GrumpyOne Posted July 23, 2010 Share Posted July 23, 2010 Heraclitus, circa 500 B.C. WHO: Heraclitus was one of the per-eminent philosophers of his day. Although only one of his works is known to us, he is regarded as the man who laid the path for Stoicism, the most followed thought system in the Roman Empire up until Christianity. Closer to home admirers include Hegel and Nietzsche. In short he was something of a big deal. CAUSE OF DEATH: Cowshit. Lots and lots of cowshit. At some point he was afflicted with dropsy (accumulation of fluid under the skin) to which the contemporary physicians had no treatment. Praying to Zeus was of debatable medical value so he devised his own cure. He reasoned the best way to dispose of water was heat, but how would he be able to generate enough to boil the water under his skin? He lowered himself into a vat of cowshit up to his neck and placed it in the full glare of the Mediterranean sun. Unfortunately he forgot to engineer a method to get out of his crapvat and was found sometime later very dead and quite extraordinarily smelly. Major General John Sedgwick 1813 - 1864 WHO: General of the Union Army and the highest ranking man to die in the Civil War. CAUSE OF DEATH: Extreme overconfidence. At the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House his artillery battery came under fire from Confederate snipers a healthy 1000 yards away. Seeing his men scurry for cover he stood up and berated them for their cowardice, "What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.........." At which point he fell forwards with a bullet in his eye. Marie Curie, 1867 - 1934 WHO: Curie was the first person to receive two Nobels, one apiece for physics and chemistry. Among her many achievements was the creation of the theory of radioactivity and the discovery of radium and polonium. CAUSE OF DEATH: Unsurprisingly radiation related. Close contact to such dangerous elements had destroyed her bone marrow and resulted in a quite excruciating death. If you think about all the safety equipment that we use in modern times when handling such clicking hot materials it seems almost adorably naive to think that Curie worked in her garden shed and carried radium around in her shirt pocket. Her notebooks (which are themselves so radioactive they have to be kept in a lead box) include remarks about how radium had "a pleasing glow" when observed at night. Even her cookbook can send Geiger Counters into the red. Chrysippus 279 - 206 BC WHO: Another Greek philosopher and the Second Head of the School of Stoicism. Regarded as one of the most important ethical thinkers of all time. CAUSE OF DEATH: Incredibly amusing donkey. During a local holiday Chrysippus came upon a donkey that had been given a substantial amount of wine and was trying to eat figs. This tableau made Chrysippus literally laugh himself to death. If you've ever seen a dog try to eat toffee then this isn't as outlandish as it sounds. There is an alternate version that says Chrysippus simply drank too much and at the ripe old age of 73 keeled over but that isn't nearly as interesting therefore clearly false. Li Po 701- 762 WHO: Considered to be joint top of the all time Chinese poetry all-stars list, Li Po left over 1000 completed works and was part of the group of Chinese scholars called the "Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup." Which besides sounding rather awesome holds a clue about how he met his maker. CAUSE OF DEATH: Poetic imagery. And booze. Whilst reciting one of his poems massively inebriated on a boat in the middle of Yangtze River he chose to act out one particularly exquisite passage by attempting to cuddle the reflection of the moon in the water. Turns out poetry recitals are dangerous places to have your first swimming lesson. Clement Vallandigham 1820 - 1871 WHO: Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and skilled lawyer famed for his dramatic courtroom style and fearsome winning streak. CAUSE OF DEATH: Justice. As council for the defense during a particularly tough murder trail Vallandigham's strategy was to show that the victim had accidentally shot himself while pulling his own pistol. Realizing this was a tough sell he decided the jury would need a demonstration. So he acted out the events in court leading up to pulling a pistol, which he had forgot to unload and shot himself. While the demonstration had the unfortunate side effect of death the jury agreed that such accidental shootings were definitely plausible and the accused walked free. Adolf Frederick 1710 - 1771 WHO: King of Sweden. Like most of our contemporary monarchs didn't actually do much. CAUSE OF DEATH: Massive gluttony. While the populace was chewing rat and slurping down gruel Adolf was gorging on incredibly extravagant meals. Finally he dropped dead after a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, saurkraut, cabbage soup, smoked herring, champagne and his favorite desert semla (a bun filled with marzipan) of which he had 14(!!!) helpings. He is remembered in Sweden as "the King who ate himself to death." Eleazar Avaran circa 170 B.C. WHO: A minor character from the Maccabees book of the catholic bible. He is also mentioned in passing by the Jewish historian Josephus and became the subject of a surprisingly large amount of middle-ages Christian art. CAUSE OF DEATH: Balls of steel. During the Battle of Beth-zechariah Eleazar spotted the war elephant of the enemy general and charged it single handed. Never mind that it was surrounded by troops which he probably bounced out of the way with his massive testicles - he got close enough to slide under the beast and ram his spear upwards through its heart. Of course the last place you want to be is directly underneath a very recently expired elephant and he was crushed to death in his finest moment. His legacy of kamikaze elephant attack will continue to inspire for eternity. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now