n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Alexander's last days : malaria and mind games

Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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While no one had a particular interest in Alexander's surviving his last illness in Babylon in 323, it remains possible that he died of natural causes. This paper offers a medical commentary on a range of theories on the nature of his final illness, but also considers a range of other possible contributory causes of his death. That Alexander had become a problem for his officers is suggested by the ways they sought 'closure' directly after his death, and abandoned his plans. Consideration is also given to the significance of the embalming of his body, the period he was left in Babylon, the 'hijacking' of the hearse to Egypt and the interment of his remains first in Memphis-Saqqara and then Alexandria.

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