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A distinguished Persian, son of Megabyzus. After Darius Hystaspis had besieged Babylon for twenty months in vain, Zopyrus resolved to gain the place for his master by the most extraordinary self-sacrifice. Accordingly, one day he appeared before Darius with his body mutilated in the most horrible manner; both his ears and nose were cut off, and his person otherwise disfigured. After explaining to Darius his intentions, he fled to Babylon as a victim of the cruelty of the Persian king. The Babylonians gave him their confidence, and placed him at the head of their troops. He soon found means to betray the city to Darius, who severely punished the inhabitants for their revolt. Darius appointed Zopyrus satrap of Babylon for life, with the enjoyment of its entire revenues (Herod.iii. 153-160).


The Physiognomist, who attributed many vices to Socrates, which the latter admitted were his natural propensities, but said that they had been overcome by philosophy (Tusc. Disp. iv. 37; De Fato, 5).

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