Where Did the Idiom “Line In the Sand” For a Military Challenge Originate and What Does the Expression Mean?

The concept of a literal “line in the sand” was first created by a lone Roman senator who rode out to meet a Macedonian king at the head of an army poised to invade Egypt, a Roman protectorate.

The king balked until the senator drew a circle around him in the sand and demanded that he order a withdrawal before stepping out of that circle or face the wrath of Rome.

The king paused and then complied.

where did the idiom line in the sand for a military challenge originate and what does the expression mean scaled

This account has been verified by contemporary historians.

The senator was Popillius Laenas.

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Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.