Julius Caesar: Was he crazy or just plain sick

Julius Caesar used to have episodes of dizziness, vertigo and weakness in his limbs, and doctor’s claimed these symptoms might be caused by mini-strokes instead of epilepsy.

Imperial College Doctor’s claim that the diagnosis of mini-strokes coincide with the symptoms described in the Greek and Roman writings, reported the Gurdian.

The Roman general’s health problems may have resulted in the spate of mini-strokes, according to a newly released review of his symptoms.

In one of the most prominent incidents, Caesar collapsed at the battle of Thapsus in 46BC and had to be carried to safety.

The Greek historian Plutarch, in his biography of the Roman General, suggested the fall was due to an epileptic attack. The diagnosis had been prevalent for centuries past, though scholars have also theorized other diagnosis, which include migraines and seizures brought about by malaria or a parasitic brain infection acquired during his Egyptian siege.

The possibility of  Caesar suffering from cardiovascular disease, or prone to strokes, has been ruled out because he was in an apparently perfect state of well-being  in private and state affairs, until now.

A mini-stroke might have been the cause of Caesar’s apparently emotional reaction to Cicero’s speech in his later years. Caesar’s complexion paled, he began to shake, and dropped a handful of documents upon hearing the great orator.

Another attack might accounted for his failure to stand up as senators honored him, an act which was interpreted as defiance.

Epilepsy was considered a “sacred disease”, during the time of Caesar’s reign, and it might have suited him, Octavian, his chosen heir, to uphold that he suffered from the disorder.

For a man of Caesar’s distinction, there are quite too few detailed accounts of his incidences for any diagnosis to be truly credible, the doctors argued.




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