I have come across it in Crash Course World History. It is at 5 minute and 39 second. Here it goes:

The thinking was that if humans did their jobs, then the pantheon of gods would maintain cosmic order, and since the pharaohs became gods upon their death, it made sense to please them even unto pyramids.

I cannot get what please them unto means. Could you please rephrase the sentence for me please?

  • en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/unto
    – Maulik V
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 8:37
  • 1
    to the extent of would be a viable paraphrase. But there is also an ellipsis here: even to the extent of [constructing] pyramids. It should also be noted that unto in this use is something of an archaism—the speaker is alluding somewhat playfully to the word's use in the King James version of the Bible. He had just mentioned Moses and the Jews.
    – TimR
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 11:41
  • @Maulik: that dictionary definition you've cited doesn't do much to explain the phrase "[to] pyramids" (substituting the definition for unto), so I've voted to reopen.
    – TimR
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 11:48
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo your comment seems to be the answer, so please make it one. Deliberately archaic language is the only explanation I can think of. Commented May 4, 2018 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


In this context even unto means all the way to the extent of something, or the extreme of doing something. We find this in the King James Bible, speaking of the humility of Jesus Christ:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8)

The meaning there is that Christ's obedience was so great that he would obey even if meant his death.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .