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  • Biblical example, Older Than Feudalism: In the book of Esther, Queen Esther's husband King Xerxes of Persia was baited to mandate that the Jews be exterminated as a race. The corrupt minister Haman, who baited him, had built a gallows to hang Mordechai, uncle and caretaker of Esther. After Mordechai and Esther expose the plot, the prisoner that Xerxes sends to the gallows is none other than Haman himself; and the only people exterminated are Haman's family.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • When Theseus traveled on the road to Athens, he encountered numerous bandits/serial killers who had unique murder methods. Theseus offed them with their own methods. These included:
      • Epidaurus, who would beat people to death with his club.
      • Siris, who would tie people between two trees that he had bent down. Then he let go of the trees, ripping them in half.
      • Sciron, an elderly man who would ask passersby to wash his feet as a sign of respect. When they bent over to comply, he would punt them off a cliff and into the jaws of a sea monster at the bottom.
      • Cercyon, who would challenge passersby to wrestling matches, then kill them after they had lost.
      • Procrustes, who would invite passersby to stay the night at his place. If they were too short for the bed, he would stretch their bodies until they fit. If they were too tall for the bed, he would chop off the excess.
    • The fate of King Diomedes of Thrace, who owned four man-eating mares. One of Hercules's labors was to steal said mares, and Hercules accomplished this by feeding Diomedes to his own animals, which somehow made them tame enough to capture without a fight. (In some versions, Hercules did this in revenge after the mares had eaten his young friend Abderus, even though Diomedes wasn't involved in Abderus's death.)
    • Medusa also gets defeated this way in various versions of her myth; Getting turned to stone by her own gaze via mirror or somesuch. The ones where her eyes merely get stabbed are closer to Death by Irony.
    • The Greeks obviously loved this trope.
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