according to the ancient Mesopotamians. 

The sun was frequently associated with the masculine power and with kingship, so it was believed that if a nation was in the totality of a solar eclipse their king would die soon after. (Now there is a conspiracy/prophecy nonsense I wish someone would drop on the desk in the Oval Office.)

Kings would apparently get around this by temporarily abdicating and giving their kingdoms to a condemned criminal, who would have no real power, but be made to dress as the king and sit on the throne... then be assassinated. In one case in about 1800 B.C. in what is now Iraq, the story was told that the ‘true king’ of Isin died while the pretender was on the throne and the pretender became the true king. Remember this next time you think the electoral college is an insane way to pick a leader.

I’m not trying to draw any really clear lines here for my American friends. Just a bit of fun I think, but the powerful do love their loopholes don’t they?