Author Topic: Alexander the Great poisoned?  (Read 2084 times)

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Offline Maik

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Alexander the Great poisoned?
« on: Monday, 13 January, 2014 @ 00:34:01 »
Mystery of Alexander the Great's death solved? Ruler was 'killed by toxic wine' claim scientists

Alexander the Great may have been killed by toxic wine made from a poisonous but harmless-looking plant, scientists have claimed.

The mystery of why the Greek King of Macedon, ruler of the largest empire in the ancient world, died at just 32 has baffled historians and scientists for over 2000 years.

Some argue that he passed due to natural causes while others believe he was secretly murdered using poison at a celebratory banquet.

Dr Leo Schep, a toxicologist from New Zealand’s National Poisons Centre says it is impossible that poisons such as arsenic were to blame - as cited in some theories - as death would have come too fast.

Instead, in his new research, Dr Schep argues that the most likely culprit was Veratrum album, a poisonous plant from the lily family also known as white or false hellebore.

Often fermented by the Greeks as a herbal treatment for inducing vomiting, importantly, it could account for the 12 days it took for the leader to die.

It would also match an account of Alexander the Great’s death written by ancient Greek historian Diodorus, who said he was struck with pain after drinking a large bowl of unmixed wine in honour of Hercules.

Dr Shep does however caution that despite his theory, the actual cause of death cannot be proven: “We'll never know really,” he says.