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RE: VMs: Kepler & the VMS

Hi everyone,

At 03:22 26/04/2004 -0700, Rene Zandbergen wrote:
The usual story is that [Brahe] died of a burst
bladder, although it is occasionally mentioned with
a hint of 'tradition' rather than historic fact.
Was this addressed at all?

This 2001 paper seems fairly definitive on the subject:-

        These [modern] forensic investigations show Tycho Brahe
        died of mercury poisoning. Even though it cannot be excluded,
        it is not likely that Tycho was murdered, but most likely he
        conducted his own death by using his own mercury-rich
        medicines the day before his death. This was done to help
        cure his disorder of the urinary system (prostatic hypertrophy
        or less likely bladder stones, since no stones were to be
        found in the coffin). It was not a burst bladder caused by his
        courteousness, but mercury in his own medicines that led
        to the uremia of which he died.

So, not death by long-term mercury exposure from alchemical experiments (though he did conduct these - and may even have lost his nose not in a duel but to a mercury-based "cure" for French Pox) but rather death by acute exposure to "mercury-rich medicines".

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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