Quiz about The Madness of Monarchs
Quiz about The Madness of Monarchs

The Madness of Monarchs Trivia Quiz


Throughout history, we come across ruling figures whose behaviour was considered anything but normal, so much so that even their staunchest defenders could not class them as being the full quid. Here are ten of them. (twitch, twitch)

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
332,620
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
2798
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 201 (9/10), Guest 107 (10/10), Guest 67 (9/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Emperor Zou Houzhao of China's Ming Dynasty fitted into this category. One of the odder things he did, during one of his bouts of believing he was just an ordinary citizen, was to turn the inside of his palaces into designs resembling what? Hint

Lego
City blocks
Hula hoops
Sliced bread

2. Prussia's Frederick Wilhelm I had a total obsession with the military lifestyle, which even extended to his own family. How did he have his young son wakened every morning? Hint

Had him tossed into a cold bath
Had the Reveille played in his bedroom
Had a sergeant major roaring in his ear
Had a cannon fired under his bedroom window

3. Which sad king of Bavaria built the enchantingly beautiful Schloss Neuschwanstein castle? Hint

King Ludwig II
King Louis XVI
King Edward VIII
King Richard III

4. During his most severe bout of madness, Charles VI of France believed he was made out of which substance? Hint

Tobacco
Glass
Vegemite
Fairy Floss

5. China's terracotta warriors, located in the tomb of its first Emperor Qin Shi Huang, continue to fascinate the world today. What was the obsession that led to their creation? Hint

The Emperor had a total dread of dentists
The Emperor had an overwhelming fear of death
The Emperor was terrified of pottery
The Emperor was obsessed with chocolate cake

6. Did you know that, in the 19th century, America once had an Emperor of the United States? This poor man, one Joshua Abraham Norton, was lucky enough to have his delusions of grandeur humoured and catered to openly by the people of which Californian city? Hint

Juneau
Brisbane
San Francisco
Honolulu

7. Turkey had a series of insane and diabolically cruel Sultans during the 16th and 17th centuries. The worst of these was Ibrahim I. He was prone to having all his concubines gathered in the one area, so that he could do what? Hint

Show them his etchings
Play Snakes and Ladders with them
Serenade them on a set of bagpipes
Gallop around them neighing like a stallion

8. Juana the Mad, the first queen of the Hapsburg dynasty, spent all her married life being overwhelmed by which all consuming passion towards her husband? Hint

Murderous intent
Hatred
Jealousy
Pregnancy

9. Poor old George III of England is possibly the most well known of all the rulers troubled by mental instability. Today it is theorised that "Mad King George" suffered from which medical condition? Hint

Measles
Porphyria
Chicken pox
Hayfever

10. Caligula, Emperor of Rome, was one of the most diabolical and unbalanced rulers in history. Which animal did he - allegedly - attempt to have named a citizen, priest and Consul of Rome? Hint

His horse, Incitatus
His canary, Tweety
His cat, Sylvester
His bear, Winnie


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Emperor Zou Houzhao of China's Ming Dynasty fitted into this category. One of the odder things he did, during one of his bouts of believing he was just an ordinary citizen, was to turn the inside of his palaces into designs resembling what?

Answer: City blocks

All of his servants were then commanded to dress up like vendors and ordinary shoppers, and play their roles convincingly, so that he could stroll among them and pretend to be a poor peasant out doing the groceries. Everyone had to act the part to his satisfaction - or face the consequences.

He was also prone to releasing tigers and leopards within the halls of his palaces so he could play hunter with his nervous staff members. During his reign, he completely neglected all his duties as Emperor, drank constantly, and filled brothels with women he personally liked, among his other excesses. Declaring himself to be a General one day, he went on an expedition to hunt down a wayward prince. On finding the prey had already been captured, he angrily demanded that he be released so that he could have the pleasure of hunting him down again for himself. "Star Trek"'s Captain Janeway would definitely class him an Hirogen. Emperor Zou Houzhao met his end in 1521 when he drank too much, fell into a canal, and drowned.
2. Prussia's Frederick Wilhelm I had a total obsession with the military lifestyle, which even extended to his own family. How did he have his young son wakened every morning?

Answer: Had a cannon fired under his bedroom window

Wilhelm wanted his army to be the most glorious in Europe. He constantly drilled them himself, and had them marching endless hours every day up and down before him. His conviction that he himself was a fine soldier extended, as a matter of course, to dressing the part and sleeping in the soldiers barracks. Believing that a tall soldier was a good soldier, he created a unit called the Potsdam Giants, filling it with only the tallest men in the land and those he could recruit elsewhere. Anyone shorter than 6 foot two inches was barred from enlisting. This army of giants included one Irish soldier who stood almost seven foot tall. Wilhelm also openly "encouraged" all tall men and women to marry each other so that fine tall children and future soldiers could be produced. Sound familiar? With his poor son, the future Frederick II, he gave the boy a small arsenal to command and had him whipped if he failed to perform up to Wilhelm's standards. When the desperate child ran away, he had him recaptured and imprisoned as punishment.

