Saddam the Fortunate. Whatever happens to Saddam Hussein from this point on, he can consider himself a lucky man. History tells of similar tyrants who did not emerge from a hiding place to medical examinations, humane treatment and judicial protections.
The Byzantine Emperor Andronicus I Comnenus seized the throne in 1183 and ruled with terror and violence, much like Saddam. As the historian Edward Gibbon told it, one day in September 1185, a crowd gathered in the church of Sancta Sophia in Constantinople to commiserate about their oppression. But their lamentations were soon turned to curses, and their curses to threats, Gibbon wrote. They dared to ask,˜Why do we fear? Why do we obey? We are many, and he is one: our patience is the only bond of our slavery. They rose up and deposed Andronicus, who was captured trying to flee the city.
He was brought in chains before the new emperor, who left him to the tender mercies of the citizens. The crowd proceeded to remove Andronicus hair, teeth, one eye and one hand. He was then tied to the backside of a mangy, sick camel and paraded through the streets, where people hit and spat at him. Andronicus was finally suspended upside-down between two pillars, where people continued to strike at him. He cried to the crowd, Why will you bruise a broken reed? At last, two soldiers, whether through anger or pity, plunged swords into him, putting a final end to his torture. Reprinted from the EIA Communique.
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