Herod the Great: Gangrene of the ...
Herod the Great was a king of Judaea, most well known for his hand in the construction of the Second Temple and for something called "Massacre of the Innocents," which as it turns out wasn't the name of his awesome garage band.
Cause of death:
Pissing off God.
According to modern scientists, Herod suffered from not only a severe kidney disease, but something called Fournier gangrene.
From the above-linked article:
"The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus recorded details of his death, telling of symptoms that included intense itching, intestinal pain, shortness of breath, convulsions, and gangrene of the genitalia."
Gangrene. Of. The. GENITALIA.
In layman's terms? Dickrot.
OK, can we just stop the article right now? We totally do not want to think about that. We're just thankful this is a work-friendly site, so they wouldn't be tempted to tack on a picture of this affliction.
What could possibly cause symptoms so unimaginably painful and (literally) emasculating? Modern science doesn't have the answer, but the Bible sure does! After all, Herod was responsible for the Massacre of the Innocents.
According to Christian tradition, when he found out that the son of God had just been born and that he was no longer King of the Jews, Herod decided that a reasonable, measured response was to kill as many babies as he possibly could and just hope that one of them was Jesus. There were only three problems with this brilliant plan: 1) There are a lot of babies in the world, and it would be very difficult to kill all of them, 2) The wholesale murdering of hundreds of babies is the kind of thing that God tends to frown upon, and 3) Jesus is Jesus and therefore very difficult to kill, even in baby form.
Needless to say, not only did the plan fail, but it irritated God enough that he responded by murdering Herod's kidneys and junk.
Obviously, the whole "God did it" theory hasn't been proven, so we'll let you draw your own conclusions. But which would you rather believe: That God was responsible, or that this shit could pretty much happen to anyone?
If you enjoyed that, check out our rundown of The 5 Pimpingest Historical Figures. Speaking of historic anomales, find out what the emos are up to in "I'm Gonna Cut Myself" (AKA Every Emo Song Ever). Or find out why the South African people are asking their great man of history WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?