Sycophant

(redirected from sycophancies)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sycophant

 

in the apparent original usage of the word in ancient Greece, a person who informed on the illegal export of figs from Attica. As early as the second half of the fifth century B.C. the word “sycophant” had entered everyday speech and acquired a broader meaning. In Athens and other Greek poleis it was applied to professional informers, slanderers, and blackmailers who gathered compromising information on influential citizens in order to bring them to court and thus settle political scores or receive a bribe or part of the property confiscated from the convicted person.

REFERENCCE

Lofberg.J.O. Sycophancy in Athens. Chicago, 1917.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.