phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Following paraphrase

Posted by Teach on December 05, 1999

In Reply to: Re: Following paraphrase posted by Bob on December 05, 1999

: : "If we do great things, it is because we stand on the work of others that came before us."

: : This is a paraphrase that was given to me and I am looking for the original line. Can anyone help?

: : Thanks!
: : Darlene Kemp

: There have been many such sentiments. Perhaps the one you want is "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants." - Sir Isaac Newton

Or more correctly "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" contained in a letter from Newton (1642 -1727) to Robert Hook.

Also from even earlier times John of Salisbury reports in Metalogicon , bk. III. ch. iv that "Bernard of Chartres ( d. c. 1130) used to say that we were like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised by their giant size."