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Old September 9th, 2006, 07:51 AM   #1

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William the Conquerer started a war because he was fat?


1087

William the Conquerer, Duke of Normandy and King of England, dies in Rouen while conducting a war which began when the French king made fun of him for being fat.

What did he die from?
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Old September 9th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #2

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He was burning Mantes and his horse stumbled and threw his great gut against the iron pommell of his saddle so hard he was mortally wounded. Probably internal bleeding, but it was a result of him being so fat because he absolutely filled the saddle.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 12:36 PM   #3

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Commander and CelticBard:

Certainly he died of some internal injury. At least one author claims it was a ruptured spleen. Which is as good a guess as any other, considering nobody then had the means to discern what might have caused his injury.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 04:47 PM   #4

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It would be interesting if a medical doctor went through some of the historical records and diagnosed some of the unknown ailments of the past. Not just the Black Plague, but small things like William's hurt gut.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 10:14 AM   #5

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CelticBard:

People have tried this sort of thing, with what I can only describe as "mixed" results. The problem is that people who described various medical and mental conditions, well into the 19th century, were not always very precise in their descriptions. Unless, of course, it was something like plague, where the symptoms were very, very clear to anybody who observed the course of the disease. And even then, the observers had no idea, until the invention of modern microscopes and modern science, what actually *caused* it,

So while it is clear that William died because of some internal injury that the people of that time did not have the means to "fix" there's no way of knowing just *what* that injury was. Such injuries were probably fairly common, too. Just not commented on because the people involved weren't important enough to get into chronicles.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 11:26 AM   #6

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We know the nobility had serious problems with gout due to eating excessive amounts of meat, not enough grain, and drinking lots of alcohol. Back then it was known as the rich man's ailment.

Yea all we hear about is the trajedies, the great men dying. I wonder if modern doctors would have been able to save William's obese life.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticBard
We know the nobility had serious problems with gout due to eating excessive amounts of meat, not enough grain, and drinking lots of alcohol. Back then it was known as the rich man's ailment.

Yea all we hear about is the trajedies, the great men dying. I wonder if modern doctors would have been able to save William's obese life.
Yeah in that time the poor had very few occasions in a year to eat meat, so eating meat was a mark of wealth.
Strange dead for a man who forged England to what is today.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #8
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Thats interesting, have never heard of this before..im sure they would have been able to save him in modern times
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Old September 11th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #9

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CelticBard, Nickd, and Coyote_tls:

The last I heard(of course, this is "modern"), gout is a kind of "allergic" reaction. It's a sort of "food allergy". I actually knew someone at one time, who suffered from it(it was a woman, btw). Certain kinds of rich food may exacerbate it. Given that the only people who had access to that kind of food in the Middle Ages were the well-off, it is hardly surprising that gout was long considered a "rich man's disease".

It is interesting to note, however, that people living in Anglo-Saxon England were a pretty healthy bunch. And most of them managed to keep all or most of their teeth. That's because sugar didn't make its appearance in European diets until a couple of hundred years later. True, they had honey at times, but this commodity was not always available, and certainly not often to the less well-off.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #10

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One of my teachers suffers from it and he said it is attributed to diet, mostly meat and not enough fruit, vegetables, and grains, and exacerbated by alcohol, so basically everything the nobles indulged in that the common folk couldn't by law, i.e. hunting restrictions, wealth, and religion, i.e. holy days, consume.
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