12 Deranged Rulers Too Outlandish For The History Textbooks

Published July 14, 2017
Updated February 24, 2021

With great power comes great responsibility — and, it turns out, great cruelty, sadism, violence, delusion, and sexual deviancy.

When it comes to holding a position of extraordinary power, it sometimes seems as though being insane is almost a job requirement. Few of us would thrive in a role of supreme leadership, and most would be incompetent at best.

But, as history shows, incompetence is not actually the worst character trait that a leader can have. Some leaders are so unhinged that they’re downright dangerous.

In fact, countless rulers throughout history have gone mad with power. Here, we’ve collected the most ruthlessly deranged of the bunch:

Elagabalus Bust
Commodus Insane Ruler
12 Deranged Rulers Too Outlandish For The History Textbooks
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Next, read up on history's biggest psychos. Then, discover historical figures that you didn't realize had legitimate mental disorders.

All That's Interesting
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out the stories to illuminate the past, present, and future.