One of the greatest mysteries of history is what caused the excruciating and unexpected death of Alexander The Great. According to the historical record, he took ill after a night of drinking 12 pints of wine. His symptoms started with aches and fatigue but grew to severe stomach pain, and gradual paralysis. By the eighth day, Alexander was only able to flicker his eyes and twitch his hands. Three days later, he was pronounced dead and prepared for burial. Until now, it was thought that the cause of his death could have been anything from typhoid, alcoholism or even poison. New research, however, points to him having the brain disorder Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).
In GBS, the immune system attacks its own nervous system, eventually leaving the victim completely paralyzed. The worst thing about this new diagnosis is that it means Alexander was most likely still alive after they pronounced him dead. It’s just that his chest wasn’t moving so they could not tell that he was breathing. Further evidence that supports the idea that he was rendered paralyzed and in a coma while they were preparing his body for burial is that his body did not decompose in the days after his death pronouncement. At the time this was taken to mean that was a God while in reality, it really just meant that he wasn’t dead yet.
The scariest part of this is that it all means Alexander the Great was probably buried alive. The good news, however, is that he was probably in such a deep coma that he didn’t know what was happening before his body eventually gave out.