It takes a special kind of person to be able to rule a nation, but it takes an even more special kind of person to be forever reminisced and not get lost in the sands of time. Let’s say you could suddenly become the leader of a country. What do you think history books are going to remember you for? Most people would rather be talked about for their heroic deeds, but unfortunately, here we are – talking about the 14 Most Insane Rulers That Have Ever Lived. Some of them were a majorly harmless kind of crazy. Well, that’s not really the right word, but the point is that they weren’t the sadistic-torturer of crazy. Others were miles worse. Either way, here they are; future leaders, read and learn.
1. Emperor Caligula
So many people have approached this kind of list before, and on basically all of them, you will find Caligula at the top of the hierarchy. That’s not something to be proud of, because he committed deeds so horrible that we can’t even enumerate for the sake of keeping this article family friendly. I’ll just tell you to eventually Google them at some point and swiftly move on.
2. King George III Of England
Suffering from dementia, King George III couldn’t even remember that he was the king or that his wife died. He also attended a very, ahem, memorable Christmas dinner, since he did nothing but blabber nonsense for almost sixty hours straight. Oh, but don’t worry, his madness isn’t the only thing history remembers. It also remembers that he lost the American colonies!
3. Henry VI Of England
I don’t know, seems like life as an English monarch was pretty mentally scarring. Henry VI’s issue was that he was bipolar to the point he was unable to properly rule anymore, forcing his wife to take over.
4. Charles IX Of France
Basically the real life version of Joffrey, Charles IX had some serious temper issues. He once attacked his sister with his bare fists, and during her wedding, he ordered the murder of thousands of people who were protesting outside.
5. Afonso VI Of Portugal
Afonso VI was a monarch that was both mentally and physically handicapped, remaining paralyzed on one half of his body at the age of three. He was known for his sadistic pastimes and for his uncontrollable gluttony and laziness. In fact, he usually ate all of his meals in bed, almost always stuffing himself to the point of sickness.
6. Carlos II Of Spain
This Spanish leader was the unfortunate result of years and years of inbreeding, which resulted in deformities both mental and physical. His appearance was so ruined, that he could barely close his mouth to chew, and many considered him to be a “monstrosity.” Needless to say, he was incapable of ruling, so his mother was the one who did the leading in his stead, while he lived his life believing to be bewitched.
7. Christian VII Of Denmark
Do you know who is the most entitled to complain that they’re doing all the work? Christian VII’s adviser council, that’s who. Since the monarch suffered from paranoia, hallucinations and self-mutilation tendencies, he wasn’t exactly the most suitable person to watch over a country. Oh, and he also randomly slapped people. A true leader.
8. Otto Of Bavaria
Speak from jumping out of the pot straight into the fire. Otto came to replace his also insane brother, Ludwig II, but it turns out that actually was worse. He wasn’t exactly at a random-fist-fights-with-your-sister level of madness, but he couldn’t go anywhere without blabbering and breaking things in his path.
9. Queen Maria I Of Portugal
Take a genealogy already plagued by inbreeding and a history of madness, combine it with the consecutive loss of your loved ones, and you get Queen Maria I. It’s understandable that, under these conditions, she completely lost it, though, but can you imagine working in the palace? Allegedly the late night hours within its walls were filled with agonizing cries and screaming.
10. Fyodor I Of Russia
Ah, finally, an insane ruler who wasn’t hurting anybody. Fyodor I was a particularly pious man, who spent a lot of his time praying. After his daughter died, he started wandering around the Russian lands and rang every church bell he stumbled upon. This is how he came to be nicknamed as Fyodor “The Bellringer.”
11. Maria Eleonora Of Brandenburg
This queen wasn’t going to give up until she would give birth to a boy. This is probably why, after she was blessed with a daughter, she was overtaken by madness. Despite her husband being incredibly happy to have a girl, Maria Eleonora lived with the paranoia that he wasn’t pleased, so she tried numerous times to kill her. Fortunately, her daughter lived to see another day.
12. Ivan IV
You may better know him by the name of Ivan the Terrible. And, boy, did he have a good reason to be called that way. Years of suffering and abuse took their toll on his mental health. When he was only 14, he conquered Russia and decided to feed a pack of dogs with, um, the government. The list of his terrible deeds is long, so let’s stop here.
13. Ludwig II Of Bavaria
The brother and predecessor of the previously mentioned Otto, Ludwig II was a lousy ruler for the plain reason that he wasn’t really ruling at all. His favorite hobby was building castles from fairy tales. This would be an endearing way to spend your leisure time, if it weren’t for the fact he had a country to lead.
14. Juana I Of Spain
She feared the prospect of infidelity so much that, even after his death, she refused to let any women near his corpse. That included nuns, too.
Simply thinking about all these people is enough to make you slightly uncomfortable, so I guess we can all be grateful they aren’t the rulers of our world as we know it today. Sure, our leaders have their issues too, but at least we don’t need to worry that someone will feed the government to dogs. I hope. Basically, let’s be grateful they aren’t the 14 Most Insane Rulers That Have Ever Lived.
Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.