Insane Indulgences Of The Rich & Powerful From History
Insane Indulgences Of The Rich & Powerful From History

Insane Indulgences Of The Rich & Powerful From History

Khalid Elhassan - April 5, 2023

Insane Indulgences Of The Rich & Powerful From History
The Death of Alcibiades, by Philippe Chery. Musee des Beaux-Arts, La Rochelle

The End of the Road for Alcibiades

Despite the valuable services he rendered Sparta, Alcibiades wore out his welcome after he was caught in bed with the wife of King Agis II. He fled again, this time to the Persians. Alcibiades convinced them to adopt a strategy to prolong the war as long as possible, and keep Athens and Sparta too busy fighting each other to challenge Persia’s interests. Back home, Athens reeled from the string of military catastrophes that Alcibiades had helped inflict on his city, and political turmoil led to an oligarchic coup. However, the Athenian fleet remained pro-democracy, and in the chaos, Alcibiades used his charisma to persuade the fleet to take him back. From 411 to 408 BC, he led the Athenian fleet in a dramatic recovery, and won a series of victories that turned the war around.

Suddenly, it was Sparta that was on the verge of collapse. Alcibiades returned to Athens in 407 BC, where he received a rapturous welcome. His earlier treasons were forgiven and temporarily forgotten, and he was given supreme command to conduct the war. However, the Athenians turned on Alcibiades a few months later, after a minor naval defeat when he was absent from the fleet. He fled again. Since he had burned bridges with all sides, he holed up in a fortified castle in Thrace for a while. Then he fled even further away to take refuge in Phrygia. However, a Spartan delegation traveled to Phrygia, and convinced its Persian governor to have Alcibiades murdered in 404 BC.

Insane Indulgences Of The Rich & Powerful From History
An Ottoman sultana and princess with their slaves. Look and Learn

A Lavish Ottoman Wedding

Hatice Sultan (1660 – 1743) had a lavish wedding for the ages. The daughter of Sultan Mehmed IV, and sister of sultans Mustafa II and Ahmed III, she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. In 1675, fourteen-year-old Hatice was married to Musahip Mustafa Pasha, the Ottoman Navy’s Admiral of the Fleet. Her imperial family and the groom pulled out all the stops to make sure that the princess would kick off her marriage with celebrations of unrivaled opulence. The wedding, which took place in Edirne, lasted for twenty days, and the city was decorated with artificial trees that featured silver leaves. The biggest one was about sixteen-feet-wide, and was pulled by 200 slaves. To avoid navigating the city’s warren of twisting streets, all buildings in its path, including houses, were razed.

Insane Indulgences Of The Rich & Powerful From History
An Ottoman style wedding dress. Turkey Famous For

There were parades, fireworks, wrestling, and other athletic contests, in addition to daily banquets and ceremonies. Musicians, artists, and actors were brought in from all across the Ottoman Empire and beyond, to put on concerts, and other performances. The bride’s dowry was carried by eighty-six mules, each covered in expensive fabrics. Their haul included an abundance of diamonds, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry and precious stones. That was aside from delicate porcelain, gold candlesticks, pearl-covered stools, and the era’s finest and most expensive shoes, slippers, and boots. Also prominently featured were the priciest Persian rugs, carpets, beds and table cloths. It was the era’s most lavish marriage celebration, bar none.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Africa Today, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Jul. – Sep., 1978) – The Coronation of Emperor Bokassa

Alpha History – Marie Antoinette

Ancient Origins – Adolf Frederick: The Swedish King Who Ate Himself to Death

Ars Orientalis, Vol. 39, 2010 – Eighteenth Century Ottoman Princesses as Collectors: Chinese and European Porcelains in the Topkapi Palace Museum

Clements, Jonathan – The First Emperor of China (2006)

Delamere Manor – The Five Most Expensive Weddings of All Time

Ehrenberg, Victor – From Solon to Socrates: Greek History and Civilization During the 6th and 5th Centuries BC (2010)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Giles de Rais

Encyclopedia Britannica – Musa I of Mali

Gonick, Larry – The Cartoon History of the Universe (1990)

Gonick, Larry – The Cartoon History of the Universe, Volume II (1994)

Guardian, The, August 28th, 2001 – Jane Greer

Head Stuff – Crassus, the Richest Man in Rome

History Collection – Successful and Unsuccessful Lovers of the Rich and Powerful in History

History Network – How America’s Most Powerful Men Caused America’s Deadliest Flood

Johnstown Pennsylvania Information Source Online – Archived New York Times Coverage of the Johnstown Flood, June 1 – 7, 1889

Library of Congress – Women in the French Revolution Resource Guides: Marie Antoinette

Listverse – 10 Bizarre Tales of The First Emperor of China’s Quest For Immortality

Los Angeles Times, August 28th, 2001 – Jane Greer, Star of Film Noir ‘Out of the Past’

McCullough, David G. – The Johnstown Flood (2004)

New Yorker, The, September 17th, 2006 – The Fashions and Follies of Marie Antoinette

Nordstjernan – King-Sized Meal: A Cautionary Tale

Plutarch – Parallel Lives: Alcibiades

Plutarch – Parallel Lives: Life of Crassus

Shaw, Karl – Power Mad! A Book of Deranged Dictators (2004)

Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War

Twitchett, Denis, et alThe Cambridge History of China: The Chin and Han Empires, 221 BC – AD 220, 3rd Edition (1986)

Wolf, Leonard – Bluebeard: The Life and Times of Gilles de Rais (1980)