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Death of Alexander the Great

Death of Alexander the Great
The creator of the empire, stretching from India to Libya and the Balkans, the first person called by the ancient Great, commander, whose glory envied Julius Caesar died ... from a mosquito bite. This version of the death of Alexander the Great, who died in Babylon 10 June 323 BC. e. at the age of 33 years incomplete, presented American TV "Discovery".

Komar was a carrier of West Nile virus, and that it was the cause of death of the invincible commander. This convinced the American researchers - an epidemiologist John Marr of the Virginia Department of Health and Infectious Diseases Specialist Charles Kelisher from Colorado State University. Scientific Kelisher Marr and substantiated the hypothesis in the pages of bulletin «Emerging Infectious Disaeses», devoted to infectious diseases. To him we shall return, but first of Alexander's death, which put an end to his empire.

Almost two and a half thousand years that have passed since the great commander written hundreds, if not thousands, of books. At the heart of all serious studies are the works of ancient historians who have had access to the court of Alexander Blogs and books of his generals. To this day, these primary sources did not survive. Historians question is, first of all, Ennius Flavius ​​Arrian (approx. 95-175 years. BC. E.), Plutarch (c. 45-127 years.) And Diodorus of Sicily (c. 90-21 gg. BC. e.). They are almost equally describe the events of the month Desiya 114 at Olympics Hegesias, archon of Athens, which corresponds to the end of May - beginning of June 323 BC, when the disease in two weeks took the life of Alexander.

Fever started suddenly, after another of the endless feasts in Babylon, where in just a few days of Alexander's army had come out to the West through Arabia. In the provinces of the Mediterranean prepared innumerable ships for the conquest of Italy, Sicily, Iberia and Africa. A fleet was in Babylon was to circumnavigate Africa from the south and enter the Mediterranean Sea through the Pillars of Hercules, dealing a blow from the west at Carthage. The past does not know the subjunctive mood, but one of the greatest historians of our time, Sir Arnold Toynbee tried to use it in a small story, "If Alexander had not died then ..." and expressed his confidence that after the conquest of the whole of the Mediterranean basin, he would have finished the conquest of India, joined to his empire, and China. After all, he was only 32 years and 8 months old.

After the first attack they debilitating fever followed one after another. "The disease is intensified; summoned doctors, but no one could be of any help, "- says Diodorus. The order of presentation in the campaign was canceled. "Warlords, he learned, but to say they could not; His voice was no longer there, "- says Arrian. "No one was not initially suspected poisoning" - Plutarch. Fever - the only diagnosis that doctors were able to deliver, to use Alexander. Only six years later came the denunciation, that the ruler of half the world at a banquet was given poison in the wine, and to its manufacturing allegedly was involved in teacher Alexander Aristotle. Many were executed on the denunciation (denunciation to the philosopher did not live, skrnchavshis year after the student). Informing version of poison, Arrian says: "I wrote it rather to show that I am aware of these persuasion, instead of trust in them." "Most people think the story of the poisoning of fiction" - emphasizes Plutarch. Very few poisons provoke an increase in temperature, and at that time such as to cause prolonged high fever, were not known, state the Marr and Kelisher in Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Recently experts "for the eye" diagnosed typhoid Alexander, but, as the researchers point out, it is very contagious, but the mass disorders in Babylon palace chroniclers were reported. Marr and Kelisher on the same basis reject influenza and eliminate malaria, schistosomiasis, tularemia, encephalitis, endocarditis, and other diseases, in terms with terms that are not understood, not being a specialist.

The authors of the new version aroused particular interest in the words of Plutarch, which researchers previously did not pay attention, "On reaching the gate of the city (Babylon), he saw a flock of ravens, flying in different directions and peck each other. Several birds fell near him. " It is because of these two phrases they came up with the idea of ​​the West Nile fever, which affects not only people, but also birds, especially family Voronov. Doctors checked his guess on the electronic diagnostic program Gideon (GIDEON - a global network of infectious diseases, and diagnostics). "When we introduced symptoms of Alexander and added birds, the answer was - a wholly-owned West Nile fever" - Kelisher said in an interview with the magazine «Nature». But researchers had not come up with the idea of ​​the West Nile fever, because she got worldwide fame only in 1999, when it was accidentally introduced into the United States. Last year alone, the virus has killed 240 Americans and had been ill with fever, according to the country's Ministry of Health, about 9,000 people.

The disease is endemic in many Asian and African countries, but was only identified in 1937 in Uganda. In Iraq, three species of mosquitoes are carriers of the virus. The illness lasts from three days to three weeks, the incubation period - the same. By the way, after returning to Babylon from Media Alexander, according to Arrian, swam, "he reigning triarii" on lakes lying in the swamps where mosquitoes breed - the carriers of the virus. Fever is usually fatal only in people with weakened body, but in the last months of his life the young king, and had not shied away from heavy drinking, I did not know the measures in the wine. Of course, the authors of the new version of the death of Alexander recognize diagnose hearsay with absolute accuracy is impossible. "But their version sounds very convincing," - said the correspondent of «Nature» Thomas Mater, an epidemiologist at the University of Rhode Island.

After the king's death, eight of his generals - Diadochi divided the empire among themselves. Alexander said that he wanted to be buried in the temple of the god Amon-Ra in the Egyptian oasis of Siwa. But Ptolemy, who went to Egypt, decided to build a mausoleum in his capital Alexandria. The tomb was performed with splendor befitting deified founder of the city. He visited the Tomb of Julius Caesar, having put rich gifts. Augustus hoisted onto the head of Alexander the golden wreath. And the Emperor Caligula, on the contrary, assumed the bib king and wore it on ceremonial occasions. The last of the Roman emperors in the tomb in the year 215 BC. e. I visited Caracalla, who laid on the tomb of his purple cloak and jewels.

After that reliable information about the tomb there. After the adoption of Christianity as the state religion of the Byzantine Empire in 392 in Alexandria began the destruction of pagan temples and relics. Many historians believe that by the year 397 was destroyed, and the tomb of Alexander, but the documents in this account no. According to one legend, the sarcophagus with the mummy was removed from Alexandria, and is tucked away in a secret place. The search for his coming century. Only in the last century the grave looking for about 150 (!) Official expeditions. Since 1805, seven times declared that it found, including twice in the 1990s. But the tomb of Alexander has not yet been found.

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