Achilles is a character of Greek mythology whose deeds are mainly told in the Iliad by Homer. Achilles distinguishes himself on the battlefield of Troy with his dexterity and strength, appearing invincible, yet he dies wounded by an arrow in his heel. How could an arrow shot to the heel kill anybody, no matter whether vulnerable or invulnerable? Many researchers have tried to give a medical explanation to this mythological conundrum starting from a literary interpretation of the Homeric text: poisoning, infection, allergy, haemophilia or thyroid storm. In a way, the oldest medical interpretation was suggested by Lucian of Samosata (ca. 120 to after 180 AD). In his parodic tragedy "Gout", he claimed that the warrior actually died of gout. In this article we consider the gouty hypothesis and analyse the clinical aspects that support it.

The Greek hero Achilles and his mysterious death: transdisciplinary analysis of the gouty hypothesis

Martini, Mariano
2020-01-01

Abstract

Achilles is a character of Greek mythology whose deeds are mainly told in the Iliad by Homer. Achilles distinguishes himself on the battlefield of Troy with his dexterity and strength, appearing invincible, yet he dies wounded by an arrow in his heel. How could an arrow shot to the heel kill anybody, no matter whether vulnerable or invulnerable? Many researchers have tried to give a medical explanation to this mythological conundrum starting from a literary interpretation of the Homeric text: poisoning, infection, allergy, haemophilia or thyroid storm. In a way, the oldest medical interpretation was suggested by Lucian of Samosata (ca. 120 to after 180 AD). In his parodic tragedy "Gout", he claimed that the warrior actually died of gout. In this article we consider the gouty hypothesis and analyse the clinical aspects that support it.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1029041
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