King of Nineveh and Assyria, noted for his luxury and
voluptuousness. His effeminacy induced Arbaces, the Mede, to conspire
against him. Myrra, an Ionian slave, and his favourite concubine,
roused him from his lethargy, and induced him to appear at the head of
his armies. He won three successive battles, but being then defeated,
was induced by Myrra to place himself on a funeral pile, which she
herself set fire to, and then jumping into the flames, perished with
her beloved master. (Died B.C. 817.) (Byron: Sardanapalus.)
Any luxurious, extravagant, self-willed tyrant. (See above.
Sardanapalus of China. Cheo-tsin, who shut himself and his queen
in his palace, and set fire to the building, that he might not fall
into the hands of Woo-wong, who founded the dynasty of Tchow (B.C.
1154-1122). It was cheo-tsin who invented the chopsticks.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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