In Constantinople itself sedition and profligacy were rampant, the emperors were the tools of faction and cared but little for the interests of their subjects, whose lot was one of hopeless misery and depravity.
The ancient historians invariably note the profligacy of the inhabitants of Byzantium.
Recent researches into his early life discredit most of the stories that have been told respecting his profligacy and his contempt for the claims of the church; and it is admitted that, while rejecting her authority in the sphere of dogma and intellect, he observed the proprieties of life (gambling being then scarcely looked on as a vice) and respected the outward observances of religion.
The most important bill vetoed was the Dependent Pension Bill, a measure of extreme profligacy, opening the door, by the vagueness of its terms, to enormous frauds upon the treasury.
His extravagance, cruelty and profligacy can hardly be explained except on the assumption that he was out of his mind.