Chuck Palahniuk rightly says that “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” Death is inevitable.
This article details five examples of remarkably gruesome deaths in the ancient world. They vary from the ruthless murders of Roman rulers by their own kin to the bizarre case of the “mummy’s curse”.
Legend testifies that Aeschylus, the father of Greek Tragedy, was killed when an eagle happened to drop a tortoise on his head from a remarkable height while Aeschylus was out wandering. Although this description sounds quite absurd, modern historians speculate that the eagle must have mistaken the author’s bald crown for a rock which apparently it had as an intention to smash the shell of the prey. In his Naturalis Historia the Roman historian, Pliny has added an element of the supernatural. He says that Aeschylus was staying outside as he was condemned by a prophecy that he would be murdered by a falling object.
Gerard Balthasar’s horrible death is another one to talk about. The magistrates commanded to have his right hand burnt off with a red-hot iron, his flesh be torn from his bones, his whole body to be cut into pieces, his heart to be torn from his stomach and flung in his face and that at last he should be beheaded. This torture is vividly brutal. His torture also was brutal. After he was imprisoned, he was lashed with a whip. Then his injuries were smashed with honey which a goat was left to lick with its sharp tongue.
The Roman emperor, Valerian, also faced a horrible death. He was captured by the Persian King Shapur I and treated in a very humiliating way. History has revealed how the Valerian was used as a footstool for Shapur to mount his horse. Valerian, who was definitely not happy with this, offered gold to be released. Not pleased with his action, Shapur poured pitilessly molten gold down Valerian’s throat.
Cleopatra too had a very remarkable death. He was the last active pharaoh in ancient Egypt. Historical accounts reveal that she actually committed suicide by holding a poisonous asp, which is a kind of snake, to her very breast. The snake bit her and injected her with its lethal venom. Cleopatra could not be saved from this horrible incident. This piece of revelation remains however doubtful as later on it was claimed that she might have been subjected to a foul play since two of her maidservants too were found dead alongside her.
Ramses III had disputes over who will maintain the governance of the throne. His son, who was not in line for the throne, is believed to have slit his father’s throat and cut off his big toe for good measure. Archaeologists have discovered the Ramses’ son’s body recently. The corpse revealed pained expression and suffocation after being buried alive.
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