Word of the Day Archive
Saturday June 16, 2012
Rich papers with gold borders, bronze chandeliers, mahogany engravings in the dining-room, and blue cashmere furniture in the salon, … all details of a chilling and perfectly unmeaning character, but which to the eyes of Ville-aux- Fayes seemed the last efforts of Sardanapalian luxury.
-- Honoré de Balzac, Sons of Soil
Here, in this half-destroyed Tartar town, surrounded by steppes, he indulged himself in a Sardanapalian effulgence that beggared even his jassy Court.
-- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Potemkin
First used in English in the 1860s, Sardanapalian is an eponym that comes from the legendary Assyrian king Sardanapal who was famous for his decadence.