Sycophant

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The traditional view is that the opprobrium against sycophants was attached to the bringing of an unjustified complaint, hoping either to obtain the payment for a successful case, or to blackmail the defendant into paying a bribe to drop the case. Other scholars have suggested that the sycophant, rather than being disparaged for being motivated by profit, was instead viewed as a vexatious litigant who was over-eager to prosecute, and who had no personal stake in the underlying dispute, but brings up old charges unrelated to himself long after the event. Sycophants included those who profited from using their position as citizens for profit. For instance, one could hire a sycophant to bring a charge against one's enemies, or to take a wide variety of actions of an official nature with the authorities, including introducing decrees, acting as an advocate or a witness, bribing ecclesiastical or civil authorities and juries, or other questionable things, with which one did not want to be personally associated. Sycophants were viewed as uncontrolled and parasitic, lacking proper regard for truth or for justice in a matter, using their education and skill to destroy opponents for profit in matters where they had no stake, lacking even the convictions of politicians, and having no sense of serving the public good.