20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict

Khalid Elhassan - July 23, 2019

In the real-life Game of Thrones, hunger for power, the fear of losing it, or just plain perversions, have often produced results as dramatic, shocking, and tragic as anything seen in the hit TV show. Minus the dragons and magic, of course. Throughout history, the lust to rule has sparked deadly conflicts not only between great families, but also between members of the same family as they sought to usurp power from relatives or to fend off usurping kin. Following are twenty fascinating episodes of extraordinary relationships within ruling families.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Peter the Great. Pintrest

20. Peter the Great Hounded His Son Into Exile

Peter the Great is often credited with dragging Russia – often kicking and screaming – from its medieval ways and into the modern world. His achievements included revamping the government, weakening the Orthodox Church, modernizing and strengthening the military, and expanding Russia’s borders. He also moved the capital from Moscow to a new city that he built on the Baltic and named after himself, Saint Petersburg. As with any major reforms, of Peter faced significant resistance from the old order, but the Tsar ruthlessly enforced his will, steamrolling over all opposition. Tragically, those steamrolled included his own son and heir, Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich.

As kids often do, Peter’s son sought to stake out his individuality by contrasting himself with his father. To that end, the kid became conservative and religious, and attracted admirers from amongst the traditionalists pining for the old days. Unfortunately for the Tsarevich, the kinds of kids who get away with that are the kinds of kids who don’t have Peter the Great for a father. The reformist Tsar, determined to protect his legacy from the threat of its getting overturned by a successor down the road, sought to force his son into seeing things his way. The pressure eventually got too much for the Tsarevich. In desperation, he escaped to Vienna, where he sought political asylum from the Hapsburgs. That was bad enough, but it was about to get far worse.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
‘Peter I Interrogates Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich at Peterhof’, by Nikolai Ge, 1871. Wikimedia

19. Peter the Great Tortured His Son to Death

Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich’s mother had been pious and conservative, so Peter the Great forced her into a convent when Alexei was eight. Understandably, that scarred Alexei. The father-son relationship cracked for good in 1715, when Peter, hoping to correct Alexei’s perceived weakness and other shortcomings, threatened to deprive him of the succession. To his astonishment, the Tsarevich agreed to relinquish his claim to the throne, and volunteered to enter a monastery. At the last moment, however, Alexei had a change of heart, and fled to Vienna, where he secured asylum.

The embarrassment enraged Peter, who sent agents to track down his son. In 1717, they handed him a letter in which the Tsar berated Alexei, but promised not to punish him if he returned to Russia. Ignoring warnings that it was a trick, the Tsarevich returned to Russia in 1718, where he begged forgiveness during a public spectacle in which he was disinherited. The Tsar forced him to name those who had aided his flight, which resulted in the torture and execution of dozens of Alexei associates. That done, Peter ordered his son jailed. On June 19th, 1718, Peter had Alexei flogged for days, until he confessed to conspiring to murder his father. The flogging was so severe that Peter’s son died of his wounds within a week.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Caracalla. YouTube

18. Caracalla Murdered His Brother in the Arms of Their Mother

When Roman emperor Septimius Severus died in Britain in 211, the throne was jointly inherited by his sons, Caracalla and Geta. Severus had been a generally capable emperor, who had unified the empire and restored order after a period of chaos following the death of emperor Commodus (the demented ruler from Gladiator). However, handing the empire over to his sons to rule jointly was not one of Severus’ better ideas. Even during their father’s life, the siblings had been bitter rivals, and things only got worse when they became co-emperors.

