The Most Unstable Monarchs Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Some truly unstable people have tried to rule nations, but only a handful of them have come to power through the monarchy. Let's take a tour of the kings, queens and emperors that were mad as hatters.

Nebuchadnezzar II supposedly had a period of insanity that lasted how long?

In the Old Testament, Nebuchadnezzar goes mad for seven years. (Although it was a later Babylonian king who might've inspired the tale.)

What animal did Nebuchadnezzar supposedly live like during his insanity?

He ate grass like livestock.

What event do some scholars attribute Caligula's madness to?

Caligula supposedly had a severe fever after his ascension, which may have caused serious harm.

What was a supposed symptom of Caligula's insanity?

True or not, both of these situations make for an entertaining history.

Caligula's adopted father and predecessor as emperor was also known for cruelty and insanity. Who was it?

The whole family, including Tiberius, was kind of a mess.

What was Queen Joanna of Castile and Aragon called?

It's a bad sign when your nickname describes you as mad.

What did both Joanna's husband and son do to keep their claim to the Spanish throne?

They kept her close but confined to exercise power over her.

Charles VI of France was given what nickname?

At least he got a nice one, too.

What illness did Charles VI have?

He had a reported 44 bouts of madness that would last months.

Charles VI really did himself in when he …

The French were not big fans of his appointment of Henry V.

Ivan the Terrible ruled what state?

Ivan IV was Russia's first czar.

Ivan's cruel rule included …

Ivan executed thousands in Novgorod, Russia, and deported the rest.

Ivan's dynasty came to an end when he did what?

It probably wasn't a good move to murder his son.

Erik XIV of Sweden was accused of being crazy because he:

History lesson: You get away with killing commoners, not aristocrats.

Peter the Great induced his son to return to Russia after fleeing. When Alexis returned, Peter did what?

He tortured Alexis to death. Nice, Dad.

Let's stick with Russia for a while. Who took advantage of Peter III's "weak" mind?

Catherine became Great when she manipulated Peter and had him overthrown.

Sultan Mustafa of the Ottoman Empire was super lucky because …

To put it in perspective, Mustafa's father killed 19 brothers when he was made sultan.

Unfortunately, Mustafa's brother did what?

And 14 years in prison doesn't do wonders to anyone's mind.

After his brother died, Mustafa became sultan. How did it go?

Mustafa didn't want to be sultan, for one, and was eventually sent back to and died in confinement.

Mustafa's nephew, Ibrahim, eventually became sultan. How did he spend his early years?

Cool, that worked out well the first time.

What was Ibrahim's downfall?

More to the point, he was manipulated by the concubines.

King Ludwig of Bavaria wasn't a terribly good king, but he obsessively pursued what interest?

He was enamored with Richard Wagner and built opulent (and debt-ridden) palaces. He also essentially gave Bavaria to Prussia.

After he was declared insane, King Ludwig was found drowned along with whom?

Just a few days after his diagnosis, Ludwig drowned in a pond with his psychiatrist under mysterious circumstances.

Queen Carlota was empress of what?

In the mid-1800s, Carlota, a Belgian married to an Austrian archduke, ended up going with her husband to take emperorship of Mexico.

Carlota had a mental breakdown after what?

Poor Carlota lived the rest of her life in fragile mental health after both of these things happened, living alone in a castle in Belgium.

The madness of King George III of Britain has become well-known, but some believe he had what disease?

A high level of porphyrins in the blood can lead to mental illness, but it's hard to diagnose a dead king.

George did seem to have what kind of episodes?

George would talk at length and with great speed, and researchers have noted his loquacious writing and communication are hallmarks of mania.

The Habsburgs have a long and storied royal lineage. But what illness seems to also run in the family?

Many Habsburg monarchs (and their offspring) had bouts of depression.

The Ming Emperor Zhengde was known for his eccentricity and corruption. But he also sentenced a traitor to die by what means?

He was ruthless with those who criticized him.

Who was Zhu Shou?

When Zhengde wanted to forget imperial life and fight, Zhu would take over.

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