41 Appalling Facts About the Worst Rulers in History

November 22, 2019 | Rachel Seigel

41 Appalling Facts About the Worst Rulers in History

“The ones who are insane enough to think that they can rule the world are always the ones who do.”

―Stefan Molyneux.

Throughout time, there has been no shortage of bad rulers. From tyrannical Roman emperors to unruly and insane monarchs around the world, whether they were crazy, incompetent, evil, or all of the above, they were disastrous for their countries and their subjects. Here are 41 appalling facts about the worst rulers in history.

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Worst Rulers in History Facts

41. Angered a Nation

When Peter III was 14, his closest relative and Aunt Elizabeth became Empress of Russia and she dragged his sorry butt with her to Russia. Peter hated Russia and Russia hated him, so not exactly a match made in heaven. At 17, he married Catherine the Great, but he was no better prepared to be a husband than a ruler and preferred to play toy soldiers with her in bed. Catherine, being the great woman she was didn’t tolerate this foolish behavior for long, and when she got wind of Peter’s plan to divorce her, she conspired to overthrow him. Nine days after his forced abdication and exile he was assassinated—probably at Catherine’s order. Let’s just say nobody mourned his death.

Worst Rulers in History factsSecretosCortesanos

40. Cowardly King

Ramagupta was fifth Gupta Emperor and is remembered almost exclusively for his cowardice. According to the stories, he attacked the Sakas in Gujarat in an effort to expand his empire, but that didn’t go well for him and he ended up trapped. His wife was the price that the Saka king demanded for peace, and much to the displeasure of his wife and her brothers, he caved and accepted the terms. Being the more capable of the two, Ramagupta’s brother took care of business and killed the Sakas king. This earned him the respect of the people and the queen, and he used this opportunity to assassinate Ramagupta and take the throne.

Worst Rulers in History factsWikipedia

39. Creative Executions

Genghis Khan wasn’t exactly known for being kind and merciful. He was a terrifying ruler who amassed his empire by seizing cities and executing people along the way. Ironically, his belief that he couldn’t spill blood made him even crueler, because rather than just stabbing them or cutting their heads off, he had to come up with other ways to kill them. Now you might think that breaking their necks or choking would have done the trick, but this was pretty rare. His favorite method involved piling them under a large board and then he and his nobles would eat dinner on top of the board until they were all crushed to death. Not a fun way to go!

Worst Rulers in History factsTwitter

38. Tower of Skulls

If you think Genghis Khan was evil, you should have met his (possible) descendant Tamerlane the Great or Timur the Turkic conqueror. During his 40-year reign, he tried his hardest to emulate Khan, destroying cities, killing tens of thousands, and sending spies into the enemy camp to spread rumors about his vicious exploits. In Baghdad, he is said to have beheaded 90,000 people and built towers out of their rotting skulls. Tamerlane also had a pretty good handle on the most brutal methods of torture, and he didn’t hesitate to skin people alive for not accepting Islam.

Worst Rulers in History factsCivilization V Customisation Wiki

37. One Trick Murderer

The legend of Vlad the Impaler is rife with stories of his brutality, including his fondness for impaling the bodies of his enemies with blunt stakes. When it came to punishing crimes, he was essentially a one-trick pony. There were no degrees of punishment for Vlad. He just went straight for the impaling. He also had zero sympathy for the sick or the poor and burnt them alive in one of his castles. If ever there was a time when flying under the radar was a good idea, it was during his reign.

Worst Rulers in History factsPinterest

36. Corrupt Gladiator

Emperor Commodus of Rome was not particularly beloved by his people. During his reign, Rome fell into a pretty bad state. While he was busy indulging in the things he liked to do like fighting as a gladiator he left the political stuff to others. He was said to not only be vain, but to believe himself to be Hercules reincarnated, ordering statues of himself to be dressed like the god and to be addressed as Hercules. As if this weren’t bad enough, while he played nice inside the public arena, in his private fights he wasn’t so nice. He ordered wounded soldiers and ordinary cripples into the arena to be slain, and he slaughtered exotic animals—much to the horror of the Romans. Predictably, his outlandish behavior was too brutal even for Rome, and he was eventually assassinated.

