PDA

View Full Version : Tycho Brahe Exhumed



George
2010-Nov-16, 06:55 PM
Article (http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_16020/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=j2kp9a4P)

Apparently, there is some suspicion that he may have been murdered due to high concentrations of mercury found in a hair sample tested some years ago.

Parrothead
2010-Nov-16, 07:03 PM
Heard a snippet of the story on BBCWorld yesterday. I went back through some old copies of Astronomy, looking for an article about him (found in the Dec. 2003 issue). Also pulled a copy of The Origins of Modern Science 1300 - 1800 off my bookshelf to see what was written about his work in there. I wonder if the high content of mercury could turn out to be something, as in the case of Napoleon. IIRC, they found traces of arsenic in Napoleon's hair samples and it turned out it was an ingredient of hair tonic, back in the day. Anyways it will be interesting to see what turns up, if anything, when they release their findings next year.

Jerry
2010-Nov-17, 06:28 PM
At that time, was it even understood that mercury was a poison?

In any case, mercury poisoning is usually very slow - months to years - not generally a good method for murder. Isn't it more likely Tycho played and experimented with mercury?

Celestial Mechanic
2010-Nov-18, 05:25 AM
{Snip!} Isn't it more likely Tycho played and experimented with mercury?My thought exactly. A lot of those people dabbled in alchemy back then -- Sir Isaac Newton being one (now notorious) example.

Jens
2010-Nov-18, 07:05 AM
It's funny, because the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry has this quote: "Tycho was well known in his lifetime as an astronomer and alchemist."

Don't journalists read Wikipedia?

danscope
2010-Nov-18, 05:03 PM
" This just in...... Tycho Brahe is still ..... Dead ! "

Paul Beardsley
2010-Nov-18, 05:50 PM
Listening to Material World on BBC Radio 4, it was made clear that mercury was routinely used in "medical" treatment. As one commentator said, "It's as if someone died in 1974 and they found traces of paracetamol in him."

If someone had wanted to murder him, they would almost certainly have used arsenic, and not a slow-acting poison. Suggestions that TB was murdered are typical of the conspiracy mindset - learn about the stuff that might seem to support a conspiracy, but don't bother learning anything about the surrounding subject.

DonM435
2010-Nov-18, 06:54 PM
Was Tycho the guy who had a prosthetic nose made out of silver?
Maybe it was a silver-mercury alloy.

otakenji
2010-Nov-20, 12:40 AM
I translated the Danish newspaper article with Google Translator. It did a great job.

Glom
2010-Nov-21, 05:09 PM
So is the story about him dying from an exploding bladder false?

caveman1917
2010-Nov-21, 06:23 PM
" This just in...... Tycho Brahe is still ..... Dead ! "

What am i going to do with those already printed invitations for the resurrection party then...

swampyankee
2010-Nov-21, 09:36 PM
Was Tycho the guy who had a prosthetic nose made out of silver?
Maybe it was a silver-mercury alloy.

Have they found the nose? I've not seen it on ebay.