9 Rulers From History Who Really Needed to Chill Out a Bit
Heavy is the head that wears the crown. But that doesn’t mean you have to make it everybody else’s problem! Throughout history, there have been a number of unfortunate populaces unlucky enough to be born into an era where their ruler was a class-A bunghole. Unfortunately, when the guy with the attitude problem also has absolute power, it most likely means a whole bunch of people are getting thrown in a pit.
Here are nine historical rulers who could have stood to be a little more chill…
How many of your friends’ birthdays do you have memorized? Well, if you were unlucky enough to count the Roman emperor Caligula among them, you might want to mark that day on your calendar, because tales say he executed two consuls who forgot his big day. Seems like a “birthday week” guy anyways.
Ivan the Terrible
Insecurity is a terrible trait to have as a king. It very quickly turns into paranoia, and when you’re in charge, the fact is, probably at least some people want you gone. Ivan the Terrible had numerous methods of execution for anyone he deemed to be possibly plotting against him, including cooking them alive in literal giant frying pans. Buddy, how about you fry yourself up a giant sandwich, because your blood sugar seems low?
Love can make a man do crazy things. Jealousy can make someone completely unrecognizable. I would, however, say that as an excuse, it still doesn’t quite cover having 280 concubines drowned because they wouldn’t tell you what outsider had slept with one of your precious harem. Even if somebody cheated, that leaves you with 279 pairs of concubine shoulders to cry on. It’ll be okay!
Vlad the Impaler
Man, this guy had a real stick up his ass, much like the numerous enemies he mounted on spikes, often while they were still alive.
Erik XIV of Sweden
Let me tell you, the guy didn’t get the nickname “The Butcher King” because of his impressive speed in breaking down an animal carcass. On the bright side, he was an intensely loyal friend. When a personal secretary bad-mouthed one of Erik’s buddies, he gave them a real talking to, by which I mean he killed him with a fire iron. I imagine his friend responded to the news with a “thanks, I guess?”
Plenty of men in power throughout history have a fraught relationship with women. One ever-so-slight advantage most have over the Zhengde Emperor, born Zhu Houzhao, is that they never kept a bunch of them imprisoned in a converted zoo. You catch more flies with honey than with cages, my man! Well, partly because the bees can fly through the bars, but my point stands!
Attila the Hun
Attila the Hun wasn’t happy just to win battles. He was famous for completely decimating any land he passed through, including food stores and, well, pretty much everybody around. Nobody likes a sore winner, my man. Plus, maybe you wouldn’t have had such a hard time feeding your army if you’d left a couple of those farms still standing.
It’s a commonly quoted statistic that almost half of all marriages end in divorce. We should just be glad that all those husbands aren’t Henry the VIII, or we’d be looking at an even grimmer 50 percent decapitation rate. He famously had two of his six wives beheaded, even though he was the head of the brand new Church of England, meaning he could cancel his own marriages with probably nothing more than a signature and pressing some wild-looking ring into a bit of wax. Forgive and forget, big fella!
Enough with the plagues and the smiting from upstairs! Clouds seem comfy, maybe take a quick nap before you decide to unleash another horror.