Worst Rulers in History factsRome Across Europe

35. The Mad King

King George III is the British monarch best remembered for sparking the American war for Independence with the taxes he put on the colonies. Around the mid-1780s he started losing his mind—so much so that he had to be sent away to a spa to recuperate. The spa treatment failed to make him better, and pretty soon rumors started circulating about his bizarre exploits, including shaking hands with a tree he believed to be the King of Prussia. Sadly, he died blind, deaf, and completely crazy in 1810.

Worst Rulers in History factsThe Association of the Covenant People

34. The Puppet Czar

When Czar Fyodor III of Russia died he didn’t have any heirs, so naturally, there was a power struggle for the throne. Eventually, Ivan V and his half-brother Peter were declared co-Czars, with Ivan’s mother being named Queen Regent. This really wasn’t the smartest of ideas because the 16-year-old Ivan was an invalid who had both mental and physical challenges, and his mother intended to use him as her puppet. Thinking Peter would sit idly by and let this happen was definitely a miscalculation on her part, and he and his supporters quickly overthrew her. Luckily for Ivan, Peter had no beef with him, and he allowed Ivan to retain his position in name only until his death. Peter, on the other hand, ended up being a pretty good ruler and became known as Peter the Great.

Worst Rulers in History factsYouTube

33. Teen Tyrant

Murad IV, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, was born during a particularly violent period for his kingdom. Being under perpetual attack can be stressful even for the most seasoned leader, but Murad took it all in stride and did as the Romans do, using the violence to his advantage. During his reign, he killed his siblings, banned smoking and coffee (making their use punishable by death), and made sure to hang or impale anyone who defied him—and that was just for starters. He had his corrupt advisors strangled to death in his presence, executed a bunch of high ranking military officials, and he had the head of the Islamic Supreme court assassinated. All in all, he was one scary dude that you were better off not to mess with!

Worst Rulers in History factsUmmah

32. Incompetent King

In the history of the British Monarchy, there have been some pretty awful kings, but Edward II earned his place in history by being one of the most incompetent kings to ever rule England. His lack of military prowess led to his defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, freeing Scotland from English rule and enabling them to raid Northern England. Edward’s wife Queen Isabella of France was none too impressed with his idiocy, and in 1326 used a mercenary army to unseat him and to stick her son Edward III on the throne instead. Since Edward was still too young to rule on his own, she also got the added bonus of being Queen regent. In 1327 Edward II was murdered at Berkley Castle, possibly at Isabella’s command.

Worst Rulers in History factsThoughtCo

31. Bit Their Heads Off

Back in the sixth century, mental illness was a pretty big mystery, and nobody had any idea how to treat it properly. This was unfortunate for Emperor Justin II, who was the sixth emperor of the Byzantine Empire (formerly the Roman Empire), and completely and utterly bonkers. Aside from losing a big chunk of Italy to Persia which was already a pretty big blip for a Roman leader, he heard voices and would hide under his bed to get away from them. He also apparently wanted organ music to be constantly playing to help drown them out. Whenever Justin was in crazy mode his servants would try to restrain him, but he’d fight back, biting them in the head. Biter or not, Justin still had to be contended with, so his servants built a throne on wheels, and pushed him around the palace in it. Something had to give, Justin’s wife Sophia knew it. She somehow convinced him to appoint the military leader Tiberius to take over for him—because obviously he was in no shape to rule—and he lived peacefully in seclusion until his death.

Worst Rulers in History factsHowStuffWorks

30. Prisoner’s Revenge

The members of the Liu Song dynasty really enjoyed killing people, and particularly members of their own family or the families of everyone else. Emperor Qianfei started out as his uncle’s prisoner and was constantly in fear of his own life until his father killed his uncle and freed him. If you think he was grateful for having his life spared, think again. He hated his father so much, he ordered ugly noses be painted on all of his father’s portraits and undid all of his father’s laws in one fell swoop creating bedlam. He also inherited his family’s killing lust and killed pretty much his entire family, beginning with his brother. He did spare a few of his uncles, but they were caged and put on display. Pretty soon he was killing anyone who looked at him sideways until he was killed by his attendants to the complaint of nobody.

