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In Michael Gilleland's blog "Laudator Temporis Acti" - he had a post titled "When All Authorities Agree" and he quoted Cecil Torr from "Small Talk at Wreyland":

There is no stopping a mistake after it has started. In the preface to my Ancient Ships I gave the history of a blunder that was made by Scheffer in 1654, and is now in four authoritative books of reference. In fact, when I am told that all authorities agree, I feel certain that one of them has blundered, and the rest have followed him without inquiry.

Would anyone know when the phrase "all authorities agree" was first used? I Googled "when all authorities agree" and there were only 4 mentions of it. Does this phrase have a Greek/Latin or earlier original and was adopted in English?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

"When all authorities agree" refers to the fact that all the experts on that area agree on one opinion or idea.

The author here is stating that when he is told that all the experts on an area agree, he usually is skeptical, the reason being that he thinks that

"... one of them has blundered, and the rest have followed him without inquiry.

It's not an expression, or idiom, or saying, just a normal phrase.

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