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Origins of Sayings - Live to Fight Another Day

About the history and origins behind the famous saying he who fights and runs away will live to fight another day.

Stories behind Famous Sayings

The Saying: HE WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS AWAY WILL LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY.

Who Said It: Demosthenes

When: 338 B.C.

The Story behind It: In August of 338 B.C., the Athenian orator and statesman Demosthenes was an infantryman at Chaeronea, where a great battle took place between the Athenians and the Macedonians. The Macedonians were victorious, and 3,000 Athenians died. Demosthenes fled from the battlefield and was subsequently censured because of his desertion. To anyone who later called him a coward, Demosthenes retorted, "The man who runs away may fight again." From that line is derived the modern day version "He who fights and runs away will live to fight another day."

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