Worst Rulers in History factsEmpire and Revolution

29. Paranoid Conqueror

Emperor Sun Hao of China was the grandson of the founder of the Eastern Wu dynasty and was the agreed upon choice to succeed his uncle, Emperor Jing, despite there being serious threats from his enemies. Initially, he seemed like he’d be a good ruler. He reduced taxes and increased grain payments for the poor, but then his paranoid and superstitious nature took over and it was all downhill from there. He forced his aunt to commit suicide, executed his cousins, and became obsessed with conquering the rival Jin state. Had he been halfway competent, this might not have been a bad plan, but his overextension of the military led to rebellions, and open the door for the Jin state to conquer them. Luckily for Sun Hao, Emperor Sima Yin had a forgiving nature and instead of executing him, pardoned him and allowed him to live as a “guest” of the government until his death.

Worst Rulers in History factsTop Ten

28. Stuck in Time

Some people never grow up, and the Zhengde Emperor of China was pretty much stuck at 14 for his entire life. Zhu Houzhao, emperor of the Ming Dynasty from 1505-1521 took the throne at the ripe old age of 14, and at the time, his ministers were fairly certain that he’d take an interest in his kingdom and become a great leader. Well, Houzhao definitely developed an interest in something, but governing wasn’t it. He had a taste for the ladies and put together a harem so large that the women in it were starving from lack of supplies. He converted a zoo just outside the Forbidden City in Beijing to his own personal brothel, and for whatever reason, still felt the need to visit brothels in the city as well. To top it all off, he would dress up as a general and go on raiding parties, and he invented an alter ego who he would also order on raiding parties. Amazingly, his death was neither due to assassination or in battle. He got drunk and fell off a boat during a fishing trip.

Worst Rulers in History factsHowStuffWorks

27. The King Who Shall Not Be Named

Seldom has there been a ruler so bad that no future ruler has ever taken the name, but King John, brother of Richard the Lionheart, was 100% that guy. While Richard was away on crusade, John was supposed to ‘babysit’ the kingdom, but he did far more than that. He had his nephew Arthur murdered to remove his most likely competition for the throne and then started a war with France, which he lost. He might have been forgiven for trying to seize Richard’s power, but losing Normandy was not something the Barons could abide—not to mention the ridiculous demands for money and taking their wives. They tried to force him to accept Magna Carta, but John had zero honor and went back to war with France soon after signing it. Centuries later, the Brits still haven’t forgiven him for being an evil dunce.

Worst Rulers in History factsThe Shakespeare blog

26. You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two…

Egypt’s last King had an odd habit. Not only was he into partying and gambling, he was a glutton who ballooned to 300 lbs., not to mention being a pickpocket. Believe it or not, he hired professional thieves to teach him how to do it, and he applied his new skill to guests, politicians and diplomats alike. He once lifted a watch from Winston Churchill’s pocket and then claimed that he “found it” lying on the ground. He also stole a ceremonial sword, sash, and medals from the corpse of the Shah of Iran, and at his funeral no less!

Worst Rulers in History factsLock, Stock, and History

25. Constructing a Fairy Tale

Some people are just not cut out to be kings but end up ruling anyway, and King Ludwig II of Bavaria was one of those people. Ludwig was a pretty shy dude who really didn’t like public appearances or governing and preferred to spend his time and money building fairytale castles. In 1866, two years after ascending to the throne, his uncle had him removed from the throne on grounds of insanity. Whether he was truly insane or just eccentric didn’t really matter in the end because the next day he and the doctor who declared him insane were found dead in a pond. Coincidence? I think not!

