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Thread: crazy despot anecdotes

  1. #1

    Default crazy despot anecdotes

    this is meant to be a repository of stories about megalomaniac dictators. the stories have to be about real historical figures, but the stories don't neccessarily have to be true, but the stories must be what people believed to be true and what the despot was certainly capable of.

    my favorite caligula anecdote is that he supposedly had a whole bunch of ships lashed together, and then rode across the bay of naples on horseback.
    indeed

  2. #2
    Vermonter and Seperatist Member Uesugi Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Caligula was a good man! (sarcasm)

    Stalin's son was captured by the Nazis while fighting as a colonel in the Red Army. The Soviets had captured a German general and the Nazis proposed a trade, Stalin's son for the general. Stalin asked why he would trade a general for a colonel. His son died while in captivity.

    Oh during/before a sea battle at the Coloseum didn't some gladiators approach Caligula and salute him with the famous words: "All hail Caesar, we who are about to die salute you!" He thought they were mocking him and ordered the Praetorians to kill them, they decided to enter the sea battle rather than face his guards and presumably died.
    "A man's dying is more his survivor's affair than his own."
    C.S. Lewis

    "So many people tiptoe through life, so carefully, to arrive, safely, at death."
    Jermaine Evans

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    Abou's nemesis Member Krusader's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Empire (Central African Republic).

    Believed to do many things, like serving prisoners as steak to European dignitaries during banquets.

    Jean-Bedel Bokassa
    "Debating with someone on the Internet is like mudwrestling with a pig. You get filthy and the pig loves it"
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  4. #4

    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Hitler single handedly lost WW2 for Germany. There, thats a story!

  5. #5
    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Wait, you wanted Germany to win? And what else kill the remainging jews and slavs that were hiding elsewhere?

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    dictator by the people Member caesar44's Avatar
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    Smile Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    louis 14th wiped his bottom with chicks
    "The essence of philosophy is to ask the eternal question that has no answer" (Aristotel) . "Yes !!!" (me) .

    "Its time we stop worrying, and get angry you know? But not angry and pick up a gun, but angry and open our minds." (Tupac Amaru Shakur)

  7. #7
    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Nero wanted to be recognized as an artist, so he want on a tour to perform in Greece. However, he feared the reactions of the people, so he brought along a bunch of servants to hear his singing (I think he sung at least) and applaud him wherever he went
    Also, when Rome was on fire, he stood on the balcony singing a song about it, which led to the rumour that he was the one that had set the fire.

    In the same league, Kim Jong II has performed in an Elvis suit.
    Yes, Iraq is peaceful. Go to sleep now. - Adrian II

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    Member Member Basiliscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    The German magazine, Simplicissimus, on 3 May 1904, depicts King Leopold II of Belgium barbequing and eating a decapitated native from the Congo.

    Most unlikely to be true, but an intresting view of what the international community thought of such events. The Belgian abuse of human rights in the Congo cost 10 million lives.
    " 's a ruaig e dhachaidh, air chaochladh smaoin "
    " And sent him homeward, Tae think again "
    (translation by John Angus Macleod)

  9. #9
    Robber Baron Member Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Another Caligula story: Once he decided to invade Britannia, so he had his army assemble on the shore of the English Channel. Only, he had forgotten to order some ships to get his soldiers across, so, not knowing what to do next, he ordered his men to search for sea-shells. Also, he made his favourite horse consul.

    About the emperor Honorius (5th century) it is said he only knew the name "Rome" as the name of his favourite chicken...

  10. #10
    Member Member cunctator's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Gaddafi survived the bombing of his palace in Tripolis in the 80ties because he sleeped in a tent in his garden.

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    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    When Xerxes had the Sea of Marmara whipped because it had destroyed his bridge of boats.



    ~Wiz
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    Eric B. & Rakim, I Know You Got Soul

  12. #12
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Let's keep commentary regarding the patron providing an anecdote out of the discussion.
    This space intentionally left blank

  13. #13
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Josef Vissarionovits Dzhugasvili=Stalin=Man of Steel=Superman?
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

  14. #14
    Tovenaar Senior Member The Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Ah, and the episode where Dionysius of Syracuse, after finally having won a contest for poetry, drinks himself to death. Talk staying in the feeling


    ~Wiz
    "It ain't where you're from / it's where you're at."

    Eric B. & Rakim, I Know You Got Soul

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    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Burmese King Threinhko was killed by a farmer whose cucumbers he ate without permission. Threinhko's queen, fearing civil disorder, smuggled the farmer into the royal palace and him in royal robes. He was proclaimed King Nyaung-u Sawarhan and was known as the "Cucumber king".

    King Narathihapate was forced at knife-point to take poision.

    King Tabinshweti was beheaded by his chamberlains whilst searching for a fictitious white elephant.

    King Nandabayin laughed to death when informed, by a visiting Italian merchant, that Venvice was a free state without a knog.

    Taken form the book "Schott's original miscellany" by Ben Schott.

