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THE mystery over the death of Alexander the Great may have finally been solved – and his passing was grislier than historians had ever imagined.
The fearsome military genius succumbed to a rare disease that left him paralysed for six days, gradually robbing him of his ability to move, speak and breath, claims a new study.
Ruler - Soldiers - Body - BC
It means the ancient Macedonian ruler was likely still alive while his loyal soldiers prepared his body for burial in 323 BC.
His muscles were paralysed to the point that doctors couldn't see he was still breathing, meaning he was pronounced dead nearly a week early.
History - Warmongers - Alexander - Great - Empire
One of history's finest warmongers, Alexander the Great established the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen through a series of ferocious military conquests.
At the age of 25, his army overcame overwhelming odds to crush the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without suffering a single defeat.
Leader - Babylon - Decades - Historians - Typhoid
The towering leader fell ill suddenly in Babylon aged 32, and for decades historians have puzzled over what finished him off, with some blaming typhoid, alcoholism or even poison.
Now health boffins in New Zealand think they have the answer: A rare autoimmune disease that destroyed his body from the inside.
Condition - Staff - Week - King
They suggest the condition left him paralysed and unable to speak, meaning his staff failed to recognise, for nearly a week, that their king was still alive.
"I wanted to stimulate new debate and discussion and possibly rewrite the history books by arguing Alexander's real death was six days later than previously accepted," said study author Dr Katherine Hall, of the Dunedin School of Medicine in New Zealand.
Alexander - Great
Who was Alexander the Great?
Here's everything you need to know...
Great - Genius - Antiquity - World - Life
Alexander the Great is the outstanding military genius of antiquity — a seemingly invincible general who conquered half the known world in his short life.
To the ancients he was...
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