions led by a sheep, but I would always fear a flock of sheep led by a lion.
    • As one lion overcomes many people and as one wolf scatters many sheep, so likewise will I, with one word, destroy the peoples who have come against me.
      • This slightly similar statement is the only quote relating to lions in The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version of the Pseudo-Callisthenes (1889) as translated by E. A. Wallis Budge, but it is attributed to Nectanebus (Nectanebo II).


Misattributed[edit]

  • The lion shall lie down with the lamb.
    • This is a popular misquote of scripture, based on Isaiah 11:6:
    • The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (KJV)

External links[edit]

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