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The most famous poisonings in history – what caused them?

Dangerous substances that can be both a poison and a cure

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How did Mozart die?

By the number of versions and theories, about a hundred and a half, the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is undoubtedly among other famous poisonings in history. The composer died on 5 December 1791 in Vienna at the age of 35.

mozart poison mystery

According to a legend, before his death, Mozart told his wife Constance about the poisoning, but he did not give the name of the murderer. People gossiped about the poisoning as a reason for his death already the next day. The name of the poison the majority suspected was aqua toffana, the main component of which is arsenic. Although now the more common version is that it was probably mercury. There is even a theory that Mozart accidentally killed himself by treating with mercury for syphilis and applying the wrong dose.

There was no shortage of suspects. The main candidate for the role of the murderer was the Italian composer Antonio Salieri, supposedly jealous of a more talented colleague.

German scientists in the 19th and 20th centuries believed that Masonic brothers poisoned Mozart, whose society he joined in December 1784. Proponents of this version believed that the composer had enraged the freemasons by revealing their secret rituals in The Magic Flute.

There is also a very exotic version, according to which the great composer was killed by… parasitic worms trichinellas from badly fried pork cutlets. At least the symptoms observed in Mozart fully match those of trichinosis.

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