Exhumation of Cangrande I della Scala

A study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in December of 2014 confirms that Cangrande I della Scala (1291-1329), member of a ruling family in Verona and a major patron of Dante’s, was killed by Digitalis poisoning (more commonly known as foxglove).


“The natural mummy of Cangrande della Scala was exhumed from its tomb in the church of Santa Maria Antiqua in Verona and was submitted to a multidisciplinary study […] the hypothesis of poisoning is mentioned by some local historical sources. The palaeopathological analyses confirm a Digitalis poisoning. The most likely hypothesis on the causes of death is that of a deliberate administration of a lethal amount of Digitalis.”    –“A medieval case of digitalis poisoning: the sudden death of Cangrande della Scala, lord of Verona (1291–1329)

Read the article here.


Contributed by Humberto González Chávez