Throughout the journey back to Rome with their father’s ashes, Caracalla and Geta squabbled nonstop, and their already tense relationship steadily grew more toxic. At some point, they decided to avert open conflict by splitting the empire between themselves, with Caracalla ruling the west and Geta the east. However, their mother talked them out of it, and arranged a reconciliation meeting between them for December 26th, 211. She probably should have let them go their separate ways. At the meeting, Caracalla ordered his henchmen to murder his sibling. A grievously wounded Geta fell into his mother’s bosom, and she begged Caracalla to call off his men. He ignored her pleas, and personally finished off his brother with a knife while Geta cowered in their mother’s arms.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Bleda the Hun. Sutori

17. Attila the Hun Murdered His Brother

Attila was born in 406 into the Hun royal family, and inherited the crown jointly with his brother Bleda in 434. The brothers were challenged early on, but crushed the opposition. When their surviving enemies fled to the Roman Empire, the brothers invaded and forced the Romans to surrender the fugitives and agree to an annual tribute of 230 kilograms of gold. Attila and Bleda then turned their attention to the Persian Empire, which they invaded and plundered for years before they were beaten. They then returned their attention to Europe.

Attila and Bleda crossed the Danube in 440, plundered the Balkans, and destroyed two Roman armies. The Roman emperor admitted defeat, and the brothers extorted from him a new treaty that paid them 2000 kilograms of gold up front, plus an annual tribute of 700 gold kgs. Soon thereafter, Attila tired of the joint kingship, and decided to consolidate power and rule alone. So in 445, during a wild boar hunt, Attila had his brother seized, shot him to death with arrows, then claimed it had been a hunting accident.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Cleopatra. Wikimedia

16. The Famous Cleopatra Married and Killed Her Brother

Cleopatra VII, the Ptolemaic Dynasty’s most famous ruler, carried on the family’s tradition of incest by marrying her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII. Also carrying on another family tradition, this one of infighting, the siblings fell out, and Cleopatra was forced to flee Egypt to Syria. She soon returned with an army, and waged a civil war that tore the kingdom apart. The conflict seesawed between the siblings, until Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt in 48 BC, and sided with Cleopatra, who became his mistress.

Her brother refused to accept the Roman dictator’s decision, however, and sought to contest the issue militarily. It did not work out well for him, and in the Battle of the Nile in December of 48 BC, Ptolemy XIII’s army was routed by Caesar. Cleopatra’s brother/ husband drowned in the aftermath, either accidentally or at the hands of his sister’s agents. Cleopatra then married another brother, Ptolemy XIV, while continuing her affair with Caesar. She bore the Roman dictator a son, Caesarion, the future Ptolemy XV – the dynasty’s last nominal ruler.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence. Pintrest

15. The 1st Duke of Clarence Repaid His Brother’s Generosity With Betrayal

George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence (1449 – 1478) was the younger son of Richard, Duke of York. His father’s attempts to secure power kicked off the Wars of the Roses between the houses of York and Lancaster. The Duke of York was killed in the war, but the Yorkists eventually won when George’s elder brother, Edward, broke the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton in 1461. He then deposed the Lancastrian king Henry VI, and crowned himself Edward IV. George was made Duke of Clarence, and the following year, although only thirteen years old, he was also made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

As he grew into early manhood, George idolized Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, AKA “The Kingmaker”, who had played a key role in the Yorkist victory. George married Neville’s daughter in defiance of his brother’s plans to marry him into a European royal family to secure a dynastic alliance. The Kingmaker eventually fell out with king Edward, and deserted to the Lancastrians. George rewarded his brother’s earlier generosity with betrayal. Despite being a member of the York family, George took his father-in-law’s side, and joined the Lancastrians. With the Kingmaker’s machinations, Edward IV was deposed and forced to flee England in 1470, and the once-deposed Lancastrian king Henry VI was restored to the throne.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
The drowning of George Plantagenet. Atlantasca

14. Edward IV Had His Brother Drowned in a Barrel of Wine

George Plantagenet eventually came to mistrust his father-in-law, the Kingmaker, and returned to his brother’s side. Edward IV returned to England in 1471, and defeated the Lancastrians in a battle during which the Kingmaker was killed. Restored to the throne, Edward ensured that the twice-deposed Henry VI would trouble him no more by having him murdered, after having already executed Henry’s son and sole heir. Edward pardoned his younger brother George, and restored him to royal favor.