Worst Rulers in History factsThe Wagnerian

24. Caged Turk

The Ottoman Sultan Ibraham I was known as Ibraham the Mad, but you can’t really blame him for being kind of crazy—you would be too if you’d been locked in a windowless building from infancy and wondered daily if you were about to be murdered. Ibraham’s brother Sultan Murad IV had actually ordered his death thinking that insanity ran in the family—he might have been right—but their mother intervened and locked him up instead. When he was declared Sultan, he refused to come out of his ‘cage’ until he saw his brother’s corpse for himself. When he came out, he set out to make up for lost time and spent his rule indulging his whims, including some pretty kinky stuff with women. His entire reign was chaotic and insane until the Grand Mufti took revenge on him for spoiling his daughter by deposing him and tossing him back in the cage. One week later, he was executed.

Worst Rulers in History factsYouTube

23. Book Burner

During his reign, Emperor Qin Shi Huang of China is credited with creating the first unified Chinese Empire, but that didn’t make him a good ruler. He achieved unification by destroying the country’s education system and basically working his subjects until they dropped. In a move straight out of 1984, he followed principals that included speaking in opposites, issuing orders that made no sense, and behaving in contraries. He also distrusted anyone with an education and not only burned books but buried several hundred scholars alive. He was so high on himself that he had a massive tomb constructed for himself, complete with 6,000 terra-cotta warriors and horses. Everything he thought he accomplished fell apart less than a decade after his death, so he wasn’t nearly as smart as he thought.

Worst Rulers in History factsChina History - Followcn

22. Raging Rudy

The Roman Emperor Rudolph II was a pretty awful ruler whose claim to fame was destroying the religious settlement that had kept German Catholics and Protestants from killing each other, and for crusading through Germany in an effort to wipe out Protestantism. That plan didn’t end up working so well. The Protestants formed a self-defense league, the Hungarians revolted against it, and the Turks went on the offensive. And what did Rudolph do during all of this? He shut himself up in Prague castle and wouldn’t talk to anyone. The Hapsburgs finally agreed to replace Rudolph with his brother Mathias, and peace was restored, and treaties signed. That is until Rudolph went into a rage and started riled up the Turks all over again. Less than six years later, the thirty-year war began, tearing Europe apart. Great job Rudy!

Worst Rulers in History factsArt UK

21. Ruthless Ranavalona

While the rest of the world was adopting European colonialism, Ranavalona I of Madagascar adopted a nationalist attitude and kept her country free from British rule by being so ruthless that she managed to cut the country’s population in half. Instead of collecting taxes, she forced imposed periods of forced labor on her subjects. She also didn’t really care who died giving her what she wanted, and once she demanded that a road be built before her eyes for her and her hunting party. An estimated 10,000 subjects died building it, but it was what she demanded. Not surprisingly, there were several plots to kill her and at least one attempt at a coup, but this only drove her into deeper paranoia. Not a good thing when you’re already ruthless!

Worst Rulers in History factsRejected Princesses

20. Henry the Weak

Henry VI of England was declared King of England at nine months old, and then King of France when his grandfather Charles VI died. Regents ran things in both countries for him until he was old enough, and he was crowned in England at age eight and in France at 10. As he got older, his complete inability to rule became clear. For one thing, he was definitely not a warrior, for another, he gave out titles and patronages to unqualified people who were his favorites at court, and his advisors had way too much influence over him. During his reign, he managed to lose a lot of English lands in France, was responsible for the beginning of the Wars of the Roses and was generally perceived as intellectually and physically weak. There was also the matter of his deteriorating mental health, which definitely didn’t help. He died locked up in the Tower of London, possibly from murder, or more romantically, of a broken heart caused by his political failures.

Worst Rulers in History factsThe Royal Family

19. Museum of Mummies

Ferdinand I of Naples was said to have a lot of political sense and was extremely brave, but when it came to governing, he was brutal and inept. His method of governance was by oppression, which led to a revolt amongst the nobility. He had zero compassion for his defeated enemies, and after falsely promising them amnesty, he had them murdered instead. After their murders, he would have them mummified and added to his museum of mummies dressed in their clothes. If he thought anyone was plotting against him, he’d simply take them on a casual tour of the museum, which was totally morbid, but effective!

