"Sardanapalus's luxury"

Death of Sardanapalus
Public DomainDeath of Sardanapalus - Credit: Eugène Delacroix 1827
Sardanapalus is described by the Greek writer Ctesias of Cnidus as the last king of Assyria, living in 7BC.  He is portrayed as a decadent, self-indulgent figure, exceeding all previous rulers in sloth and luxury. He dressed in women's clothes and wore make-up, and had many concubines of both sexes.  His lifestyle caused dissatisfaction within the Assyrian empire, and a plot was hatched against him.  He was besieged at his capital, Nineveh.  To avoid falling to his enemies, he had a huge funeral pyre created, on which were piled "all his gold, silver and royal apparel". He had his eunuchs and concubines boxed-in inside the pyre, and burned them and himself to death.