Cadmean victory

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cadmean victory a victory that damages the victors as much as the vanquished; probably referring to the battle in which the soldiers who sprang from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus slew each other. Similar to a Pyhrric victory.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Cadmean victory one as fatal to the victors as to the vanquished—from the armed men who grew up from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus, and slew one another all but five, who became the ancestors of the Thebans
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.,—vincĕre, victum, to conquer.

Usage

In literature:

Yet he who thought he ought to have a Cadmean victory, carried on his conquest.
"Arguments Of Celsus, Porphyry, And The Emperor Julian, Against The Christians" by Thomas Taylor
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