Worst Rulers in History factsPovijest

18. Wandering Soul

The 16th-century Swedish ruler Eric XIV was initially thought to be quite competent, but then his paranoia took over, and everything went downhill from there. First he arrested his own brother and tried him for treason. Next, he sentenced a prominent Swedish family to death for treason without cause and killed one of the family members himself. When he was done, he disappeared into the woods and was found four days later dressed as a peasant. The nobles might have overlooked his bizarre wanderings, but they couldn’t tolerate murdering the Sture family, and they rebelled and dethroned him. A few years later, he was poisoned in prison.

Worst Rulers in History factsgabWorthy

17. Papal Pervert

Pope John XII was elected pope at the age of 18 with the support of Otto I of Germany, but he was a total sex fiend and would have sex with both men and women in the papal palace. If they refused his advances, he would just rape them anyway, including his sisters. He also seemed to enjoy having sex on other holy sites like the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul. While Pope John was busy hosting orgies, his supporter Otto I was gathering power. When John realized what was going on, he tried to conspire against Otto, but Otto came back to Rome and deposed him. John wasn’t giving up so easily however and came back with an army to reclaim his title. Before Otto could do anything about it, John was dead, possibly murdered by a jealous husband who caught him in bed with his wife. It was bound to catch up with him sometime!

Worst Rulers in History facts

16. First and Last

In China’s history, there has only been one woman to rule China by herself and that woman was the sadistic murderess Wu Zeitan. During her reign, she had all of her rivals executed, including the former empress Wang, as well as members of her own family, including her newborn daughter. She frequently ordered executions and suicides and drove others into exile. Throughout her reign she maintained power by poisoning, mutilating, strangling, and burning or boiling her subjects alive. For as long as she was into it, her reforms did quite a lot of good for China, but as she got older, she spent less time ruling and more time with her young lovers, ultimately becoming addicted to aphrodisiacs. Finally, her officials could no longer ignore her behavior and they had her lovers murdered. Zeitan herself was exiled.

Worst Rulers in History factsAncient Pages

15. Manic Maria

Maria I of Portugal was the country’s first Queen regent, but she’s known more for her madness than for her rule. People first started noticing that she was losing it in 1786 when she had to be carried back to her apartments delirious. Of course, that was the year that she lost her husband, so it’s understandable that she would be off her game. The next few years also saw her lose her son and her confessor, and by 1792, she was declared legally insane. Her young son John took over ruling in her name, and she lived out her days in a perpetual state of derangement, violent and hysterical.

Worst Rulers in History factsPinterest

14. Bad Luck Name

Being the King of Scotland was no easy task—especially when your name was James. Altogether, there were six King James’ but the worst of them was probably James III, who took the throne at nine-years-old and died at age 28. His subjects pretty much hated him for pursuing alliances with the English, and at one point his nobles even had him arrested. Eventually, he ticked them off enough to openly launch a rebellion with James’ eldest son James as the figurehead. James III was killed shortly after being defeated at the Battle of Sauchieburn, allegedly by a rebel disguised as a priest.

Worst Rulers in History factsBBC

13. Butcher of Belgium

King Leopold of Belgium of Tarzan fame is best known for creating the Congo Free State, which was a project to extract rubber and ivory from the Congo region in Africa. Under the pretense of missionary work, for two decades, he enslaved the people of the Congo killing and torturing between 8 and 12 million people in the late 1800s. Thanks to his exploitation of the Congolese people, he was at one time believed to be the richest man in the world with a personal fortune between $100 and $500 million.

Worst Rulers in History factsAntibes

12. Incompetent Plotter

After murdering his predecessor Jahandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar ascended to the Mughal throne with little going for him except his looks. He was a reportedly handsome man, but completely lacked any sort of ability to rule independently. Farrukhisyar was easily manipulated by his advisors, the Sayyid brothers, who basically ran the country. Meanwhile, it occurred to Farrukhsiyar that they might try to take his throne and his plotting led the brothers to depose him. Farrukhsiyar was thrown in jail and starved and was later blinded with needles and finally strangled. I guess his instinct was right!

