The pen is mightier than the sword  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The saying 'The pen is mightier than the sword was coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu, about Cardinal Richelieu.

The idea was not a neologism even at the time, and had numerous predecessors:

In the Christian New Testament, circa 1st century, AD:

  • Hebrews 4:12: "Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart."
  • Ephesians 6:17, in like fasion: "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"
  • Revelation 1:16, in describing a vision of God: "A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth."




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The pen is mightier than the sword" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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