here have been a lot of theories about what killed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at age 35, said Doug Stanglin in USA Today. Was it kidney failure? Undercooked pork chops? Poisoning? But a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests the composer may have died from a simple case of strep throat.
This will come as good news to fans of Mozart's "jealous rival, Italian composer Antonio Salieri," said Sue Michaels in Chattahbox. Salieri, after all, is the one rumored to have poisoned Mozart back in 1791. Mozart’s death certificate offered little in the way of medical clues, other than to say that he died of severe fever and rash. Maybe that's why the conspiracy theories lasted so long.
Even now the European researchers behind this study say to take their findings with a grain of salt, said Jacob Goldstein in The Wall Street Journal. The fact that Mozart suffered from fever, swelling, and rash doesn't point to any specific disease, so the authors of the study looked at community-wide outbreaks of disease at the time to see which "might fit with the great man’s death." Strep throat seemed a better fit than scarlet fever -- but there's still room for debate.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- 10 things you need to know today: April 17, 2014
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Texas has been holding this man hostage for 12,600 days
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- Why Holy Thursday is so important to Christians
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
Subscribe to the Week