5 Real Pauper to Prince Stories

Pauper to Prince

Sometimes, those fables and stories that you heard when you were young actually came from real events. History is littered with amazing stories, which see normal servants or slaves turn into rulers and emperors by sheer luck, hard work, or courage. These rags to riches stories leave a great amount of surprise and awe in people’s minds. Here is our amazing pick of 5 Real Pauper to Prince stories.

Lucky Fellow No. 1: Qutub-ud-din-aybak

Qutab-ud-din-aybak was essentially known to be the first ruler of what is known as the slave dynasty or Mamluk dynasty in Delhi. Aybak was a slave to the great conqueror that was Muhammad of Gor. Lady luck shone on this common slave’s path when the Sultan who conquered pieces in India as well as its neighboring regions, was assassinated in a conspiracy. Aybak snatching the opportunity declared himself emperor of Delhi and started ruling in 1206. He ruled only for four years and died in 1210 and was succeeded by his son. Even though the dynasty did not exist for long, Aybak’s story of how a slave rose to power is shocking and jaw-dropping!

Lucky Fellow No. 2: Catherine I

Catherine’s story might have been an inspiration for the story of Cinderella to come into existence. Born into a normal peasant family in 1684, she lost both her parents to plague and used to work as a daily laborer to fend herself. When the Russians captured her city and took her to the capital, she had the chance to meet the Russian Emperor, Peter the Great.

From there on her life was twisted to an unseen course, finally leaving her on the throne when her husband passed away. Catherine ruled the kingdom for only 16 months and then died. But the people of her kingdom remembered her fondly as a ruler who treated them well. Wow, what surprises life had in store for her!

Lucky Fellow No. 3: Basil I

Born near Macedonia as an Armenian descendant, Basil was a peasant by birth. His parents died at a young age and he was captured as a slave by Bulgarians. Later he escaped their clutches and arrived in Constantinople where he was helped by scholar and doctor, Nicholas.

Basil possessed a sharp intellect and imbibed all knowledge related to administration very fast. He then stood with influential rulers, all the while being showered with wealth and fame. Later, he conspired and killed the then emperor and former beneficiary, Micheal, and took over the throne.

For 19 years, Basil ruled over Constantinople very wisely often foreseeing and using human emotions to a great extent. After his death in 886 CE, he was succeeded by his son. A determined man this guy, one must say!

Lucy Fellow No. 4: Theodora

Now this woman and her story have an amazing personality to it. Theodora was born in 500 AD, as the daughter of a bear trainer. In her formative years, she used to perform as a child star, acts that were alluring and sexually explicit. She even tried her hand at prostitution and could reportedly take on ten men at a time! (Whew!)

At the age of 18, Emperor Justinian happened to get a glimpse of her and changed laws so that he could marry her. From then on her life was full of unimaginable riches. But Theodora never forgot the circumstances from where she came. She tried to end the slave trade and bring out anti-rape legislation, becoming one of the first-ever woman to fight for women’s rights! What a spirited woman this one!

Lucy Fellow No. 5: Justin I

Born into a family of shepherds and following the line of farming, Justin traveled to Constantinople in the 4th century in search of luck. He found employment as a guard to Emperor Leo. He was illiterate, but was brave and raved for his fighting skills and battle strategies.

When Emperor Anastasius I died childlessly, he used his influence and coercion to attain the throne for himself. He commanded the Eastern Roman Empire and ruled for an impressive 9 years. Well, he did show us that sometimes risks taken in life do pay off!

Well, all these people do teach us one thing. Never let go of any opportunity that comes anywhere close to your hand luckily you might end up with a rags to riches story of your own.

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Sanjana Keshavdas

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