Did Poisoned Wine Kill Alexander the Great?

Classical historians have long been divided on Alexander the Great‘s the cause of death—some suggest natural causes, others suggest poising by arsenic or some other more popular toxin—but according to The New Zealand Herald a scientist may have a more plausible theory: poisoned wine. Given the length of time it took this most famous of Ancient Greek leaders to die (12 days of speechless, bedridden languishing), New Zealand’s National Poisons Centre toxicologist Dr. Leo Schep believes the culprit could’ve been “Veratrum album, known as white hellebore…which can be fermented into a poisonous wine.” Schep, who has been on the case for nearly 11 years, suspects that the poisoned wine was given to the leader at a celebratory banquet by a member of his inner circle, and that “Alexander was likely to have been very drunk at the banquet.” [The New Zealand Herald]