Tag Archives: Constantinople

Political science

A scholar reminds us that, historically speaking, transfers of power haven’t usually been conducted very neatly:

The figures are eloquent. Of 109 sovereigns, 65 were assassinated, 12 died in convent or prison, 3 died of hunger, 18 were castrated or had their eyes put out, their noses or hands cut off, and the rest were poisoned, suffocated, strangled, stabbed, thrown down from the top of a column or ignominiously hunted down. In 1058 years there were 65 revolutions of palace, street or barracks and 65 dethronements.

You have to wonder what one of the Byzantine monarchs — Justinian, say, or old Constantine himself — would have done with Chief Justice John Roberts after he tripped up the new president during his swearing-in.

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