King Herod's Loathsome Disease...

I’d like to toss Fournier’s Gangrene into the mix. If you google that disease w/ K. Herod’s name, you’ll get LOTS of responses (doctors’ papers, NatGeo, etc.) arguing for Fournier’s. Personally, I’m inclined to accept that since I’ve been hospitalized for months for the same thing (and that’s without all the fun stuff like orgies, drunkenness and familial murders – not to speak of chopping off the heads of popular entertainers…)

The ancient historian, Josephus, had consulted the writings of Herod’s court historian, Nicholas of Damascus and wrote: “He had a fever, though not a raging fever, an intolerable itching of the whole skin, continuous pains in the intestines, tumors of the feet as in dropsy, inflamation of the abdomen, and gangrene of the privy parts.”

It’s the “privy parts” that tie it all in with Fournier’s Gangrene. BTW – you can certainly congratulate me for surviving as not only am I a diabetic (reduced immune system), but Fournier’s has a 40% mortality rate for those who get it. :eek:

I believe this is the column to which you refer: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/196/what-loathsome-disease-did-king-herod-die-of

Thanks. First post – I swear by my life and my love of it that I’ll include the ref on any new posts! :wink:

And you will regret it. :frowning:

Welcome to the Straight Dope, emilswift, we’re glad to have you here. An interesting first post! … and don’t worry about not providing a link, not a problem. And take whatever dropzone says with about a pound anna half of salt. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what the disease is, but interestingly, the Bible makes reference to this event.

(Act 12:21-23) And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and died.

Notice the order - first, eaten by worms - second, died.

I had never heard of Fournier’s gangrene, so in the interest of fighting my own ignorance, I googled it. I would advise against googling images of it. :eek:

Dear Lord! :eek:

If I should get such a thing in advanced stages, bring me my pistol.

There seems to be confusion between two different Herods here. Herod the Great was the baby-killing bad guy in the Bible, and seems to have put quite a few people to death in his day, including many members of his own family.

The Herod in I, Claudius was his grandson, Herod Agrippa, who later ruled as Agrippa I (or Agrippa the Great). He was sent to Rome as a child, and made a very favorable impression on the Augustus Caesar.

Both died similar, unpleasant deaths, and are described as having been “eaten by worms”. Although in the Middle East, once a bit of gangrene or putrescence sets in, being eaten by worms follows pretty quickly. It was even used as what may be the world’s nastiest form of execution. Look up “scaphism”.

In all, there are three Herods in the Bible, plus an off-stage mention of a fourth. Besides Herod the Great and Herod Agrippa, there is Herod Antipas, who was condemned by John the Baptist for having married Herodias, the divorced wife of his brother, the fourth Biblical Herod, Herod II. (She was also the niece of both.) This eventually led to the Salome episode and John’s death. Herod Antipas was also the Herod that Pontius Pilate tried to hand the baby to when Jesus was arrested.