Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Wicked king suffered from intestinal parasites, brought on by poor hygiene

According to playwright William Shakespeare, British monarch Richard III was a dastardly, Machiavellian hunchback. Scientists now say the favored historical villain had bad personal hygiene as well - his remains betray the fact he was plagued with intestinal parasites.

Richard III ... had a personal problem that, judging from this painting, he didn't want to discuss.

Richard III ... had a personal problem that, judging from this painting, he didn't want to discuss.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Richard III, intestinal parasites, autopsy, scourge on mankind, bad hygeine


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Uncovered at the Grey Friars Church excavation site in Leicester in September of last year, Richard III's remains reveal he suffered from roundworms.

"This is the first time anyone has studied a king [or] noble in Britain to look for ancient intestinal parasites," Piers Mitchell, a paleoparasitologist and orthopedic surgeon said in an email. A sample taken from the king's remains have found the eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides, a simple roundworm.

"[T]hey may have been spread to Richard by cooks who did not wash their hands after using the toilet, or by the use of human feces from towns to fertilize fields nearby," Mitchell explained. Perhaps "salad vegetables became contaminated with eggs and were then eaten," he suggested.

An analysis included an image of isolated roundworm egg seen under an optical microscope.

"Despite Richard's noble background, it appears that his lifestyle did not completely protect him from intestinal parasite infection, which would have been very common at the time," Jo Appleby, lecturer in human bioarcheology at the University of Leicester said in a release.

Roundworm eggs were not found at other locations on the site, suggesting the worms were buried with the king. Had the king sought treatment, it would have involved the medieval practices of  "bloodletting, modification of the diet, and medicines to get rid of the excess phlegm and so return humeral balance to normal," Mitchell explained.

Poor sanitation is a major contributor to spreading infection. While the parasite is "uncommon" in the U.S., it afflicts up to 1.2 billion people worldwide. Roundworms claim 60,000 lives, mainly children, every year.

Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms have been infecting humans for thousands of years. Among the oldest evidence, 10,000-year-old human fecal droppings from caves in Utah yielded traces of pinworm infection.

In a related bit of history, researchers in June of this year showed that Richard the Lionheart's crusading armies were being cut down from within - waging and losing a war with gut parasites on their travels.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Europe

Belgian minister warns against offending Muslims, wait until you see the scary reason why! Watch

Image of Muslims take over a Parisian street for prayers.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A Belgian minister has a telling warning for his country as hearings begin into the Brussels attack that killed 32 people at an airport in March.  The reason for the warning is quite compelling. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A Belgian minister is warning ... continue reading


Women sentenced to three months for self-induced abortion in Northern Ireland Watch

Image of There are better solutions than abortion.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A woman in Northern Ireland has been convicted of aborting her child, and sentenced to a three-month, suspended jail sentence. The woman left her baby in a trash bag for eight days until police were contacted. The case has sparked renewed debate over abortion in ... continue reading


World's worst nuclear catastrophe commemorated 30 years later (WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES) Watch

Image of The Ukraine commemorates the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl's explosion.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thirty years after the greatest nuclear disaster the world has ever seen, Ukrainians solemnly commemorate the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The meltdown at the Russian plant began when an uncontrolled reaction ... continue reading


LISTEN NOW: Stolen manuscript reveals song not performed for 1,000 years Watch

Image of One Cambridge researcher admitted the music was nearly tangible (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A Cambridge researcher and world-class medieval music performer combined their talents to perform an ancient song for the first time in over 1,000 years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The music, titled "Songs of Consolation," was performed for the first time on ... continue reading


What's 'Hijab Day' and why is it causing a 'FREAK OUT' in France? Watch

Image of French students held a Hijab Day to raise awareness of discrimination against women (Styles Glamor).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Students from the French university Sciences Po Paris held a Hijab Day to raise awareness of the discrimination and verbal abuse Muslim women face every day - and it went exactly how you might expect. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With the influx of Muslim ... continue reading


MASS TOURIST ATTACK: ISIS to plant bombs in Europe's most popular beaches Watch

Image of ISIS threatens popular beach resorts (Express).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

German and Italian intelligence agencies discovered ISIS' plan to pose as refugees to detonate bombs and suicide vests buried beneath lounge chairs across Spanish, French and Italian beaches this summer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Mirror, ... continue reading


Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik wins human rights case. See the 'inhumanity' of Norway's prison system (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of Breivik has won a case that his solitary confinement and other conditions of his imprisonment are 'inhumane.'

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The conditions that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik have been subjected to are inhumane, according to a Norwegian court. Breivik was convicted of killing 77, and injured 319. Many of his victims were children. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Life ... continue reading


Why is the Trevi Fountain being dyed blood red? Watch

Image of

By CNA/EWTN News

On April 29, the Trevi Fountain, one of the most popular and emblematic tourist spots in Rome, will be dyed red in recognition of all Christians who even today give their life for the faith.  Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - The event is being organized by Aid to the ... continue reading


'No Muslim leader has done what he has done:' Pope Francis returns to Vatican with 12 migrants Watch

Image of Pope Francis returned from Greece with twelve migrants (EPA).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis traveled to Lesbos, Greece, to speak on behalf of the thousands of migrants streaming into the small island. When the pontiff departed back to Rome, he did so with twelve migrants in tow and has offered them a safe haven at the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Pope Francis in Lesbos - The Pope joins other churches to call for prayer and humanitarian aid Watch

Image of Pope Francis visits Lesbos to speak on behalf of the refugees (Guardian).

By CNA/EWTN News

Forced migration affects millions of people and is "a crisis of humanity." That is what Pope Francis and two leading Greek Orthodox churchmen have said in a joint declaration signed on the Greek island of Lesbos. Lesbos, Greece (CNA/EWTN News) - "Europe today faces one ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:22-31
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 57:8-9, 10-12
8 Awake, my glory, awake, lyre and harp, that I may awake the ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:12-17
12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 29th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine of Siena
April 29: St. Catherine of Siena was born during the ... Read More