A.common informer, voluntary denouncer (there being no Public Prosecutor), e.g. of contraband imports, καὶ ς. εἴ τις ἦν ὠνείδισας; did you dare to reproach a ς.? Ar.Ach.559, cf. 725,825; of unlawful possession, Id.Pl.873,879,885; of disaffection to Athens, Isoc.15.313 (cf. 316-18); κλητήρ εἰμι νησιωτικὸς καὶ ς. Ar.Av.1423; the ς. became notorious as pettifoggers, Lycurg.31 (cf. Ar.Ach.920 -4), D.20.62, vexatious prosecutors of innocent persons esp. if rich, Lys.25.3, D.57.34, and blackmailers, Antipho 5.78,80, Lys.7.20, And.1.105, D.21.103, 58.27, Aeschin.2.5, 3.256, Hyp.Lyc.2, Theopomp. Hist.107,267, Luc.Tim.36; having thus abused their legal powers, they were treated as criminals, [“οἱ τριάκοντα] τοὺς ς . . . ἀνῄρουν” Arist.Ath.35.3, cf. X.HG2.3.38, Isoc.15.313, 18.3; “συκοφαντῶν προβολαί” Arist.Ath.43.5, cf. Aeschin.2.145; they were numerous in democracies, Thphr.Char.26.5; χρῆν . . ἐγγίγνεσθαι . . πάσῃ δημοκρατίᾳ ς. Plu.Tim.37; δημαγωγῶν πλῆθος καὶ ς. at Syracuse, D.S.11.87; rarer in oligarchies, e.g. Boeotia, Ar.Ach.904; βασιλεὺς ἐνδεὴς προσόδων μέγας ς. a great extortioner, LXX Pr.28.16.
2. in New Com., professional swindler or confidential agent, πράττει δ᾽ ὁ κόλαξ ἄριστα πάντων, δεύτερα ὁ ς. Men.223.17, cf. Georg. Fr.1, Philippid.29: so in Lat. sycophanta, Plaut.Poen.1032, Trin. 815, Ter.Andr.815; humbug, Favorin. ap. Gell.14.1.32.
3. = Lat. delator, “ὁ πικρὸς ς. Ἰσίδωρος” Ph.2.597, cf. OGI669.41 (Egypt, i A.D.), Cod.Just.18.104.22.168, al. (From σῦκον φαίνειν, orig. used of denouncers of the attempted export of figs from Athens, acc. to Ister 35, Plu. Sol.24, 2.523b; orig. of citizens entrusted with the collection of figs as part of the public revenues of Athens and the denouncing of tax-evaders, acc. to Philomnest.1; of denouncers of figs which had been stolen from the sacred fig-trees during a famine and had become cheap, the famine having passed, Sch.Ar.Pl.31, cf. Fest. p.393 L.; these and modern explanations are mere guesses; the word first in Ar. but implied by συκοπέδιλος.)