Monday, 28 March 2016

On This Day Facts 28th March


On this day in history in 1584, it is with a sad heart that we must report the death of Ivan the Terrible.
Ivan the Terrible passed away in the arms of his long-term minion, Bogdan Belsky, shortly after they had started a game of chase-me-around-the-bedroom-in-a-mankini. Or as it was known back in the day, Chess.
Ivan the Terrible had a fearsome reputation and transformed Russia into an Empire. He was the first person to be titled Tsar of all of Russia. He conquered, he butchered, he tortured, he killed, he played "Chess" with his minion.
However, his name was given to him by his wife on their wedding night. And not in a playful, seductive way: "Oh, Ivan, you bad boy. We shouldn't try that. Oh, you're so terrible." but rather in a... "You haven't done this before have you? You're terrible." sort of way.
After Ivan's terrible death, by the hand of his minion, we mean in the hands of his minion -- there's no proof of anything, it was just a heart attack -- the title Tsar, and the Russian throne, went to his incompetent and childless middle son, Feodor, because Ivan had killed his eldest son and heir during a temper tantrum.
Also in the news ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
On this day in history in 37, obviously a real year, the Roman Emperor Caligula, you know, the really evil git, accepted the titles of the Principate, which were entitled to him by the Senate.
As soon as Caligula was granted the powers of the Emperor, his first act was to make void the will of Tiberius, the previous Emperor, who had dictated that Caligula share the throne with his cousin, Tiberius Gemellus.
Caligula's second act was to kick a puppy.
His third act was to have his cousin and co-Emperor, Tiberius Gemellus executed.
Caligula did give a reason for the execution: the eighteen-year-old had bad breath.
Gemellus had been taking medicine for a bad cough. It was quite persistent and he couldn't shift it. Pneumonia may have taken hold, and the young man may not have survived long anyway.
But Caligula believed, or at least that's what he told people, that his cousin had insulted him by taking an antidote against poison. And that his breath stank of it.
That means there was only one thing the new Emperor could do: Send a military tribune to the house of Gemellus and have him shove a Gladius into his belly.
If that won't cure pneumonia, nothing will.
Caligula then went about stealing the fortunes of Tiberius and spending it on drugs, ninjas, and monkey hookers.
On this day in history in 193, Emperor Pertinax was assassinated.
Pertinax was a Roman Emperor for only three months, during the year of the five Emperors (as written by George RR Martin).
The Emperor had imposed stricter military discipline on the Praetorian guard, who had, up until that point, been very pampered. They were, or meant to be, the uber special guard of the Emperor.
As it turns out, he should have made things a little stricter. Or not. Or perhaps just paid them. That might have saved him.
On the 28th of March 193, three hundred of the Praetorian Guard rushed the gates of the palace. They had apparently only been paid half of what they were owed.
The Palace guards saw them coming and went, "We don't get paid enough for this carp."
The palace guards got out of the way pretty darned quick.
Instead of fleeing the palace, the Emperor Pertinax tried to negotiate with the angry Praetorians. And he was almost successful. If he hadn't inserted a hedgehog ration, his attempts to placate them might have succeeded.
The exact means of his assassination are unclear. But there was evidence of a French maid's outfit, a blender, and a George Foreman grill, in his bedroom.
After his assassination, not ones to miss a trick, the Praetorian Guards auctioned off the Emperorship to the highest bidder. It went to Senator Didius Julianus.
This, however, didn't go down well. It started a brief civil war which was eventually won by our Harry Potter friend, Septimus Severus, who became Emperor.
Once Septimus Severus had secured his position as the new Emperor, he didn't miss a trick either. He recognised and deified Pertinax as a legitimate Emperor and then executed all of the Praetorian guards who killed him.
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