In 2010, Tycho Brahe was exhumed from his grave in Prague, an event which received extensive international media coverage. Since then, a Danish-Czech team of researchers has been working to elucidate the cause of Tycho Brahe’s death. The results of this intensive work now make it possible to rule out mercury poisoning as a cause of death.
For over four hundred years, Tycho Brahe’s untimely death has been a mystery. He died on 24 October 1601 only eleven days after the onset of a sudden illness. Over the centuries, a variety of myths and theories about his death have arisen.
One of the most persistent theories has been that he died of mercury poisoning, either because he voluntarily ingested large quantities of mercury for medicinal purposes, or because mercury was used to poison him.
Rumours of death by poisoning arose shortly after Tycho Brahe’s death.
Brahe’s famous assistant Johannes Kepler has been identified as a possible murder suspect, and other candidates have been singled out for suspicion throughout the years, according to Dr Jens Vellev, an archaeologist at Aarhus University in Denmark who is heading the research project.
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