New research suggests that Vincent Van Gogh didn't cut his own ear off in a fit of madness, but had it chopped off with a sword that was wielded by his friend Paul Gauguin, who was a skilled fencer.  Not all historians give credence to the new theory, however.  According to the Telegraph, the sword was an epee, which makes you wonder whether the historians who came up with this theory know anything about swords.  On the other hand, having your ear removed with an epee would be a good explanation for why Van Gogh went mad shortly afterwards.