Few names in history have evoked as much awe and curiosity as Alexander the Great. His sudden death at the age of 32, despite being an invincible conqueror, military genius, and charismatic leader, has sparked centuries of speculation. Among all of the theories about Alexander the Great's death, an unusual one has emerged: the likelihood that he was buried alive.
In the summer of 323 BCE, Alexander the Great became sick in the rich city of Babylon, located in the heart of Mesopotamia. This unexpected illness took the life of a man who had built an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt and modern-day Pakistan.
Despite his significant effect on history, the specific circumstances surrounding his death are unknown, with conflicting versions running throughout the ancient literature. According to historical reports, his body did not begin to decompose for six days after he died. This gave fuel to the belief of many and Alexander himself that he was not a mere human but a god.
Dr. Katherine Hall, a senior lecturer at the University of Otago's Dunedin School of Medicine in New Zealand, believes Alexander died as a result of the neurological condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). She further claims that others may not have detected any obvious symptoms of decomposition on Alexander's corpse since he wasn't quite dead.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder in which your immune system mistakenly attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. The symptoms start as tingling in feet and legs and can result in Paralysis. Dr Hall suspects that he got the disease from an infection with Campylobacter pylori, a prevalent bacteria at the time. It can explain this combination of symptoms better than the other possibilities proposed for Alexander's death.