Not surprisingly then, when Frederick II eventually inherited the throne, and though he became known as a great soldier and leader, his involvement in war was purely utilitarian in nature. He became known as Frederick the Great, believed in enlightened absolutism, modernised the wheels of his government services, promoted religious tolerance, patronised art and philosophy - and wrote flute music.
3. Which sad king of Bavaria built the enchantingly beautiful Schloss Neuschwanstein castle?

Answer: King Ludwig II

Poor Ludwig's obsession with building beautiful castles has given the world a great inheritance, but was definitely not appreciated in his own time. His was a troubled and lonely childhood, largely spent in a gloomy gothic castle, where he was exposed to stresses far beyond that a child should be. The result was that his only means of escape became a strange and beautiful world of fantasy. When he became king, aged only 18, he was horribly shy and disliked appearing officially in public, but was known to roam around by himself talking to his subjects. His dislike of the ceremony attached to kingship extended to his having performances of operas and plays carried out at his castle, with the only audience member being himself. Richard Wagner's works in particular were a favourite of his.

His enemies accused him of all manner of misdeeds, including having conversations with imaginary people, moonlight picnics with naked young men, and almost bankrupting the country with his obsession of building the dreamy fairy-tale castles he could escape into. Eventually, this sad, sensitive ruler was deposed on grounds of being unfit to rule, and the following day his dead body was found floating in a lake. Was he murdered? Was he playing the role of Hamlet's Ophelia? Or was he just a very sensitive man who struggled with the lonely role of kingship and who would have been far more successful in any other role in life? Who knows?
4. During his most severe bout of madness, Charles VI of France believed he was made out of which substance?

Answer: Glass

Charles was King of France during the Hundred Years' War, and very early in life, he was already displaying signs of paranoia and psychosis. This came to a head when he was a young man (just the right age for schizophrenia to develop) travelling through a forest with his retinue of servants. He became completely disoriented and frantic and began attacking everyone in sight believing his life was in danger. He managed to kill one person before being subdued, but from that period on, his behaviour and mental health deteriorated even further. He periodically forgot he was king, refused to bathe or change his clothing for months at a stretch, and took to running wildly and frantically, without reason, through all the halls of his castle, leading to his carers having to barricade all the doors. Pope Pius II noted in his writings that Charles also became convinced at times that he was made of glass and took to wearing padded clothing to protect himself in case he shattered into a million pieces.

In between his bouts of insanity, he managed to marry and produce children, but sadly, his genetic weakness was passed down to his grandson, who became Henry VI of England - and which led to the War of the Roses in that country. Poor old Charles died in 1422, aged 53, after a lifetime of struggling against the demons that periodically took control of his mind.
5. China's terracotta warriors, located in the tomb of its first Emperor Qin Shi Huang, continue to fascinate the world today. What was the obsession that led to their creation?

Answer: The Emperor had an overwhelming fear of death

Qin Shi Huang's obsession dominated his entire life. He never slept in the same place twice, he always carried a huge crossbow beside him when on any journey, and he spent the vast majority of his time on earth searching for the key to immortality. Such was his fear of assassination that eventually he had underground passages connecting all his palaces to enable him to move from one place to another safely. Anyone who revealed his whereabouts was immediately put to death.

Towards the latter end of his life, he began construction on that massive tomb and its warriors - all designed to protect him from his enemies in the afterlife if that dreaded event should occur. In the meantime, he continued his endless search for immortality by consulting soothsayers and all manner of people, including apothecaries, in the vain hope that somewhere, somehow, someone had a secret elixir which would enable him to live forever. One of his enduring phobias was that he would be killed by a sea monster because he had dreamed this would be the case. Ironically, in one of his endless hunts for these monsters of the sea, he killed a beached whale, but developed a chill during the expedition and died a few days later. So, you see, because of his crippling fear of death, poor old Emperor Qin Shi Yuang didn't have a whale of a time during life.
6. Did you know that, in the 19th century, America once had an Emperor of the United States? This poor man, one Joshua Abraham Norton, was lucky enough to have his delusions of grandeur humoured and catered to openly by the people of which Californian city?

Answer: San Francisco

It's true. Norton and his eccentricities became so beloved by San Francisco's people, that they gave him an official uniform and always addressed him as "Your Highness" when happening upon him. Such was their fondness for him that when he went to the extent of printing his own money, all shops accepted it. He was also allowed to eat in their best restaurants and given free access to their theatres. In return he always solemnly placed his imperial seal of approval on their front doors. Born in England, Norton, who was originally quite rich, came to the States to develop his fortune further, but his investments quickly sent him broke, which in turn sent him over the edge of reason. In 1859 he had himself declared ruler of America and protector of Mexico, and issued many edicts during his reign trying to dissolve what he said was a corrupt US Congress, so that he could take his rightful place as Emperor. Surprisingly he also came up with an idea for a League of Nations many years before this actually became a reality, and he proposed a bridge linking Oakland and San Francisco which would, again, later become a reality. He also issued an edict declaring that anyone referring to San Francisco as "Frisco" would be fined $25. One doubts this will ever become a reality.

