Adam Powell's book, History's Worst: 2000 Years of Idiocy, was launched as a Kindle e-Book on Amazon on January 27, 2014. To celebrate the one-year anniversary, the book will be offered for FREE for two days: January 27 and January 28, 2015, so mark your calendars! See his YouTube video here. Note the regular price is now $3.99 instead of the original $6.99—a sweetheart of a deal.
As we are also nearing Valentine's Day, here are some excerpts from History's Worst: 2000 Years of Idiocy that depict the WORST VALENTINES IN HISTORY!
Worst Valentines in History
1) Queen Zingua of Angola (reigned early 17th century)
As sexually active as she was cruel, she had a harem of lovers who were executed after they performed. Women in her kingdom were also killed if they became pregnant.
2) Elagabalus, Roman emperor (reigned 218 – 222 ACE)
“Finally, he set aside a room in the palace and there committed his indecencies, always standing nude at the door of the room, as the harlots do, and shaking the curtain which hung from gold rings, while in a soft and melting voice he solicited the passers-by.” ~ Cassius Dio
He was put on the throne by his mother and grandmother in a convoluted plot. Elagabalus was only fourteen years old. His odd religion and boundary-pushing sexual practices (and that’s saying something in ancient Rome) led to his assassination.
According to accounts, he asked a doctor to give him a sex change and had all his body hair plucked. While he was emperor he enjoyed pretending to be a prostitute in the taverns of Rome. This did not prevent him marrying five times during his reign, once to a Vestal Virgin, once executing a former husband shortly before the marriage.
3) Charles II of Spain (reigned 1665 – 1700)
The Habsburgs always swam in the shallow end of the gene pool. First cousins got hitched; uncles wed nieces. Prospective brides were sized up at family reunions, resulting in a history of mental and physical abnormalities. Charles’ father, Philip IV, carried on the long Habsburg tradition of keeping it close and married his niece. This might explain the life of poor Charles II. Deformed and imbecilic, even by his family’s standards, he found talking and writing intellectually challenging. His jaw was so misshapen he struggled to eat solid foods. In the hope of continuing the family line he was married to a French royal. The marriage proved childless and she took to overeating, eventually gorging herself to death.
4) Caligula, Roman Emperor (reigned 12 – 41 ACE)
Perhaps his horrible upbringing contributed to his behavior: his father, mother and brothers were all murdered. Possible it was genetic: his family included such villains as Tiberius and Nero. Whatever the reason, Caligula has become a byword for depravity.
Where do you start? Caligula might not have made his horse a consul but he slept with three of his sisters. He also debauched the wives and daughters of other Romans and then gave detailed accounts of his conquests. He forced his chamberlain to commit suicide after cuckolding him. Sensitive about his hair loss, Caligula executed people for looking down on his skull. Baldy once had some of the audience at a Roman games fed to the wild animals for a laugh. He would whip people personally if they talked during a performance of his favorite actor. Despite his own private life, Caligula could be something of a prude: he burned a playwright just for writing a crude joke.
5) Murad IV of Turkey (reigned 1623 – 1640)
"The wine is such a devil that I have to protect my people from it by drinking all of it." Murad IV
In Murad’s mercifully short reign, thousands were killed at his behest. No offense was too trivial for execution. Smoking, drinking alcohol and coffee were all punishable by death. The Sultan also murdered anyone who annoyed him. He impaled a courier who mistakenly said Murad’s new child was a boy rather than a girl. Those who sang too loudly or walked too near his palace were executed. He seems to have derived a sinister pleasure in drowning women.