Friday, 11 May 2012


There are many horrible ways in which people can be killed. Some of the people have killed themselves, others were killed by their own stupidity and unfortunately, some have been killed by the stupidity of others and others were murdered horrible by those who captured them.
I have downloaded the following deaths literally from the Internet to illustrate the unfortunate circumstances of the deaths of the people I have written this article about. These deaths covers the periods of the Ancient times and the Middle Ages.

  • 6th century BC: Legend says Greek wrestler Milo of Croton came upon a tree-trunk split with wedges. Testing his strength, he tried to rend it with his bare hands by inserting his fingers in the gap. The wedges fell, trapping his hands in the tree making him unable to defend himself from attacking wolves that then devoured him.
  • 480-475 BC: Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher who, testing his theory that heat could stop the liquid of life from escaping the body, sought to cure his dropsy by having his followers encase his body in cow manure. He perishing in the attempt.
·        53 BC: The Roman general and consul Marcus Licinius Crassus was reported as having been put to death by the Parthians after losing the battle of Carrhae, by being forced to drink a goblet of molten gold, symbolic of his great wealth. A much more likely scenario is that in which, following his death, the Parthian executioner(s) poured the said 'molten gold' into his mouth as a message/symbol representing the perils of his 'great thirst for wealth.

  • 4 BC: Herod the Great reportedly suffered from fever, intense rashes, colon pains, foot drop, inflammation of the abdomen, a putrefaction of his genitals that produced worms, convulsions, and difficulty breathing before he finally expired.
  • c. 98: Saint Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum, was roasted to death in a brazen bull during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian. Saint Eustace, as well as his wife and children supposedly suffered a similar fate under Hadrian. According to legend, the creator of the brazen bull, Perillos of Athens, was the first to be put into the brazen bull when he presented his invention to Phalaris, Tyrant of Agrigentum, but he was taken out before he died to be thrown from a hill where he met his ultimate demise.
  • 260: Roman emperor Valerian, after being defeated in battle and captured by the Persians, was supposedly used as a footstool by the King Shapur I. After a long period of punishment and humiliation, Shapur is said to have had the emperor skinned alive and his skin stuffed with straw or dung and preserved as a trophy. 

  • 15: Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician and Pagan philosopher, was murdered by a Christian mob by having her skin ripped off with sharp sea-shells; what remained of her was burned. (Various types of shells have been named: clams, oysters, abalones, etc. Other sources claim tiles or pottery-shards were used.)

Middle Ages

  • 892: Sigurd the Mighty of Orkney strapped the head of a defeated foe to his horse's saddle. The teeth of this head grazed against his leg as he rode, causing an infection that killed him.
  • 1219: According to legend, Inalchuk, the Muslim governor of the Central Asian town of Otrar, was captured and killed by the invading Mongols, who poured molten silver in his eyes, ears, and throat.
  • 1327: Edward II of England, after being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, was rumored to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus. This may not have occurred. It is also believed that he instead died in Pontefract Castle of starvation.


  • 1514: György Dózsa, Székely man-at-arms and peasants' revolt leader in Hungary, was condemned to sit on a red-hot iron throne with a red-hot iron crown on his head and a red-hot sceptre in his hand (mocking at his ambition to be king), by Hungarian landed nobility in Transylvania. While Dózsa was still alive, he was set upon and his partially roasted body was eaten by six of his fellow rebels, who had been starved for a week beforehand.
  • 1556: Humayun, a Mughal emperor, was descending from the roof of his library after observing Venus, when he heard the adhan, or call to prayer. Humayun's practice was to bow his knee when he heard the azaan, and when he did his foot caught the folds of his garment, causing him to fall down several flights. He died 3 days later of the injuries.
  • 1599: Nanda Bayin, a Burman king, reportedly laughed to death when informed, by a visiting Italian merchant, that “Venice was a free state without a king.”
  • 1601: Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, according to legend, died of complications resulting from a strained bladder at a banquet. It would have been extremely bad etiquette to leave the table before the meal was finished, so he stayed until he became fatally ill. This version of events has since been brought into question as other causes of death (murder by Johannes Kepler, suicide, and mercury poisoning among others) have come to the fore.
  • 1671: François Vatel, chef to Louis XIV, committed suicide because his seafood order was late and he could not stand the shame of a postponed meal. His body was discovered by an aide, sent to tell him of the arrival of the fish. The authenticity of this story is quite questionable.
  • 1673: Molière, the French actor and playwright, died after being seized by a violent coughing fit, while playing the title role in his play Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac).
  • 1687: Jean-Baptiste Lully, composer, died of a gangrenous abscess after piercing his foot with a staff while he was vigorously conducting a Te Deum, as it was customary at that time to conduct by banging a staff on the floor. The performance was to celebrate the king's recovery from an illness.
Part 2 will follow shortly. It will deal with deaths that occurred beginning in the 19th Century.  

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