(5 syl.). A philosopher of Crete, who fell asleep in a cave when a boy, and did not wake again for fifty-seven years, when he found himself endowed with miraculous wisdom. (Pliny: Natural History.) (See Rip Van Winkle.)
“Like Epimenides, I have been sleeping in a cave; and, waking, see those whom I left children are bearded men.” —Bulwer Lytton (Lord Lytton).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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