Damocles was a courtier of Dionysus the Elder. According to a legend, Damocles on one occasion commented to his ruler on the grandeur and happiness of rulers. Dionysus soon thereafter invited his courtier to a luxurious banquet, where Damocles enjoyed the delights of the table until his attention was directed upward and he saw a sharp sword hanging above him by a single horsehair. By this device Dionysus made Damocles realize that insecurity might threaten those who appeared to be the most fortunate.