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Did poisoned wine kill Alexander the Great ?


Posted on Monday, 13 January, 2014 | Comment icon 5 comments

A statue of Alexander the Great. Image Credit: Giovanni Dall'Orto
Mystery has long surrounded the strange and protracted death of one of history's greatest leaders.
Having built one of the ancient world's largest empires, Alexander the Great's death at the age of just 32 has perplexed scholars for centuries. Some believe that members of his inner circle may have plotted to murder him while others believe he died of natural causes.

Having been approached by the team behind a new BBC documentary, toxicologist Dr Leo Sche recently conducted his own investigation in to the mystery in an effort to find out if the Macedonian leader had indeed been poisoned by his enemies.

According to historical records Alexander had taken an agonizing 12 days to die, a fact that ruled out several types of poison such as hemlock and aconite that would have killed him much faster.

Instead, Dr Sche believes that a poisonous plant, Veratrum album, could have been fermented as a wine and given to Alexander during a banquet. Despite the bitter taste, the drink could have been sweetened with other ingredients and given to the leader while he was already intoxicated.

Source: New Zealand Herald | Comments (5)

Tags: Alexander the Great


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by green_dude777 on 13 January, 2014, 23:10
I lean more towards a homicide. This wouldn't have been the only time a megalomaniac leader was killed by someone close to him. Julius Caesar is a pretty famous one, not too mention Alexander's own dad.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 13 January, 2014, 23:52
I reckon he had Syphilis and it jsut rotted his brain.
Comment icon #3 Posted by coolguy on 14 January, 2014, 4:14
In them times poison was the number one way to murder
Comment icon #4 Posted by Harry_Dresden on 16 January, 2014, 12:26
Without a body and nothing but hearsay, we can only guess as to whether he was poisoned or if he suffered from a illness. I think Dr Leo Sche, has been watching FAR too many episodes of Cold Case..


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