Weird History

Historical Kings That People Literally Believed Would Rise From The Dead

When a king dies, does he really kick the bucket? It's hard to say for all of them, but at least some kings will return – their legends promise it. A bevy of long-lived legends feature mythical or real-life monarchs who, though they supposedly died, have messianic myths floating around their heads. The most famous of these is the wait for King Arthur's return – injured grievously in his final battle, he supposedly sleeps on the Isle of Avalon, only waking up when Britain is in a time of crisis.

These myths about kings who are currently sleeping and will wake up to save their people are truly inspired; these long-awaited royal slumberers are often called "kings in the mountain." Their number includes obvious figures like King Arthur and Merlin, as well as less well-known ones, like the medieval Irish-Norman lord Gerald FitzGerald, the Saxon King Harold, the naughty Emperor Nero, and several Eastern European rulers.