September 15, 668

On September 15, 668 CE, Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II died an ignoble death. While he was taking a bath in his mansion in Syracuse, Sicily, his chamberlain beat him to death with a wooden bucket. Why? It was because the 37-year-old emperor was threatening to move the Roman capitol from Constantinople to Syracuse and no one in the government, other than him, wanted to move. Constantinople had been the capitol of Rome since 330 CE and it would have been a “huge” bother to move everything. They would have had to hire boats and movers and build new palaces and brothels. Everyone already had their favorite pubs and lunch delis in Constantinople and no one wanted to change, except for Constans II. Why? Because he hated Constantinople and thought the people of Constantinople hated him. They actually did. They thought he was an entitled jerk, which he was. So the people and senators of Constantinople did the only thing they could. They had the chamberlain go all Norman Bates on Constans while he was playing with his rubber ducky. When his son and successor Constantine IV was asked if he was wanting to move the capitol, he said, “Hell no. There’s a little Greek place near the palace that makes the best baklava and souvlaki. The capitol is staying put.” To be honest, Constantine IV didn’t really love Greek food, but he knew which side of the wooden bucket his bread was buttered on.

Oh, great. Now I have that Istanbul song stuck in my head. It could be worse though. At least it’s not that Birdhouse in Your Soul song. That one is a serious ear worm. Better Share Twisted-History, before I start singing.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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