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Top unusual deaths: All

Rank Topic Wikipedia views
Oct 21 2010
1 260: Roman emperor Valerian, after being defeated in battle and captured by the Persians, was supposedly used as a footstool by the King Shapur I. After a long period of punishment and humiliation, Shapur is said to have had the emperor skinned alive and his skin stuffed with straw or dung and preserved as a trophy. However, this story is generally considered to be unreliable, as it was likely motivated by the author's will to establish that the persecutors of the Christians as having died fitting deaths; </ref> and by other Near East Roman authors' desire to establish the Persians as barbarians. {{cite book |author=Isaacs, Benjamin |title=The Near East under Roman Rule |publisher=Brill Academic Publishers |location=Boston |year= 1996|page=440 |isbn=90-04-09989-1 |oclc= |doi= 25597
2 1327: Edward II of England, after being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, was rumored to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus. 4565
3 1601: Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, according to legend, died of complications resulting from a strained bladder at a banquet. It would have been extremely bad etiquette to leave the table before the meal was finished, so he stayed until he became fatally ill. This version of events has since been brought into question as other causes of death (murder by Johannes Kepler, suicide, and mercury poisoning among others) have come to the fore. 3563
4 4 BC: Herod the Great reportedly suffered from fever, intense rashes, colon pains, foot drop, inflammation of the abdomen, a putrefaction of his genitals that produced worms, convulsions, and difficulty breathing before he finally expired. However, gruesome deaths have often been attributed by various authors to disliked rulers, including several Roman emperors (for example, Galerius). 2824
5 1135: Henry I of England is said to have died of food poisoning after gorging on lampreys, a favourite meal. 2638
6 1556: Humayun, a Mughal emperor, was descending from the roof of his library after observing Venus, when he heard the adhan, or call to prayer. Humayun's practice was to bow his knee when he heard the azaan, and when he did his foot caught the folds of his garment, causing him to fall down several flights. He died three days later of the injuries. 1434
7 1687: Jean-Baptiste Lully, composer, died of a gangrenous abscess after piercing his foot with a staff while he was vigorously conducting a Te Deum, as it was customary at that time to conduct by banging a staff on the floor. The performance was to celebrate the king's recovery from an illness. 1041
8 1478: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, was executed by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine at his own request. 388
9 1258: Al-Musta'sim was killed during the Mongol invasion of the Abbasid Caliphate. Hulagu Khan, not wanting to spill royal blood, wrapped him in a rug and had him trampled to death by his horses. 124
10 892: Sigurd the Mighty of Orkney strapped the head of his defeated foe, Máel Brigte, to his horse's saddle. The teeth of this head grazed against his leg as he rode, causing an infection that killed him. 105
11 1660: Thomas Urquhart, Scottish aristocrat, polymath and first translator of Rabelais into English, is said to have died laughing upon hearing that Charles II had taken the throne. 78
12 212: Lucius Fabius Cilo, a Roman senator of the 2nd century, "...choked...by a single hair in a draught of milk". 40
13 1649: Sir Arthur Aston, Royalist commander of the garrison during the Siege of Drogheda, was beaten to death with his own wooden leg, which the Parliamentarian soldiers thought concealed golden coins. 22
14 1063: Béla I of Hungary died when his throne's canopy collapsed upon him. 5
15 1673: Molière, the French actor and playwright, died after being seized by a violent coughing fit, while playing the title role in his play Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac). < 5
16 c. 98: Saint Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum, was roasted to death in a brazen bull during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian. Saint Eustace, as well as his wife and children, supposedly suffered a similar fate under Hadrian. According to legend, the creator of the brazen bull, Perillos of Athens, was the first to be put into the brazen bull when he presented his invention to Phalaris, Tyrant of Agrigentum, but he was taken out before he died to be thrown from a hill where he met his ultimate demise. < 5
17 1410: Martin I of Aragon died from a lethal combination of indigestion and uncontrollable laughing. < 5
18 1671: François Vatel, chef to Louis XIV, committed suicide because his seafood order was late and he could not stand the shame of a postponed meal. His body was discovered by an aide, sent to tell him of the arrival of the fish. The authenticity of this story is quite questionable. < 5
19 1514: György Dózsa, Székely man-at-arms and peasants' revolt leader in Hungary, was condemned to sit on a red-hot iron throne with a red-hot iron crown on his head and a red-hot sceptre in his hand (mocking at his ambition to be king), by Hungarian landed nobility in Transylvania. While Dózsa was still alive, he was set upon and his partially roasted body was eaten by six of his fellow rebels, who had been starved for a week beforehand. < 5
20 415: Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician and pagan philosopher, was murdered by a Christian mob by having her skin ripped off with sharp sea-shells; what remained of her was burned. (Various types of shells have been named: clams, oysters, abalones, etc. Other sources claim tiles or pottery-shards were used.) < 5







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