ROMAN DEBAUCHERY FUN FACT!
I mentioned in a previous fun-fact the draconian measures the Byzantines would resort to in order to depose their emperors, namely, by way of mutilation. Emperors needed to maintain a semi-divine perfection, and blemishes such as missing one's tongue, ear or lower jaw were kind of disqualifiers from the profession. However, here is a fun-fact about the emperor who broke the mold on this convention.
Justinian II (A.D. 685-695, 705-711) was a scumbag among scumbags. He was despotic, egomaniacal, and an uncompromising religious zealot to boot, trampling foes and allies alike for the first ten years of his reign, even attempting to kidnap the Pope when he pissed him off. Finally, when the inevitable revolt came, his usurpers cut off his nose and banished him to the Crimea, where he was to spend the rest of his life pondering the error of his ways.
Only how can you err when you are blessed with a divine mandate? This is how Justinian saw it, and after strapping on a golden nose to replace his real one, he raised an army and sailed back to Constantinople to reclaim his throne. Caught in a storm, his men begged him to pray to God and offer forgiveness to his enemies and save their lives. He instead swore that if God calmed the seas, he would destroy every enemy who came before him. The storm stopped. And everyone thought to himself "Oh, THIS can only go well..."
With the help of several of his former barbarian foes, Justinian besieged Constantinople, slipped into the city, captured the usurpers, and set to work carrying out God's will in spectacular and gory fashion. His enemies utterly crushed, Justinian was restored to the throne, and there was much rejoicing, sort-of.
And that's where it ended, right? Well, no, of course not. Because when Justinian said every enemy, he meant every enemy. And he saw enemies everywhere. So the merry slaughter continued. Had to keep God happy, after all.
Fortunately for western civilization, he only managed to make it a little ways through the Constantinopolitan phone book before another rebellion rose against him. Justinian was executed, his family was put down with extreme prejudice, and the policy of institutional mutilation favored blinding from here on out. Because when you put out a guy's eyes and exile him to the ends of the earth, it's a lot harder for him to find his way back, no matter how much of a bad-ass he is.