Emperors

Caligula
Nero
Heliogabalus

Empresses

Agrippina
Messalina

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Nero
(Emperor, 54-68 AD)

Placed on the throne while still an adolescent of sixteen years, Nero was quick to use absolute power as a means of satisfying his yearnings. His favorite game was as follows: he'd dress in a lion skin and affix razors to his fingers, then pace about on hands and knees inside a cage while roaring; at his signal, the cage would be opened and he'd rush upon some unfortunates who'd been tied naked to stakes placed about the room; he'd tear at their genitals with his teeth and disembowel them with his makeshift claws; afterwards, he'd eat and drink himself into a stupor. Nero purged the entirety of his family tree (what Caligula had started, he concluded), including his mother and himself: he died by compelled suicide. Final note: after killing his mother, he carefully examined her body, lifting each leg in turn and caressing her breasts; he was heard to comment: "What a beautiful mother I had!"

Sources: Dio, LXI, LXII & LXIII; Suetonius, Twelve Caesars; Tacitus, Annals


 

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