Monday Meme – Which Historical Lunatic Are You?

14 01 2008

Welcome to another new theme day. After the “overwhelming success” of Wiki-Wednesday and the (temporarily) retired Submission Sunday I decided that the very thing this blog needed was more theme days. Actually, the truth is that when you write a “general interest” blog which is updated daily it can be pretty tricky to get started with a blog post. What topic to cover today?

Clearly a “theme” structure takes care of that for you. Once you know what you’re going to be writing about today it’s simply a case of doing some (very brief) research into suitable content and you can get started writing. Which is the part I enjoy most. Not only that but a structure can help readers too, when faced with a lot of content they can select the themes that are of interest to them and ignore anything else.

Why a special day for memes and quizzes? Well, I’ll be honest with you. In the past quizzes provided an easy way out when I couldn’t think of what to write. Although I tried to remain pretty disciplined in my use of them I wonder if I really was. Of course I could simply no longer post memes and quizzes but a quick look at my blog stats indicates that they’re popular with my readers. We all know I’m all about my readers.

A theme day also helps people “filter” memes and quizzes. Those who want to do them can look forward to the Monday post. Those who don’t can simply ignore it. Today’s quiz was brought to my attention by Blog Ninjas’ very own Bun Girl

Which Historical Lunatic Are You?

You are Pope Stephen VII … or possibly VI!

Made Bishop of Agagni by Pope Formosus, you became Pope yourself in 896 by putting your immediate predecessor, Boniface VI, to death. Your reign lasted all of fourteen months. However, you firmly assured your place in history by putting the rotting corpse of the aforementioned Formosus on trial in the splendidly named Synod Horrenda. Naturally, Formosus was clad in full papal vestments. Having dug up the stinking remains once already, you proceeded to have them found guilty, reburied, re-exhumed, relieved of the three fingers of the right hand used in consecrations and finally thrown into the Tiber. All ordinations performed by the luckless Formosus were annulled. After this delightful display of gratitude, you were promptly strangled, paving the way for an increasingly short-lived series of successors and the reinstatement, dereinstatement and rereinstatement of Formosus’ Papal deeds.

I'm Pope Stephen! Hurrah.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.


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6 responses

14 01 2008
Bio

You are Gaius Caesar Germanicus – better known as Caligula!

Third Emperor of Rome and ruler of one of the most powerful empires of all time, your common name means “little boots”. Although you only reigned for four years, brief even by Roman standards, you still managed to garner a reputation as a cruel, extravagant and downright insane despot. Your father died in suspicious circumstances, you were not the intended heir, and one of your first acts as Emperor was to force the suicide of your father-in-law. Your sister Drusilla died that same year; faced with allegations that your relationship with her had been incestuous, you responded, bafflingly, by declaring her a god.

You revived a number of unpopular traditions, including auctions of properties left over from public shows. When a senator fell asleep at one such auction, you took each of his nods as bids, selling him 13 gladiators for a vast sum. You attempted to have your horse, Incitatus, made into a consul and hence one of the most powerful figures in Rome. It was granted a marble stable with jewels and a staff of servants. At one point you forced your comrade Macro to kill himself – in much the same vein as your father-in-law – accusing him of being his wife’s pimp. You, of course, were having an affair with said wife at the time.

Things went from bad to worse. When supplies of condemned men ran short in the circus, you had innocent spectators dragged into the arena with the lions to fill their place. You claimed mastery of the sea by walking across a three-mile bridge of boats in the Bay of Naples; kissed the necks of your lovers, whispering sweet nothings like “This lovely neck will be chopped as soon as I say so,”; dallied with your sister’s lover and made her pull her unborn child out of her womb prematurely. Towards the end of your reign, you had a golden statue of yourself made and dressed each day in the same clothes you yourself wore. When you eventually died, the terrified people of Rome refused to believe that such a cruel reign could ever end, and believed you to be alive for years afterwards.

_____

And I think that is the longest comment I’ve ever posted in blog history. Feel honoured!

14 01 2008
Solomon Broad

You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved!

A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other’s language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry’s underskirts.

This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognise your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.

In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout “boo!”, upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.

A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges.

—-

It started off so well…

14 01 2008
Things I’m Grateful For » Blog Archive » Monday 14 January

[…] Apparently, I’m King Charles VI. […]

14 01 2008
storyteller

I couldn’t resist 🙂

You are Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States of America!
Born in England sometime in the second decade of the nineteenth century, you carved a notable business career, in South Africa and later San Francisco, until an entry into the rice market wiped out your fortune in 1854. After this, you became quite different. The first sign of this came on September 17, 1859, when you expressed your dissatisfaction with the political situation in America by declaring yourself Norton I, Emperor of the USA. You remained as such, unchallenged, for twenty-one years.
Within a month you had decreed the dissolution of Congress. When this was largely ignored, you summoned all interested parties to discuss the matter in a music hall, and then summoned the army to quell the rebellious leaders in Washington. This did not work. Magnanimously, you decreed (eventually) that Congress could remain for the time being. However, you disbanded both major political parties in 1869, as well as instituting a fine of $25 for using the abominable nickname “Frisco” for your home city.
Your days consisted of parading around your domain – the San Francisco streets – in a uniform of royal blue with gold epaulettes. This was set off by a beaver hat and umbrella. You dispensed philosophy and inspected the state of sidewalks and the police with equal aplomb. You were a great ally of the maligned Chinese of the city, and once dispersed a riot by standing between the Chinese and their would-be assailants and reciting the Lord’s Prayer quietly, head bowed.
Once arrested, you were swiftly pardoned by the Police Chief with all apologies, after which all policemen were ordered to salute you on the street. Your renown grew. Proprietors of respectable establishments fixed brass plaques to their walls proclaiming your patronage; musical and theatrical performances invariably reserved seats for you and your two dogs. (As an aside, you were a good friend of Mark Twain, who wrote an epitaph for one of your faithful hounds, Bummer.) The Census of 1870 listed your occupation as “Emperor”.
The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, upon noticing the slightly delapidated state of your attire, replaced it at their own expense. You responded graciously by granting a patent of nobility to each member. Your death, collapsing on the street on January 8, 1880, made front page news under the headline “Le Roi est Mort”. Aside from what you had on your person, your possessions amounted to a single sovereign, a collection of walking sticks, an old sabre, your correspondence with Queen Victoria and 1,098,235 shares of stock in a worthless gold mine. Your funeral cortege was of 30,000 people and over two miles long.
The burial was marked by a total eclipse of the sun.

Such is life (or death?)

14 01 2008
BunGirl

Hey wow — it’s working again. That site went down for a few days right after I posted about it. LOL Anyway, I was Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only emperor of the US of A.

20 06 2008
Signups Still Open For MTC #13 « Textual Relations

[…] he began the Monday Meme back in January, he said that he would no longer be doing memes and quizzes on other days. The idea was that this […]

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