However, in 1478, George was caught, once again plotting against the king. Finally fed up with his wayward sibling, Edward IV had George arrested and jailed in the Tower of London, and tried him for treason. Personally conducting the prosecution before Parliament, Edward secured a conviction and Bill of Attainder against his brother, who was condemned to death. On February 18, 1478, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, was executed by getting dunked into a big barrel of Malmsey wine, and forcibly held under until he drowned.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Wu Zetian in film. Ancient Pages

13. The Empress Who Murdered Her Daughter to Remove a Rival

According to dynastic China’s Confucian tenets, women were unfit to rule. Wu Zetian (624 – 705) did not care much for that bit of Confucian conventional wisdom, and became the sole officially recognized empress during China’s more than two millennia of imperial rule. Her rise began at age 14, when Wu Zetian was taken into Emperor Taizong’s harem as a concubine. The emperor was not into intelligent women, and thus did not favor Wu, who had brains as well as beauty. Being an intelligent woman, and looking ahead, Wu had an affair with the emperor’s son and eventual successor, who was not intimidated by smart women.

When her lover became Emperor Gaozong after his father’s death, he made Wu his favorite concubine, and eventually elevated her to his second wife – a huge jump in the imperial harem’s rankings. Wu was not content to remain second fiddle, however. So she reportedly strangled her own infant daughter, and framed the emperor’s first wife for the death. The intrigue worked, and Wu became the emperor’s official consort. Upon the emperor’s death, he was succeeded by Wu’s child, with Wu acting as regent. When her son came of age, he tried to assert himself and rule independently. So Wu deposed and exiled him, replacing him with a younger son. Six years later, tiring of the pretense about who actually ran China, she deposed that son as well, and officially proclaimed herself empress.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Cleopatra III. Wikimedia

12. Cleopatra III Deposed Her Own Son, to Replace Him With a More Favored Son

Family intrigues complicated the reign of Ptolemy IX Soter II, nicknamed Lathyros (“Chickpea”), who had married his sister, Cleopatra IV, sometime before he became king. When his father, Ptolemy VIII Potbelly, died in 116 BC, Chickpea’s mother and the reigning queen, Cleopatra III, made him co-regent. However, it seems that Ptolemy IX had not been her favorite son, and that she had been forced to choose him because of public pressure.

She worked out some of that resentment by forcing Chickpea to divorce his sister-wife Cleopatra IV, and replace her with her own sister and Ptolemy IX’s aunt, Cleopatra Selene I. The ditched sister and ex-wife fled to Syria. There, she married into the royal family, and reigned as queen until she was murdered. As to Ptolemy IX, Cleopatra III accused her son and co-regent of having tried to murder her, and deposed him in 107 BC. In his place, Cleopatra III installed her favorite son, Alexander, who ascended the throne as Ptolemy X.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Ptolemy X. Berlin Museum

11. Cleopatra III’s Favorite Son Showed His Gratitude by Murdering Her

After deposing her son Ptolemy IX, and replacing him on the throne with a more favored offspring, Ptolemy X, Cleopatra III settled in to enjoy her twilight years as queen and co-regent. Her enjoyment did not last long, however, when the favorite son whom she had made king demonstrated his ingratitude in the most visceral way possible. In 101 BC, Ptolemy X tired of ruling jointly with his mother, decided to go solo, and had her murdered.

After murdering his mother, Ptolemy X made his wife, Cleopatra Bernice III, queen and co-regent. Bernice III was also his niece – the daughter of his brother, Ptolemy IX who had been deposed by their mother Cleopatra III. A popular uprising in 88 BC overthrew Ptolemy X, who fled to Syria. He returned with a mercenary army, whom he paid by looting and melting down the golden sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. That infuriated the Alexandrians, who deposed and chased him out of Egypt again. Ptolemy X was killed while trying to flee to Cyprus, and was succeeded by his brother and father-in-law, the previous king Ptolemy IX, Chickpea.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
‘Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on 16 November 1581’, by Ilya Repin, 1885. Wikimedia

10. Ivan the Terrible Murdered His Own Son

Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible (1530 – 1584), ascended the Russian throne at age three, and the realm was governed by his mother as regent in his name. However, Ivan’s mother died when he was seven, and a power struggle erupted between competing Russian nobles. Ivan was left defenseless, exploited and tormented by nobles who mistreated him in his own palace. That made him bitter, bitterness gave way to insanity, and before long, Ivan was venting his frustrations by torturing small animals. By the time he took personal control of the government, Ivan had grown into a paranoid, resentful, and angry young man who distrusted people in general, and detested the nobles in particular.

