Acerca de la muerte del rey Herodes el Grande
Herod the Great was the founder of a dynasty that reigned on Judea for several generations. His birth date is estimated on year 73 AC and died at 70 years old. Descriptions of the final disease of Herod were obtained from the classical chronicles of Flavius Josephus, "The Jewish war" and "Jewish Antiquities". A medical explanation for his death is attempted. A parasitism caused by Schistosoma haematobium is suggested as the etiology for chronic renal failure (edema, halitosis and orthopnea) and a "gangrene of genitalia that engendered worms" in the words of Josephus. This would be explained by the formation of genital and urinary fistulae, observed in such disease. The asseveration that Herod was "attacked by black bilis" is also discussed, based on the concepts of the Hippocratic medicine of that time (Rev Méd Chile 2003; 131: 569-72).