Worst Rulers in History factsWikipedia

11. Disgrace to the Nation

In 1757, Mir Jafar made a secret pact with the British to overthrow the leader of Bengal in exchange for being made leader himself. Good plan right? Not so much. He did get crowned leader for what it’s worth, but he was pretty much a puppet of the British and opened the door for them to take over the rest of India. When he realized his mistake, he aligned with the Dutch to stop him, but was defeated and forced from the throne. He did manage to win over the British and get back his throne, but only after paying the Brits a large sum of money. Today, he is remembered as the guy who’s idiocy led to 200 years of British rule and as the betrayer of the true faith.

Worst Rulers in History factsWikipedia

10. Big Giant Head of Spain

Charles II of Spain was just three-years-old when he took the throne, but the country really should have known better because years of inbreeding caused him to be born with so many birth defects he was practically a mutant. He was short, thin and weak, was mentally and physically disabled. His tongue was so large nobody understood him when he spoke, and that was the least of his problems. He also suffered from a number of genetic disorders that caused rickets, bloody urine, weak muscles, and an overly large head. Mercifully, he died at age 39 without leaving an heir, so that was the end of the Hapsburg line. Not so good for Spanish politics, but for the best that there would never be another one of him.

Worst Rulers in History factsAll That

9. The Last Czar

Good rulers learn how to let go of the past and change with the times, but Czar Nicholas II was not one of them. To be fair, he wasn’t exactly raised to be a good leader, but he also had no interest in ruling or any talent for it. At a time when his country was going through major social and political change, he stubbornly held onto the old ways, and refused any kind of reform. He also sucked as a military strategist and didn’t really care much what was good for the people, so it was to be expected that something would give. His ineptness was one of the causes of the Russian Revolution, and the 300-year rule of the Romanov dynasty came to an end with his execution in 1918.

Worst Rulers in History factsThe Secret of Lion

8. Losing Ground

Fat′h Ali Shah was the second Shah (emperor) of Iran from 1772 to 1835, and he wasn’t a bad dude. Under his rule, Persian art and painting experienced a resurgence, as did a court culture infused with a strict code of behavior. As a ruler though, he was pretty incompetent. Early in his reign, Russia took control of Georgia which Iran had ruled since 1555, leading to the Russian-Persian war. It started out well enough for the Persians, but then they started losing badly and turned to their supposed allies for help. Britain refused them on the grounds that their treaty only applied to a French invasion and not Russian. France agreed to help, but then Napoleon made peace with Russia and that was that. At the same time, they were attempting to take control of the Afghani city Herat, but Afghan uprisings forced them to abort their efforts. Many treaties and battles later, Ali had managed to lose all of Iran’s Caucasian territories to Russia and had to pay them 10 million pieces of gold to support the named heir.

Worst Rulers in History factsZetaBoards

7. Nothing to Show

Over a 50-year reign you’d think that King Naser al-Din Shah Qajar of Persia would have accomplished something, but amazingly, he had virtually nothing to show for his efforts except being the first modern Iranian monarch to visit Europe. Part of the problem was that the tribal and religious leaders had a lot of control over their communities, and the people would obey them and not the monarchy. He was also something of a dictator which completely undermined any ideas he had about reform. Unfortunately for him, he never managed to gain full control over his people or get them to accept his western reforms. Great ideas, poor execution.

Worst Rulers in History factsAlchetron

6. Proclaimed Himself President

Manuel Mariano Melgarejo Valencia seized power of Bolivia on December 28, 1864. He also narrowly escaped being executed for treason by the former president, blaming alcohol for his participation in the rebellion. His rule was marked by utter incompetence previously unseen in a Bolivian leader. He suppressed his opposition and the rights of the indigenous people, he gave away land and concessions to Chil, and was totally ignorant of foreign policy. He was so bad, the opposition finally managed to galvanize against him. In 1871, he was defeated by the commander of his army and fled to Peru. Less than a year later, he was assassinated, not by political enemies but by the brother of an estranged lover.