Ivan instituted a system known as the oprichnina in the 1560s, which amounted to a reign of terror over all of Russia, including his own family. In 1581, he assaulted his pregnant daughter-in-law when he saw her wearing clothes that he deemed too revealing, causing her to miscarry. When his son and heir confronted him, Ivan caved in his skull with his scepter, causing a fatal wound. Ivan the Terrible followed him three years later, dying from a stroke while playing chess.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Effigy of Edward II. Gloucester Cathedral

9. The Wife Who Overthrew Her Husband, Then Had Him Sodomized to Death

King Edward II of England grew too fond of his favorite Hugh Despenser, who was rumored to be his lover. That humiliated and alienated Edward’s queen, Isabella. While on a diplomatic mission to Paris in 1325, she became the mistress of Roger Mortimer, an exiled opponent of the king. In 1326, the couple invaded England, executed the Despensers, and deposed Edward II. The king was replaced with his 14-year-old son, who was crowned Edward III, with Mortimer governing the realm as regent.

The deposed Edward II was imprisoned, but there were numerous plots to free him. Eventually, Isabella and Mortimer decided to eliminate the threat by eliminating their prisoner. Not wishing to leave marks of murder on the body, and contemptuous of Edward, his killers did him in by holding him down and shoving a red hot poker up his rectum to burn his bowels from the inside. Another version has it that a tube was first inserted in his rectum, then a red hot metal bolt was dropped down it and into his bowels.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Caligula. BBC

8. Caligula Slept With All of His Sisters

The epic perversions of Caligula (12 – 41 AD) might be explained by his upbringing: he was raised by his uncle, the Roman emperor Tiberius, a notoriously seedy creep. Tiberius spent much of his reign as a recluse in a pedophiliac pleasure palace, only surfacing every now and then to order the execution of enemies, real or imagined. His victims included Caligula’s mother and two brothers, whom Tiberius accused of plotting against him. He also probably had Caligula’s father poisoned. Such an environment was bound to mess up Caligula. He hid whatever resentments he might have harbored against his homicidal uncle, and succeeded to the throne – reportedly after smothering a bedridden Tiberius to death with a pillow.

Once on the throne, Caligula plunged into an orgy of extravagant spending and hedonistic living. His deviancy became legendary, ranging from wanton murders, to raping the wives of party guests, to turning the imperial palace into a whorehouse. It extended to his own family, and Caligula was in the habit of telling his wife, whenever he kissed her: “you know, I can have that lovely neck slit whenever I want“. He also had sex with his own sisters – as contemporaries put it: “He lived in habitual incest with all his sisters, and at a large banquet he placed each of them in turn below him, while his wife reclined above“.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Charlemagne. Famous Biographies

7. Charlemagne Slept With His Sister – And With His Wife’s Corpse

Charlemagne had an incestuous relationship with his sister, Gillen. Medieval accounts report that he eventually became consumed with guilt over the affair, and visited the tomb of Saint-Gilles, near Nimes, where he prayed for forgiveness. An angel reportedly appeared, and placed a parchment on the altar, declaring that Charlemagne was forgiven, so long as he did not repeat the sin. While the part about the angel showing up is just myth, many modern scholars give credence to the reports of incest. Charlemagne probably did sleep with Gillen, and he probably fathered upon her a son/ nephew, named Roland.

