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Botticelli's illustration of Dante's Inferno shows insincere flatterers grovelling in excrement in the second pit of the eighth circle.[1]

Sycophancy[2] is flattery that is very obedient, or an indication of deference to another, to an excessive or servile degree. A user of sycophancy is referred to as a sycophant.

Alternative phrases are often used such as:

See also


  1. Italian culture, 15, American Association of University Professors of Italian, 1997, p. 80<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Alphons Silbermann, translator Ladislaus Loeb (2000), Grovelling and other vices: the sociology of sycophancy, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-485-11544-4<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Clark, L. P. (1934). "A Psychological Study of Sycophancy". Psychoanalytic Review. 21: 15–39.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lofberg, John Oscar (2008) [1917]. Sycophancy in Athens (Reprint ed.). Whitefish: Kessinger. ISBN 1-4304-9346-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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External links

  • The dictionary definition of sycophancy at Wiktionary