Norton collapsed and died in the street in 1880 during one of his regular inspections of his capital city's roads and buildings, and this beloved eccentric of a city known for its eccentricity had a funeral that was attended by more than 30,000 people.
7. Turkey had a series of insane and diabolically cruel Sultans during the 16th and 17th centuries. The worst of these was Ibrahim I. He was prone to having all his concubines gathered in the one area, so that he could do what?

Answer: Gallop around them neighing like a stallion

Wishful thinking if you ask me. Stallion, schmallion. This ruler was really rather ghastly, but in an attempt to exonerate his behaviour just a little, it should be noted that for most of his youth, he was kept imprisoned in a windowless cage. However, when he became ruler, he more than made up for that. He had a voracious and uncontrolled sexual appetite, hence his little gallops around his harem, and he also had a real fetish for fat women. Oh gee, if only I lived in Turkey back then, I would've had it made. In fact, he had a rapacious and completely uncontrolled appetite for anything he desired and went to great lengths to have these needs fulfilled. His favourite woman was a 350 pound concubine he called Sugar Cube. One could even laugh at his excesses, but the man was totally debaunched and terribly cruel into the bargain, including once having 280 members of his harem thrown into a lake and drowned, and treating his own son with dreadful cruelty.

Eventually the people had had enough and in 1648 he was captured in a coup, put back into his cage for a short while, and then strangled to death by a band of obliging assassins.
8. Juana the Mad, the first queen of the Hapsburg dynasty, spent all her married life being overwhelmed by which all consuming passion towards her husband?

Answer: Jealousy

When she married Philip of Burgundy in 1496, it was a marriage of true love. However, where Juana was a one-man woman, Philip was most definitely not a one-woman man. His continuing promiscuity basically drove her insane and into a state of complete paranoia. Because any woman in her retinue or in the court was fair game for the lusty Philip, Juana went to great lengths to only have very old and very ugly women placed in as many areas over which she had control as she could, and even went to the extent of physically attacking any woman she felt had captured her drip of a husband's roving eye.

When Philip tired of her overwhelming jealousy and began to ignore her, she consulted witches and other sorcerers for love potions, and when they failed to do their job, went on a hunger strike for a while.

In 1506, Philip died (probably from exhaustion) and Juana's behaviour went from obsessive to insane. She became completely distraught, wore no other colour but black, wept uncontrollably every waking hour - and had his coffin opened on several occasions so that she could kiss the feet of his corpse. Eeww. Such was the control that paranoid jealousy had on this poor woman's mind that, even after Philip's death, fearing he could still cheat on her, Juana would not let any woman at all, including nuns, near his coffin. Needless to say, she was eventually confined, spending the last fifty years of her life in windowless rooms in a convent, by her ever so loving son, Charles.
9. Poor old George III of England is possibly the most well known of all the rulers troubled by mental instability. Today it is theorised that "Mad King George" suffered from which medical condition?

Answer: Porphyria

George suffered from recurring bouts of this illness right through the latter part of his life. When the attacks came upon him, he would rant, rave, hurl insults on all around him, swear, fight and generally behave in such a wild and uncontrolled way that his attendants were often forced to restrain him physically, gag him, and place him in a straight jacket. Medical methods of the day used to treat him - bloodletting, blistering, purging - only made his condition worse and he would become delusional instead. He became convinced that London was under flood, roared out orders to long dead court officials, named his pillow Prince Octavius, and was absolutely certain that his long-suffering and devoted wife was trying to kill him, that she wasn't his wife at all, and that another woman was his queen instead.

Periodically his condition resolved itself and his sanity returned, but towards the end of his long life of 81 years, now going blind and deaf into the bargain, the poor old King, on his final illness, was permanently confined. His dill of a son, George IV, became Regent in the old king's stead, and almost succeeded in single-handedly bringing the monarchy down, before William IV, and eventually Victoria, inherited the throne of the United Kingdom.
10. Caligula, Emperor of Rome, was one of the most diabolical and unbalanced rulers in history. Which animal did he - allegedly - attempt to have named a citizen, priest and Consul of Rome?

Answer: His horse, Incitatus

Here are just a few things this diabolical ruler did in his complete insanity: He made it illegal for anyone to look at his face. If they did, they were thrown into a den of lions. He delighted in killing people and revelled in torture, coming up with many new ideas himself on how to make pain as excruciating as possible for his victims.

His personally favoured method of torture was covering his victims in honey and then letting loose hundreds of wasps. He was a sexual deviant, with behaviour ranging from bestiality to incest.

He specialised in orgies that went on for days and he let his horse eat from the dinner table - with all his guests forced to make conversations with the animal. The horse, Incitatus, had a stable made of marble, an ivory manger, purple, ermine-lined blankets and necklaces of precious jewels.

He was attended by 18 servants and his food consisted of gold flakes mixed in with his oats. Finally the people of Rome could take no more and in 41 AD, this ruler and his family were all murdered.

There doesn't appear to be any record of what eventually became of Incitatus. Neigh doubt he ended up as horse meat somewhere.
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Snowman before going online.
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