A Slovak proverb. (Kde sa dvaja biju, tam treti zvitazi.)

Its meaning is pretty self-explanatory, even if its truthfulness is not always obvious.

Perhaps it was his Slovak heritage that helped Jesse Ventura who let the Democrat and the Republican candidates fight each other, while he won the gubernatorial race.

At any rate, this may well be one of the most important Slovak proverbs: The little guy often feels intimidated when competing with two big players, whether in politics, business, or any other endeavor. But if the little guy is aware of the truth this proverb entails, he can use it to his advantage.

It does not have to be just two fighting, of course. In the Greek mythology a hero (I think it was Jason of the Argonauts fame, if memory serves me right) was faced with the challenge of overcoming a field full of fearless warriors. Realizing he could not fight them, he threw a rock in their midst.

The warriors started fighting each other because they all wanted the rock. They killed each other until only one was left. Though strongest of them all, he was so exhausted in the rock fight that our hero easily overcame him.

By the way, during my studies in Rome I took a look at the program of one of the Roman universities. There was a course taught by a Slovak professor who used this proverb in his course description.

He, however, translated it into Latin and made no mention of its Slovak origin. It just printed, "As the ancients said, Inter duos combatentes tertius vincit." Quite a good translation. Though I have to admit I felt a bit betrayed at the time as he gave the impression it was an old Roman adage, which it is not. It is a Slovak proverb.

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