History The theory that Alexander the Great still lived when he was declared dead | Technology and Science | Sciences


He was so powerful and charismatic that some considered him a demigod.

And its mysterious death in full youth, more than 2,300 years, still is the object of passionate scientific debates.

Alexander, the Great he became king of Macedonia when he was only 20 years old. And in little more than a decade he defeated the Persians and forged an empire that stretched from Greece to India.

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The great conqueror, who was a disciple of Aristotle, He died at the age of 32. in circumstances which are still grounds for speculation.

Some theories in recent years have pointed to possible poisoning or even a case of malaria.

But the doctor Katherine Hall He claims to have the answer. For the New Zealand scientist, the cause of the death of the great Greek hero was a neurological disease.

► Paludism or poisoning?

Alexander, the Great died on June 10 or 13 (the precise date is disputed) of the year 323 BC.when he was in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon. I was a shy month of turning 33.

It is known that Alejandro attended a banquet on June 3 and, according to reports of the time, died 10 days later.

British historian Andrew Chugg presented in 2005 the hypothesis that Alexander had died of malaria.

Chugg noticed that Alejandro had sailed two weeks before his death in marshy waters around Babylon and that he could have been infected there.

The historian was based on the "ephemeris," a newspaper attributed to Diogneto of Eritrea, who accompanied the king in his conquests to map out his new territories.

Another of the most debated hypotheses is that of the New Zealand toxicologist Leo Schep.

In 2014 Schep published a study in the journal Clinical Toxicology, in which he affirmed that Alejandro was poisoned with the album Veratrum, a plant known as hellebore or white beast.

It is known that the Greeks used the plant to induce vomiting, but at higher doses they can cause poisoning with symptoms that include severe muscle pain and weakness.

► Progressive analysis

Katherine Hall does not agree with the theories of malaria or poisoning.

"In particular, referring to Schep's study, the long period of illness to death does not seem to fit into possible poisoning," she told BBC World Hall, a professor at the Medical School of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

"In general, in antiquity, the intoxications were rapid, with highly lethal substances acting quickly, otherwise the victim could survive long enough to blame their aggressor."

For Hall, on the other hand, that the symptoms point to a neurological disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome, probably contracted after infection by Campylobacter bacteria, "which can be found in undercooked chickens or in unpasteurized milk."

The New Zealander scientist claims that Alejandro suffered a variant of Guillain-Barré known as acute motor axonal neuropathy, which produces paralysis without causing confusion.

"Gullain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune reaction in which the patient's immune system becomes confused by an infectious organism and begins to attack the nerves," Hall told BBC World.

"Alejandro suffered from an upward paralysis, from the fingers upward, but kept a clear mind giving orders to his generals until the end".

He added: "It's an unusual combination of symptoms and, according to my experience in intensive care with similar cases, the best explanation is Guillain-Barré syndrome."

"False diagnosis of death"

And how the accounts are explained that the king's body only broke six days after his death?

This fact showed, according to ancient Greek, that Alexander was a god, but this article provides a real and reliable answer, "Hall said in reference to his study published in The Ancient History Bulletin.

"In Ancient Greece the meaning of the wrist was not well understood and it was determined whether a person was dead because of their shortness of breath and possibly because of their eyes. "

Alejandro, with a progressive paralysis, could have reached a state whose breathing was so shallow that it was not apparent to the naked eye, according to Hall.

"A very small amount of oxygen is absorbed into the body without breathing due to the difference in oxygen concentration in the lungs and blood," the doctor said.

"Normally, that would not have been enough to keep anyone alive, but Alejandro needed less and less oxygen due to lack of movement and digestion."

In other words, Alexander's body with its fixed pupils did not decompose for six days simply because, according to Hall, the king was not yet dead.

"I wanted to stimulate a new debate and possibly rewrite history books by arguing that Alejandro's death actually occurred six months later than previously thought, "Hall said..

"His death may be the most famous case ever recorded of pseudotanates or false diagnosis of death," he said.

► other mysteries

"The elegance of Guillain-Barré's diagnosis as the cause of death is that he explains many disparate elements in a coherent way," Hall said.

But the researcher knows that her article will not end the debate over the death of the Macedonian king.

"Every theory about Alejandro's death has its defenders and detractors," Hall said.

"And I do not doubt that the same thing happens to mine, that's the nature of scientific research, but every comment should be based on research and grounded arguments."

What were your last words? When the generals asked the king on his deathbed who he wanted to bequeath his empire, some pointed out that he said "Krat eroi," which means "the strongest." Others claimed that he really meant "Karter", "the Crater," one of the commanders of his army.

Where are the remains of the king? His body lay for centuries in a tomb in Alexandria, Egypt, but it disappeared. And Chugg believes it is possible that the corpse was disguised as San Marcos to prevent its destruction during a Christian uprising.

If this is true, the venerable tomb of St. Mark in Venice might contain not the remains of the evangelist, but of Alexander the Great.

The truth is that the king of the Macedonians continues to cause fascination and admiration.

Whatever the chosen hypothesis, what many share is the overwhelming desire to understand more deeply the life of the formidable warrior hero.

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