  16. #16
    Resident Northern Irishman Member ShadesPanther's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Stalin couldn't sleep in a bed and so had a recliner-Sofa thing (can't remember the name of it)

    "A man may fight for many things: his country, his principles, his friends, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mudwrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a stack of French porn."
    - Edmund Blackadder

  17. #17
    Ambiguous Member Byzantine Prince's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Stalin would throw cigarette butt at his wife for his own amusement. That's true, it's not a joke.

  18. #18
    Caged for your safety Member RabidGibbon's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    my favorite caligula anecdote is that he supposedly had a whole bunch of ships lashed together, and then rode across the bay of naples on horseback.
    Hmm, according to I,Claudius by Robert Graves after riding the horse across the bay of naples Caligula left the bridge of boats open to the public.

    Once it was full of curious citizens Caligula dressed up as Neptune and attacked the bridge with several warships, killing rather a lot of them. It doesn't sound funny but the way it was written made me laugh.

    Also the horse he rode across the bay of naples was later made a senator in the senate - Caligula planned to make it consul but it hadn't served the minimum period of service nessecarry to be elected consul before he was murdered.

    Other amusing Caligula episodes in I,Cladiaus are his auctions and (like the previously mentioned invasion of brittania) his invasion of germany.

    I'd be interested from hearing from anyone in the know about the truth behind these stories.
    Last edited by RabidGibbon; 05-31-2005 at 23:01.

  19. #19
    Abou's nemesis Member Krusader's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    A friend of mine who studies Ancient history said this about the horse being made senator:

    Apparently Caligula was displeased with the Senate and especially the senators themselves, so he made his horse a senator. He believed and even said that his horse would be a better senator than the current ones.

    Other Caligula oddities:

    He enjoyed sparring with gladiators. But while the gladiators were armed with wooden gladius', Caligula had a real sharp gladius. And the gladiators were not allowed to blink either.

    During a Colosseum "festival", one part of the Colosseum audience laughed about Caligula, who promptly threw them to the lions.
    "Debating with someone on the Internet is like mudwrestling with a pig. You get filthy and the pig loves it"
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  20. #20

    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Quote Originally Posted by Basiliscus
    The German magazine, Simplicissimus, on 3 May 1904, depicts King Leopold II of Belgium barbequing and eating a decapitated native from the Congo.

    Most unlikely to be true, but an intresting view of what the international community thought of such events. The Belgian abuse of human rights in the Congo cost 10 million lives.
    I believe as percentage of population, what the Belgians did in Africa is the worst genocide/massacre in the 20th century (above Holocaust, Pol Pot etc.).

  21. #21
    Abou's nemesis Member Krusader's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Quote Originally Posted by soda
    I believe as percentage of population, what the Belgians did in Africa is the worst genocide/massacre in the 20th century (above Holocaust, Pol Pot etc.).
    As I recall wasn't Belgian Congo the private colony of King Leopold of Belgium? What I learned in history was that Belgian Congo was up until 1908 the private possession of the Belgian King, and that while the top-ranking officers and administrators in Congo were Belgians, there was a great number of foreigners hired as well. There was a series of articles in a Norwegian magazine which said approximately 33-50% of the river flotilla in Congo was crewed by Norwegians, who also took an active role in the genocide.

    And didn't the most severe human rights abuses stop after the Belgian government took control over Congo in 1908?
    ---
    Back on-topic:

    And then we have, as a British officer remarked as a "fine chap", Idi Amin, who titled himself "His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular" plus 'Big Daddy' and, bizarrely, 'King of Scotland.'
    "Debating with someone on the Internet is like mudwrestling with a pig. You get filthy and the pig loves it"
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  22. #22
    Member Member sharrukin's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Originally Posted by Basiliscus
    The Belgian abuse of human rights in the Congo cost 10 million lives.


    Quote Originally Posted by soda
    I believe as percentage of population, what the Belgians did in Africa is the worst genocide/massacre in the 20th century (above Holocaust, Pol Pot etc.).
    Well since the population of the Belgian Congo is estimated to be between 6-8 million in this period he was clearly going overboard.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
    -- John Stewart Mills

    But from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason.
    LORD ACTON

  23. #23
    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    The scary thing about Congo is, the locals say it's now worse than it ever was under Leo.
    Yes, Iraq is peaceful. Go to sleep now. - Adrian II

  24. #24
    Humanist Senior Member A.Saturnus's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    Quote Originally Posted by doc_bean
    The scary thing about Congo is, the locals say it's now worse than it ever was under Leo.
    I see, after Leo killed 10 million of 8 million the remaining -2 million are still alive to remember how it was?

  25. #25
    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    I never said how many people he killed, but I'm sure it was quite a lot.
    Yes, Iraq is peaceful. Go to sleep now. - Adrian II

  26. #26
    dictator by the people Member caesar44's Avatar
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    Smile Re: crazy despot anecdotes

    let us say 10,000 or 50,000 or 100,000 people ? maybe 250,000 or 500,000 ?
    because we all know that the germans murdered 6,000,000 jews and millions of others and we do know that pol pot regime killed over a 1,000,000 people
    "The essence of philosophy is to ask the eternal question that has no answer" (Aristotel) . "Yes !!!" (me) .

    "Its time we stop worrying, and get angry you know? But not angry and pick up a gun, but angry and open our minds." (Tupac Amaru Shakur)

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