Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus, Justin, and other ancient historians report that rumors of poisoning arose after the death of Alexander in Babylon in 323 B.C. Alexander’s close friends suspected a legendary poison gathered from the River Styx in Arcadia, so corrosive that only the hoof of a horse could contain it. It’s impossible to know the real cause of Alexander’s death, but a recent toxicological discovery may help explain why some ancient observers believed that Alexander was murdered with Styx poison. We propose that the river harbored a killer bacterium that can occur on limestone rock deposits. This paper elaborates on our Poster presentation, Toxicological History Room, XII International Congress of Toxicology, Barcelona, 19-23 July 2010, and Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Washington DC, March 2011.
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Cite This Work
Pharmaceuticals, A. M. S. U. A. A. H. P. (2011, November 07). The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/article/272/
Pharmaceuticals, Adrienne M. S. U. A. A. H. P. "The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified November 07, 2011. https://www.ancient.eu/article/272/.
Pharmaceuticals, Adrienne M. S. U. A. A. H. P. "The Deadly Styx River and the Death of Alexander." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 07 Nov 2011. Web. 22 Jan 2020.