A Danaer gift (pronounced Da-na-er-gift) is a gift that turns out to be ominous and harmful for the recipient.
The term comes from Greek mythology . It is named after the wooden Trojan horse with whose help the " Danaer " ( Homer a term for the Greeks / Hellenes in general) conquered the city of Troy . The name came from Latin into German . Virgil has the priest Laocoon say in the Aeneid (Book II, verse 48-49): “ […] equo ne credite, Teucri. Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes . “-“ Don't trust the horse, Trojan! Whatever it is, I fear the Danaer, even if they carry presents . ”The Greek equivalent is“ Φοβοῦ τοὺς Δαναοὺς καὶ δῶρα φέροντας. "( Phobou tous Danaous kai dōra pherontas. )
The English proverb Beware of Greeks bearing gifts (German: Beware of Greeks with gifts ) goes back to the same verse in Virgil's Aeneid.
- Aeneid 2.48f. on gottwein.de
- Büchmann: Winged words "Danaer Gift", Berlin 1898. P. 387