The truth will set you free, and freak you out
We all had to go through history class and learn about ancient civilizations, great wars, and other such events that shaped our world. There are, however, many facts that are looked over for their unsavoriness and shocking features. Famed leaders did things that would send them to prison for life now. Classical music isn’t free from dirty jokes. Taking a look at a statue from a slightly different angle may reveal something truly filthy. These historical facts will make you think twice about your ancestors.
The Honey Pot
In West Berlin, during the cold war, the East Germans (and the Russians who helped them) opened a number of gay nightclubs and bars, hoping to use them as honey traps to blackmail and embarrass U.S. military personnel who might frequent them.
The bars became so popular with the (at the time) underground gay culture in Berlin, that they stopped bothering to use them as honey traps because they could make more money by simply running the places as nightclubs and bars. (Galaxy_Ranger_Bob)
The New Wife
Pedro I of Brazil (a.k.a. Pedro IV in Portugal) was a well-known party boy and womanizer. His fame was so great that, when he got widowed, eight princesses from European royal houses explicitly declined his marriage proposal, making the Brazilian ambassador in Europe look like a fool. Amélie of Leuchtenberg, granddaughter of the King Maxmillian I of Bavaria took one for the team, married him at the tender age of 17 and Pedro remained faithful to her until his death.
He remained faithful to her because, when the Empress died (because of an miscarriage triggered by a depression developed when she was publicly embarrassed by him and his mistress), Pedro finally realized how much he screwed up and was so overridden with guilt that he was often seen by the royal employees drunk and crying in fetal position with her picture in their chambers.
He even sent his mistress away for an year and when Amelie came to Brazil, Pedro banned the mistress for good, along with his best friend and party mate. (thassae)
Strange Show of Power
As a show of power upon entering Rome to become crowned emperor, Roman Emperor Elagabalus had hundreds of naked women drag his chariot down the streets of Rome. (jmviehmann)
I remember another story about him where he would stand naked at the entrance of some temple and bid anyone, and I mean anyone, to come and have sex with him in a back room. (cckike)
Not just at a temple: “Cassius Dio reported that Elagabalus would paint his eyes, epilate his body hair and wear wigs before prostituting himself in taverns, brothels, and even in the imperial palace.”
While emperor he married and divorced five times. He was assassinated at age 18! It should be noted that he was an unpopular ruler, so the history of his life should be taken with a grain of salt. (rkiga)