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  • The legend goes, a young man named Herostrat in Achaia wanted to be famous forever. He couldn't accomplish anything great in athletics, nor any new philosophy, nor could he earn the popular acclaim.

    Instead, he burnt the Temple of Artemis to its foundation stones.

    The authorities having caught up with him and learned of his scheme, proclaimed an apt punishment. Not only was he to be put to death, but a damnatio memoriae was published, and any who mentioned the wrongdoer's name thenceforth should be put to death themselves.

    So you could use this word, which aptly describes those who commit infamous crimes in the interest of earning attention, but only if you are seriously interested in encouraging the cause of a sociopathic ancient Greek arsonist.

    December 19, 2007