The ancient Babylonian ritual of humbling the king happened every year during the New Year festival called Akitu. On the fifth day of the festival, the Babylonian king would surrender his crown and scepter to the head priest. The priest would then drag the king by the ear in front of an image of the Babylonian god. The king knelt to pray for forgiveness. Then the priest would slap him in the face as hard as he could. If tears fell from his eyes, it was a sign that God still favored the king. If the king failed to cry, it was a sign that God was angry.
Throughout his life, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus wore many hats. He was a humble farmer, an aristocrat, and a member of the patrician class. He was given absolute power over the people of ancient Rome on two occasions and voluntarily gave it up each time. What made Cincinnatus famous in his time – and a legend in ours – is the fact that he was an honorable man.