However, sleeping with his sister was not the worst of Charlemagne’s reported perversions. He was rumored to have also been into sleeping with corpses. A variety of texts from the ninth century refer to Charlemagne repeatedly engaging in, but refusing for a long time to confess to, some “unspeakable sin“. He eventually gets it off his chest and seeks absolution for what some modern scholars think was a predilection for necrophilia. The necrophilia reports eventually gave rise to legends in which Charlemagne’s partiality to corpses extended from sexually satisfying his lusts with random corpses, to sleeping with his wife’s corpse after her death.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Ptolemy VIII Potbelly. Wikimedia

6. The King Who Married His Sister, Then Murdered Her Son During the Wedding

In the second century BC, the Seleucid king Antiochus IV invaded Egypt, captured Alexandria, and made king Ptolemy VI his puppet ruler. The people of Alexandria rioted, and chose the puppet king’s obese younger brother, Ptolemy VIII Physcon (“Potbelly”) as monarch. After the Seleucids were forced out of Egypt by Roman threats, Ptolemy Potbelly agreed to a three-way joint rule, with his brother Ptolemy VI, and their sister Cleopatra II, who was also Ptolemy VI’s wife.

The arrangement did not work out. Ptolemy Potbelly was away from Egypt when Ptolemy VI died in 145. Their sister Cleopatra II, the deceased king’s wife, promptly declared her son, Ptolemy VII, as king. When Potbelly returned, he convinced his widowed sister to marry him, promising that the sibling spouses would rule jointly. However, Potbelly double-crossed his sister/ new wife, by having her son, Ptolemy VII, murdered during the siblings’ wedding feast. He also reneged on his promise to rule jointly with his sister-wife and declared himself the sole ruler.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Peter the Great. Forbes

5. Peter the Great Hung the Corpse of His Sister’s Lover Outside Her Bedroom Window

Killing his own son was not the only ruthless thing Peter the Great did towards a member of his own family. In 1698, when a young Tsar Peter was still getting a feel for his power, the Streltsy regiments – a sort of medieval Russian Praetorian Guard – rebelled, and made contact with his half-sister, Sophia Alkesyevna. Sophia had ruled as regent when Peter was a child, but resisted surrendering her power when Peter grew up and sought to rule in his own right. So he locked her up in a monastery.

Ten years later, in 1698, a lover of Sophia led the Streltsy in a failed uprising while Peter was out of the country. Peter rushed back to Russia, but the rebellion had already collapsed by the time he returned home. Upon reaching Moscow, he brutally suppressed and broke the Streltsy, who were tortured and executed by the thousands. Peter took a hands-on approach, and played an active part in the executions, personally chopping off the heads of rebels with an ax in what is now Moscow’s Red Square. He also strung up the bodies of executed Streltsy outside Sophia’s monastery, and left the corpse of her lover dangling from a rope directly outside her window.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Cleopatra II. Pintrest

4. The King Who Married His Sister, Then Ditched Her For Her Daughter

When Ptolemy Potbelly murdered the son of his sister Cleopatra II during their wedding, his sibling-wife was, understandably, upset. Even more so, when he reneged on the promise to rule jointly with her. Potbelly then made things worse by seducing and marrying Cleopatra II’s daughter, Cleopatra III – his stepdaughter, as well as double niece, being the daughter of both his sister and his deceased brother, Ptolemy VI. Adding insult to injury, Potbelly did not bother to divorce Cleopatra II, before marrying her daughter.

So Cleopatra II organized a revolt in Alexandria in 132 BC, that forced her brother/ husband/ son-in-law, and his stepdaughter/ niece/ wife, to flee the city. The resultant civil war pitted Cleopatra II, supported by the city of Alexandria, against her daughter and Ptolemy Potbelly, who had the backing of the rest of Egypt. When things turned against Cleopatra II, she offered her throne to the neighboring Seleucids in Syria. However, they were unable to rescue her, and she was forced to flee to Syria in 127 BC.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Empress Catherine. Atlas Obscura

3. The Emperor Who Forced His Wife to Keep Her Lover’s Head in Her Bedroom

Late in his reign, rumors made the rounds that Peter the Great’s wife, Empress Catherine, was having an affair with her private secretary, Willem Mons. Gossip had it that the duo were lovers, and that Willem Mons’ sister, Matryona Balk, had played matchmaker. One of the juicier tales held that “Peter had found his wife with Mons one moonlit night in a compromising position in her garden“. Whether or not Peter had actually witnessed his wife getting it on with her secretary, he did get word of the lurid stories about his wife.

