Sycophant

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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Shortly before the first round of the October 23 elections in Bulgaria, Bivol asked the presidential candidates the same question: "If you become president are you going to fire the sycophantic Kirov?"
Conceptualized by Martin, Myers, and Mottet (1999), students' motives to communicate with their instructors represent the needs that students desire to have fulfilled through communication with their instructors and can emerge in five forms: relational, functional, participatory, excuse making, and sycophantic. Students who communicate for the relational motive are interested in learning more about their instructors on an interpersonal level.
''One is bound to die a dry death if one enforces a sycophantic policy towards the U.S., quite contrary to the people's mind-set,'' it said.
And when music icon Leonard Cohen gets behind this photographic collection with the comment, "sweet enterprise", you're tempted to make ready to deploy the expression 'with friends like these, who needs enemies' But for all the holier-than-thou tributes and sycophantic endorsements Farber's book has so far attracted, what we have here is a quite extraordinary technical and artistic accomplishment.
Almost without exception, the people with whom they are in close touch are, if not unanimously sycophantic, almost wholly uncritical towards the justice him- or herself.
Unfortunately however, despite his own reluctance to overstate the significance of his work, the sycophantic questioning and posturing about the form of his latest sanitary range by members of the international design press would indicate that certain sections of the so-called elitist design world are very, very confused; design and style have always shared a thin boundary, however, over-popularizing design into something merely visual cheapens a discipline that at its best derives beauty from a rigorous and intellectually robust series of processes and decisions.
In Washington, however, the word "ethanol" immediately calls to mind billions of dollars in wasteful government subsidies and sycophantic paeans to imaginary family farmers.
After 74 years as a lifelong, faithful, practicing Roman Catholic, educated by nuns during my first 12 years of Catholic education, I never thought I'd seriously consider leaving the church, but I underestimated the arrogance and bigotry of this pope and his sycophantic hierarchy.
Because there are skinny little opposition runts who feel the need to express their sycophantic views about Billy on Billy's television networks, before you know it a tiny private stupid remark made by one pipsqueak and overheard by another becomes news for a day.
Gzowski's natural stammer in an effort to be considered thoughtful.) Perhaps the allegedly sycophantic interview with the late Pierre Trudeau was their last public encounter, the one before which Trudeau--enfeebled and vulnerable from the accidental death of his son--requested, "Peter, please go easy on me."
And betrayed we are--by the courts, the cheating Republicans, the spineless Democrats, the sycophantic media, and the virtually invisible and absolutely predictable responses by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender activists and journalists to the present situation.
We also wanted to demonstrate how simple it is for real intimidation to come from powerful government officials--undeterred by such mundane matters as the truth--when they are motivated by sycophantic desires to keep good relations with powerful supporters.