Monday, 1 November 2010

It’s All Greek to Me: To Err is Human, to Forgive Divine

Not A Fanatic

The expression ‘to err is human, to forigve divine’ is one that most people are familiar with. What they may not be familiar about is its origins. Another famous expression is ‘nothing is said that has not been said before’, in this case, there is much truth to that.

There are plenty of people out there who would attribute the expresion ‘to err is human, to forgive divine’ to Alexander Pope. It is true that Alexander Pope did use the phrase in his ‘An Essay on Criticism’ in 1711 and it is the first English version of the phrase. The truth is though, the expression can be dated to almost 16 centuries before that.