And so the other figures, their histories, their medical records and contemporary physicians’ treatments, roll out systematically in front of us where the author debates and argues and links and then again argues about what possibly is or might have been.
Alexander the Great is identified with the first case of typhoid fever ever against which, some believed, including himself, that he was poisoned. The Jewish Roman Client Kind of Israel, King Herod is diagnosed with a gangrenous penis and worm-afflicted death. Emperor Claudius of Rome was concluded to have movement complexities as well as personality ones leading to Tourette syndrome. Christopher Columbus’s case of reactive arthritis is attributed to be caught from an infected parrot by the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci after his return from the famous sea voyage to Portugal. Presence of a DNA test would have confirmed a different birth place even for Columbus as Mackowiak believes but sadly the distant past doesn’t offer us that authority. Joan of Arc, a brave rebel, is questioned on her sanity during her presence in the heresy trial. Was she mentally ill? Evidently Mackowiak takes us through a convincing journey of diagnosis of the patient’s acts of mind. The author talks about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the famous composer who died mysteriously at the age of 35 years, reportedly the summit of his fame. He is said by some to have died of rheumatic fever while others suggest influenza and mercury or arsenic poisoning.
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