Famous Greek Philosopher Died From Eating Too Much Watermelon

Samuel Reason | August 18th, 2018

One famous philosopher and lecturer by the name of John Argyropoulos has an extremely rare cause of death. Made even more surprising when you learned he survived the sacking of Constantinople. Argyropoulos apparently died from consuming too much watermelon.


Born in 1415, he was a Greek scholar who is reputed for bringing back the classical learning in 15th century Italy. Much of his time he spent translating Greek manuscripts of philosophical and theological work into Latin. He also produced much of his own original content and work, all in Latin, ensuring that the learning could be spread throughout Italy.

He was in Italy during the times of the Council of Florence from 1939 to 1444 and then returned to Italy after the fall of Constantinople; where he spent the rest of his life teaching in Padua, Florence and Rome until 1456.

The Fall of Constantinople was when the capital of the Byzantine Empire fell to the invading Ottoman army in 1453. It was particularly brutal and savage invasion, lasting in a 53-day siege and 3 days of authorized plundering by the soldiers. According to the historical reports, the Turks slaughtered thousands of Christians all around the city. Over 30,000 civilians were enslaved and deported by force from the city, so it was quite incredible that Argyropoulos survived this ordeal. The Sultan apparently did not come and see the city until two weeks after its fall and was moved to tears by how they had ruined such a great city.

Many scholars and historians, put the Fall of Constantinople down as the end of the medieval ages. Mostly due to the fact that the city fell as its defenses were not made to withstand gunpowder, and therefore it really ended the time of walls & fortifications for defense.

Back in Italy Argyropoulos spent his time and efforts trying to transport Greek philosophy to Western Europe. However, this was cur brutally short when he died in Florence, on June 26, 1487, apparently from consuming too much watermelon.

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