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How the great ancients left this world: a turtle falling on its head, a poisonous enema, and other oddities
How the great ancients left this world: a turtle falling on its head, a poisonous enema, and other oddities

In the ancient world, the possibility of a violent premature death has always "haunted" every person. This could happen to ordinary people who died in the millions from hunger, disease or war. But wealthy powerful people, who were often killed by their enemies, friends, or even family members, were not immune from premature death. Here are some examples of some of the bizarre and brutal murders of individuals known thousands of years ago.

1. Aeschylus

Aeschylus is the founder of European drama

Aeschylus, the father of Greek tragedy, became famous for such works as "The Persians" (which is often performed today). Not surprisingly, everyone expects a tragic ending from Aeschylus. But the reason this ancient playwright died would be more apt for a slapstick comedy. According to legend, the Athenian writer was killed when an eagle dropped a turtle on his head from a great height while Aeschylus went for a walk. Modern historians have suggested that the bird simply confused the writer's bald head with a stone about which it intended to break the turtle's shell. To add an element of the supernatural, the Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote in his History of Nature that Aeschylus went out for a walk because of a prophecy that predicted that he would be killed by a falling object.

2. Cleopatra

Cleopatra is the queen-pharaoh of Egypt

According to historical records, Cleopatra, the last queen-pharaoh of ancient Egypt, committed suicide in a rather creepy way. She brought a poisonous viper to her chest so that she would bite and poison her with a deadly poison. But was this legendary suicide really true? Many have suggested that this version of events was simply a cover for the murder of the famous queen by her political opponents. Most people survive after being bitten by a viper. In addition, two of Cleopatra's maids were found dead next to her. It is possible that Octavian (later Augustus, the first emperor of ancient Rome) killed Cleopatra in order to take over her empire.

3. Claudius

Emperor Claudius is the conqueror of Britain

Emperor Claudius is probably best known for his conquest of Britain in AD 43. and her role in the novels by Robert Graves, which she later directed on the BBC series. However, few people know about his untimely death when the emperor was poisoned by his own wife, who was also his niece. According to the Roman historian Suetonius, the niece of Claudius Agrippina, despaired of elevating to the throne Nero, her son from his first marriage with Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. Therefore, she fed Claudius with poisonous mushrooms, poisoned porridge and, finally, gave him a poisoned enema. Nero ascended the throne and proved to be one of the most brutal rulers Rome has ever known.

4. Caracalla

Caracalla Macedonian

It is known that more Roman emperors were killed (23) than died of natural causes (20). And those who may have been killed (8), were forced to commit suicide (5), or were executed (3) are not even included here. Like many other Roman statesmen, Caracalla himself solved many competitors before he was killed. According to his biographer, this emperor, who ruled alone only from 211 to 211 AD, was killed by his own bodyguard. It happened when Caracalla went to relieve himself at the side of the road.

5. Valerian

Valerian is an emperor who died in captivity

The death of the Roman emperor Valerian was probably the most gruesome of all. After he was captured by the Persian king Shapur I, Valerian was humiliated. The historian Lactantius described how Shapur used the back of the Roman emperor as a bench when he mounted a horse. Unsurprisingly, Valerian did not like this, and he offered the Persians a huge ransom in gold for his release. Shapur, however, expressed his contempt for the emperor's proposal by pouring molten gold down his throat, after which he tore off Valerian's skin and stuffed it like a stuffed animal with straw, hanging this trophy in his palace.

6. Ramses III

Ramses III

Roman emperors were not alone in dying horrific deaths. In ancient Egypt, they also knew a lot about how to kill those in power. In the case of Pharaoh Ramses III, this was caused by a dispute over succession to the throne. Ramses' son, Prince Pentaur, who was not a direct heir to the throne, slit his father's throat with a knife and cut off his thumb. Scientists believe they recently found Pentaura's body in the DB-320 burial complex. The mummy's distorted posture and morbid expression suggest a long, slow death by suffocation after being buried alive for killing his father.

7. Hypatia of Alexandria

Hypatia of Alexandria is a woman who retained the right to think

Hypatia was not a bad person at all - neither a murderer nor an intriguer. She just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Greek woman was a brilliant mathematician and neo-Platonist philosopher at a time when very few women could take part in intellectual debate. Unfortunately, Hypatia got caught up in a fifth-century power struggle in Alexandria. The Christian supporters of Bishop Cyril (Parabalans) disapproved of Hypatia's alleged closeness with Orestes, Prefect of Alexandria, and demonstrated this disapproval in the most eerie way. A mob of Christian fanatics dragged Hypatia out of their home, stripped her naked, beat her to death with shards of pottery, flayed her skin alive with the same shards, and then threw her corpse into the fire.

8. Daughter of Akhenaten

Akhenaten's daughter

Pharaoh Akhenaten was not an excellent example of a ruler and is best known as the father of Tutankhamun. Many historians believe that he had a grandson from his own daughter, but even this was not enough for Pharaoh. Inflamed with jealousy of his daughter, he killed her after another quarrel. Moreover, the pharaoh even cut off the hand of his daughter's corpse so that she would not end up in the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul could not reach the afterlife if the body was not left intact.

9. 5th Earl of Carnarvon

5th Earl of Carnarvon

While not technically a death in the ancient world, it has an amazing connection to Ancient Egypt. Lord Carnarvon was the financial sponsor of the 1922 expedition, during which the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was found, as well as one of the expedition members who was struck by the "curse of the pharaohs". When the tomb of Tutankhamun was excavated, an ominous inscription was found above its door: "Death will come on swift wings to the one who will disturb the king's world." Four months and three days after the tomb was opened, the count died from the bite of an infected mosquito. Of course, we can say that it was a coincidence, but when Tutankhamun's mummy was freed from the burial covers, a strange mark was found on the pharaoh's left cheek, exactly corresponding to the mosquito bite spot on Lord Carnarvon's cheek.

10. Clonikavan man

Human sacrifice was common in the ancient Celtic kingdoms of Ireland, and was no less brutal than the most depraved pharaohs or Roman emperors invented. The unidentified body of the "Clonikawan Man" was discovered in County Offaly in 2003 and showed clear signs of a gruesome death. According to the forensic medical examination, on the remains of the unfortunate man, they found traces of the ropes with which he was confused. Then the man was stabbed and his nipples were cut off.They did this because in pre-Christian Ireland, prisoners and defeated enemies kissed the king's nipples as a gesture of obedience. The severed nipples ensured that the slain would never be able to rule again - not in this life, not in the next.

As one of Bulgakov's heroes used to say: "Yes, man is mortal, but that would be half the trouble. The bad thing is that he is sometimes suddenly mortal, that's the trick!" And clear proof of these words can be ridiculous deaths of famous people.

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