So the emperor had Mons arrested and hauled off in chains, on charges of embezzlement and abuse of trust. His sister Matryona, the supposed matchmaker, was also arrested, publicly flogged, and exiled to Siberia. On November 28th, 1724, eight days after his arrest, Willem Mons was publicly beheaded in Saint Petersburg. While that was going on, Catherine put on a public display of indifference towards her secretary’s fate, which probably saved her own head. However, Peter put on a final demonstration of his power, in a bid to test whether his wife’s indifference was genuine. He had Mons’ head preserved in alcohol and put in a glass jar, which he then placed in Catherine’s bedroom.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Ptolemy IV Philopator. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

2. The Monarch Who Murdered His Mother

The depravity that became a hallmark of Egypt’s Ptolemaic rulers began when the dynasty’s second king, Ptolemy II, married his own sister. That kicked off a dynastic tradition of incest, with serious negative consequences down the road. However, the depravity of incest was eclipsed during the reign of Ptolemy IV (244 – 204 BC, reigned 221 – 204 BC). He proceeded to add intra-familial murder to the dynasty’s repertoire, by murdering his own mother, Berenice II.

Ptolemy IV had ascended the throne as co-ruler, alongside his mother – a formidable woman, who had once stemmed a battlefield rout by mounting a horse, rallying her surviving troops, and leading them in a successful countercharge. Feeling intimidated and wanting to rule alone, Ptolemy IV inaugurated his reign by murdering his mother. Notwithstanding that act of ruthlessness, he was a weak-willed ruler who was dominated by his mistress and court favorites. He also ignored the hard work of ruling, devoting himself instead to religious rituals. With a weak hand at the helm, the kingdom was rocked by serious rebellions, that took decades to suppress.

20 Noble Relationships in History that Had Internal Conflict
Nero. Pintrest

1. Nero Slept With His Mother – And Murdered Her

Nero (37 – 68 AD) was one of history’s perverse rulers. He became emperor as a teenager in 54, and was dominated by his mother, who reportedly controlled him with incest. As one Roman-era writer described it: “whenever he rode in a litter with his mother, he had incestuous relations with her, which were betrayed by stains in his clothing“. That kind of upbringing sheds light on how Nero ended up so depraved. When Nero grew older he tried to assert his independence, but his mother refused to give up her power, and kept meddling in government. So he decided to murder her.

Nero resorted to elaborate schemes to do in his mother, because he wanted to make her death look accidental. He had a roof constructed that was designed to collapse on top of his mother, but she survived. He then gifted her with pleasure barge, that was specially designed to collapse. The barge collapsed in the middle of a lake while Nero watched from his villa, but to his astonishment, his mother made it out of the wreckage, swam like an otter, and made it to shore. Horrified, and dreading the awkwardness of the inevitable confrontation, Nero finally threw in the towel on subtlety. Abandoning all pretense, he sent his henchmen to club his mother to death with oars.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Encyclopedia – Cleopatra II

Ancient History Encyclopedia – Attila the Hun

Ancient History Encyclopedia – Caracalla

Archibald, Elizabeth – Incest and the Medieval Imagination (2001)

Awesome Stories – Ivan the Terrible Murders His Son

Encyclopedia Britannica – George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence

History Vault – The Mystery of Edward II‘s Death

Livius – Ptolemy VIII Physcon

Massie, Peter K. – Peter the Great: His Life and World (1980)

Rejected Princesses – Wu Zetian: China‘s Only Female Empress

Smithsonian Magazine, December, 2010 – Rehabilitating Cleopatra

Suetonius – The Twelve Caesars

Wikipedia – Cleopatra III of Egypt

Wikipedia – Willem Mons