I am not mad myself, but I rule over mad, impious and arrogant folk. It is for this reason that I play the madman myself and pretend to be possessed by demons in order to frighten them and prevent them from harming the Muslims.
- Askiya Dawud (1549-83), emperor of Songhai, quoted in I.M. Lewis, Islam in Tropical Africa. No doubt he would also have fitted right in as a fictional mid-20th-century character in John Brunner’s The Squares of the City or a real late-20th-century emotional tyrant in Faking It.