Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cangrande della Scala - autopsy of a XIV century Italian knight

while researching  the equestrian statues from the Medieval period, mostly from the Italian states, I came across this very unusual article(in pdf) authored by Gino Fornaciari et al.  A different version of this study via academia.edu.
The article is a step by step presentation of the autopsy of the preserved 'mummy' of  the XIV century Veronese prince and knight Cangrande della Scala, who was a very active warrior , statesman and the Ghibeline League supporter - his last deed was to take Treviso, in Veneto, and if you traveling in Italy do visit, it is a lovely small city with good cuisine and nice people (visited last year).

Cangrande was immortalized in the Decamoron and the Divina Comedia, and in this funerary equestrian monument

The authors of this multidisciplinary study conclude that this warrior-prince (1,73 m tall, healthy and robust otherwise) was cut short (he was only 38 years old) as he was poisoned with foxglove aka digitalis plant ('naparstnica' in Polish), present in his system.

There are some figurines of Cangrande I della Scala done by the militrary modelists - [1] , [2]
giving a sens of the richness and beauty of his chivalrous appearance.
all images are from Wikimedia Commons


Dario T. W. said...


Dario T. W. said...