Alexander the Great Was Buried Alive and Suffocated in His Coffin!

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Alexander the Great was one of the most successful military leaders in history, conquering most of the known world by the age of 32. However, his death in Babylon in 323 BC remains a mystery that has puzzled historians for centuries. Some have suggested that he was poisoned, others that he succumbed to a fever or an infection. But a recent theory proposes a more shocking scenario: that Alexander was buried alive and suffocated in his coffin.

The Symptoms of Alexander’s Illness

According to ancient sources, Alexander’s illness began after a night of heavy drinking with his companions. He complained of fatigue and pain the next day, but continued to drink more wine. The following day, he developed a high fever and severe abdominal cramps. He was confined to his bed, unable to move or speak, except for some faint gestures with his eyes and hands. He remained in this state for eleven days, until his body was declared dead.

The Diagnosis of Guillain-Barré Syndrome

A team of researchers from New Zealand, led by Dr. Katherine Hall, suggested in 2019 that Alexander’s symptoms matched those of a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). GBS is an autoimmune condition that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own nerves, resulting in progressive paralysis and respiratory failure. It can be triggered by infections or vaccinations, and affects about one in 100,000 people today.

Hall and her colleagues argued that Alexander may have contracted GBS after being exposed to a bacterial infection such as campylobacteriosis or typhoid fever. They also pointed out that GBS can cause a condition known as “locked-in syndrome”, where the patient is fully conscious but unable to move or communicate. This could explain why Alexander appeared to be dead, but was still alive.

The Evidence of Pseudo-Death

The researchers based their theory on two main pieces of evidence: the delay in Alexander’s body decomposition and the reports of his “divine” appearance after death.

According to ancient accounts, Alexander’s body did not show any signs of decay for six days after his death. This was considered a miracle and a proof of his godhood by his followers. However, Hall and her colleagues suggested that this was because Alexander was still alive and breathing at a very low rate, preserving his body from rotting.

They also noted that some sources described Alexander’s body as having a “fresh” and “glowing” complexion after death, which could indicate that he had some blood circulation and oxygenation. They argued that this was consistent with GBS patients who have been resuscitated after cardiac arrest.

The Implications of the Theory

If Alexander was indeed buried alive, it would mean that he suffered a horrific fate: being trapped in a coffin for several days, slowly suffocating to death. It would also mean that he was denied his wish to be buried in the temple of Zeus Ammon at Siwa Oasis, as he had requested before his illness. Instead, his body was hijacked by one of his generals, Ptolemy I Soter, who brought it to Egypt and later reburied it in Alexandria.

The theory also raises questions about the legitimacy of Alexander’s successors, who fought over his empire after his death. If Alexander was still alive when they divided his territories, they could be seen as usurpers and traitors.

However, the theory is not without its critics. Some historians have challenged the accuracy and reliability of the ancient sources used by Hall and her colleagues. They have also pointed out that GBS is very rare and unlikely to affect someone as young and healthy as Alexander. They have also argued that there are other possible explanations for Alexander’s symptoms and body preservation, such as poisoning, malaria or embalming.

The mystery of Alexander’s death may never be fully solved, but it remains one of the most fascinating and controversial topics in ancient history.

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