reared her greatness to the sky.


Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

There is no last word. The new evangel was old when Nineveh reared her greatness to the sky. These gallant words which seem so novel to those that speak them were said in accents scarcely changed a hundred times before. The pendulum swings backwards and forwards.

W. Somerset Maugham: The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham: Chapter 2 (continued) - The Literature Page

How can I interpret “ reared her greatness to the sky” here? Does it mean Nineveh promoted her greatness to the sky and ,so let the sky knew her greatness?



14. transitive. To lift up, raise, elevate, exalt, or promote, in various figurative contexts. Now rare.Sometimes with suggestion of other senses of rear or raise.
  • S1m0n

    Senior Member
    Ninevah was, for a time, the greatest city in the world, with the highest walls and tallest towers. A beacon of civilization. So, literally, Maugham means it had big buildings. Figuratively, ' the skies" is an expression that evokes fame, often in the form "praised [him] to the skies". It's sort of vaguely religious in the sense that Indo-European cultures tend to worship sky-dwelling Gods.
    You have the correct definition of 'reared'.
    Last edited:
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