Dogs have always been an important part in the history of our culture. Even before domestication, they were the stuff of legend. From Cerberus, the guardian of the gates to Hell, to Argos the ever faithful friend of Odysseus (also referred to as Argus and Ulysses), the dog's relationship with man has always been noted, both here and beyond. We will follow up on some of these.
Meaning: noun: A powerful, hostile guard.
Etymology: From Latin, from Greek Kerberos. Earliest documented use: 1386.
Cerberus (also Kerberos) was the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades, the infernal region in classical mythology. Ancient Greeks and Romans used to put a slice of cake in the hands of their dead to help pacify Cerberus on the way. This custom gave rise to the idiom “to give a sop to Cerberus” meaning to give a bribe to quiet a troublesome person.
Cancerbero (from Spanish can: dog) is one of the Spanish terms for a goalkeeper in fútbol (football). Kerberos is the name given to an authentication protocol for computer networks.
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