Worst Rulers in History factsEl Telegrafo

5. Total Indulgence

The Roman Emperor Elagabalus is known not because of anything positive he accomplished during his reign, but for his incompetence and his sexual indulgences. When he took the throne at age 14, he took that as a license to have all the sex he wanted with whomever he wanted. He married and divorced five women, had countless male lovers, and allegedly offered money to any physician who could give him female parts. During his reign, he also managed to devalue Roman currency, tried to declare one lover Caesar, and appointed another to a high position in the court. At age 18, his mother, grandmother, and guard arranged to have him killed, ending his reign of madness.

Worst Rulers in History factsDaily Mail

4. Unforgivable Mistakes

If an award were given out for worst Roman Emperor of all time, Caligula would be a strong contender. Just when you thought the man couldn’t possibly be any more nuts, he would go and do something even crazier than the last insane thing he did. During his reign he offended Romans by declaring himself a god, he randomly arrested people for treason, supposedly engaged in incest with his sisters, and worst of all, declared war on Neptune, god of the sea. Not surprisingly, he was assassinated by the Praetorian Guard.

Once, in the middle of a dinner party, Caligula reportedly burst into raucous laughter for no apparent reason. When asked to explain why, his reply made everyone’s blood run cold. He said: “I’ve just thought that I’ve only to give the word and you’ll all have your throats cut.” By the time he died, he was so hated that the Senate pushed to have him completely erased from Roman history.

Worst Rulers in History factsBBC

3. Ruthless Ruler

King Herod the Great is definitely not remembered as much for his greatness as for being the evil King who wanted to slaughter the baby Jesus. Legend has it that Herod was a power-hungry schemer who managed to take advantage of the political situation in Rome to become ruler, and he saw Jesus as a threat to his power. Luckily for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and the three Wise Men were warned about this plot in advance, and they took the baby and fled to Egypt. Herod was so ticked off at being foiled that he ordered the slaughter of all boys under two in the Bethlehem area.

After accusing his wife of adultery and having her executed, King Herod had her body preserved in honey and continued to perform disturbing acts with it for years afterward.
Following a reign of 37 years, he died a terribly painful death from a disease that rotted his body and gave him worms. Kind of poetic, really.

Worst Rulers in History factsReal Life Villains Wiki

2. Chronic Masturbator

Most people thought that King Christian VII of Denmark was pretty nutty, but that was mostly because he frequently threw food at his dinner guests. And then the masturbation started. For whatever reason, Christian became abnormally fascinated with his penis and started masturbating so often that it interfered with his ability to rule, and maybe his health too. He had enough sense not to do it in front of visitors, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do other strange things. When somebody bowed before him he supposedly leapfrogged over them, and he would slap people in the face in the middle of a conversation for no apparent reason. Eventually, his personal physician pulled the rug out from under him and gave control of the kingdom to the Queen, with whom he was also having an affair. It seems like Christian didn’t care too much about any of this because he had what he wanted right between his legs.

Worst Rulers in History factsWikipedia

1. Mad Queen of Castile

Juana la Loca (Joanna the Mad) was the Queen of Castile between 1504 and 1516 but was queen in name only, because she was a total mental case. When her husband Philip died suddenly in 1506, she became completely unhinged. She reportedly would open his tomb where she would spend time with him, kissing and caressing his body.

When her father stepped in to finally bury the body, Joanna ordered it exhumed, leaped at his coffin, and kissed his cold feet. From that moment on, she brought his coffin with her everywhere, even her bed. Only years later did she return Philip to the ground—burying him right outside her window.

Understandably, her father had to came out of retirement to act as regent for her during this time, and when he died, her son had her declared unfit and locked up in a nunnery for the rest of her life.

Worst Rulers in History factsMuy Interesante

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38

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