by Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University and Antoinette Hayes, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
published on 07 November 2011
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Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus, Justin, and other ancient historians report that rumors of poisoning arose after the death of Alexander in Babylon in 323 B.C. Alexander's close friends suspected a legendary poison gathered from the River Styx in Arcadia, so corrosive that only the hoof of a horse could contain it. It's impossible to know the real cause of Alexander's death, but a recent toxicological discovery may help explain why some ancient observers believed that Alexander was murdered with Styx poison. We propose that the river harbored a killer bacterium that can occur on limestone rock deposits. This paper elaborates on our Poster presentation, Toxicological History Room, XII International Congress of Toxicology, Barcelona, 19-23 July 2010, and Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Washington DC, March 2011.
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Cite This Work
Pharmaceuticals, A. M. S. U. a. A. H. P. (2011, November 07). The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander.
World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/article/272/the-deadly-styx-river-and-the-death-of-alexander/
Pharmaceuticals, Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University and Antoinette Hayes, Pfizer. "The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander."
World History Encyclopedia. Last modified November 07, 2011.
Original article by Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University and Antoinette Hayes, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Submitted by Jan van der Crabben, published on 07 November 2011 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms.