It is said that on his retreat from Greece after his great military expedition there, King Xerxes boarded a Phoenician ship along with a number of his Persian troops. But a fearful storm came up, and the captain told Xerxes there was no hope unless the ships load was substantially lightened. The king turned to his fellow Persians on deck and said, “It is on you that my safety depends. Now let some of you show your regard for your king.” A number of the men bowed to Xerxes and threw themselves overboard!
Lightened of its load, the ship made it safely to harbor. Xerxes immediately ordered that a golden crown be given to the pilot for preserving the kings life -- then ordered the man beheaded for causing the loss of so many Persian lives!