The Roman Emperors, Ranked by the Gruesomeness of their Deaths
Some Roman Emperors violated tradition and died peacefully in their beds. Most, however, met violent ends, particularly in last two centuries of the empire in the West. Josh Fruhlinger, once a graduate student in ancient history, has sorted all of the Western emperors by the brutality of their deaths. The #1 position goes to Valerian (r. 253-260), the only Emperor to become a prisoner of war. The Persians were not kind:
Captured by the Persians and died in captivity; rumored to have been used as a human footstool by the Persian king, killed by having molten gold poured down his throat, then taxidermied.