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The sudden death of Alaric

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Interesting paper

Alaric I (c. 370-410AD), King of the Visigoths, sacked Rome for the second time in over eight centuries of history. Historians suggest that malaria, probably contracted either in Rome or in the Pontine Marshes, was responsible for his sudden death in Cosenza (Calabria) in the autumn of 410AD, where he was allegedly buried in the River Busento. In this article, we aim to examine this hypothesis through a full pathographic reassessment of the most likely cause of Alaric's demise.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26970917

...should be interesting for late antiquity gurus like @sonic

 

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As well intended as it is, I'm always very sceptical of these sort of diagnoses, made on the back of flimsy description or evidence, and some are incredibly exotic. I do accept that malaria is potentially the cause - Rome was increasingly prone to this sort of disease with so much standing water about - the drainage system of Rome is hugely exaggerated.

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14 hours ago, caldrail said:

As well intended as it is, I'm always very sceptical of these sort of diagnoses, made on the back of flimsy description or evidence, and some are incredibly exotic. I do accept that malaria is potentially the cause - Rome was increasingly prone to this sort of disease with so much standing water about - the drainage system of Rome is hugely exaggerated.

Agreed.  It is usually impossible to even guess at the cause due to the fact that the sources rarely give enough detail, and where they do it is necessary to analyse the description, as sometimes the portrayal of the death has more to do with the writer's personal agenda rather than an attempt to give an accurate account.

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Maybe it was the wrath of God (although I believe Alaric was an Arian Christian).

God.gif.883cb5e3e0ea968568556fcf62f66aef.gif

 

 

 

guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy

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I always look for cause and effect.

Although Alaric was an effective general and commander, once he was in Italy his efforts stagnated.  He couldn't storm the walls of Rome, I don't think he wanted to.  He couldn't get the emperor to pay his troops.  I think maybe his army was losing confidence in him.  Then, when someone opens the gates to the city he limits the looting to secular buildings reducing the loot the army could have gotten.

Next, Alaric decides he is moving to Africa.  Down south he marches his army, gathers a fleet and then the fleet gets destroyed in a storm.  Instead of giving up on Africa, he starts gathering more ships.  Then, boom!  He is dead.  I smells pretty suspicious of assassination.

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