Kevin Patrick Law - November 2021

Was Alexander the Great Buried … Alive?!


For centuries, the ancient Greeks ruled most of Europe and the world, and one man is credited with unifying this historically powerful mass of people under one rule for 13 years: Alexander the Great. Alexander is most known for his hard- fought capture of land all across the globe after succeeding his father on the throne at just 20 years old. But Alexander’s rise came crashing down when he died just 12 years later. Today, the facts of his death are starting to piece together a curious puzzle for historians, because some now believe Alexander was buried alive. Surprisingly (and terrifyingly), this wasn’t uncommon. For centuries, doctors struggled to definitively prove someone was dead because many of the classic

signs of death are similar to those of someone in a comatose state. This became such a common problem into the 20th century that people were buried in specialty coffins or with a bell tied around their hand to alert grave watchers. (As bodies decomposed, you can imagine how this created eerie occurrences.) Experts believe Alexander the Great may be one of history's first recorded instances of such a death. After 12 days of abdominal pain that led to a fever and paralysis, ancient Greek doctors couldn’t detect a breath from their great ruler, and he was declared dead. As the massive empire mourned, Alexander’s body was prepared for the afterlife, but he didn’t show signs of decomposition for six days. This only fed the belief that Alexander — like other rulers of his time — was part god.

Dr. Katherine Hall of the University of Otago, New Zealand, believes this suggests that Alexander wasn’t yet dead. In fact, he may have been suffering from a rare bacterial infection that attacks the nervous system and leads to paralysis, which could result in the lack of breath. As such, Dr. Hall believes he was entombed alive, making him one of the first to suffer a “false death.” However, other historians are quick to say Dr. Hall’s theory is too speculative to be taken as fact. Among the common counter arguments, Dr. Hall's reliance on data and details collected centuries after his death can be troublesome. We may not know exactly how Alexander died, but with Hall’s theory, some of the final pieces of the puzzle may fall into (an eerie) place.


4. Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Cente r — SWEEAC operates a weekly food pantry and also distributes senior food boxes, Thanksgiving turkeys, school supplies, and Christmas presents. It has handed out more than 1 million pounds of food to families in Atlanta over the years. Due to COVID-19, 5. Intown Collaborative Ministries — Every Tuesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Intown Collaborative Ministries distributes food from its pantry at 1026 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE. Unlike many other food pantries, ID is not required. Intown also takes food donations on Fridays! Visit to learn more details. SWEEAC isn’t accepting walk-in clients, but you can still give and receive help at

Here in Atlanta, we’re fortunate to have an excellent food bank and dozens of food pantries available to fight food insecurity. Whether you’d like to give back this year or know someone in need, keep these five organizations in mind!

1. Atlanta Community Food Bank — One in seven children in Atlanta goes to bed hungry every night, but the folks at the Atlanta Community Food Bank are working hard to turn that tide. From July 2020 to July 2021 alone, they distributed more than 96 million meals to hungry people. You can support the Food Bank by donating food to one of its fund drives or donating money at Every dollar provides four meals! To get help from this group, text FINDFOOD to 888-976-2232.

pounds of groceries to 60,000 people! To learn more about how to donate or pick up food, visit

3. Toco Hills Community Allianc e — This faith-based food pantry serves nine zip codes in DeKalb County and provides support for individuals, families, veterans, and people experiencing homelessness. It offers fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, and more along with nonperishable foods, and, in 2020, it served more than 22,000 households. If you’d like to donate to Toco Hills, please give money rather than food, so its team can buy from

2. Malachi’s Storehouse — This

outreach organization is affiliated with St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and provides clothes and food. Last year alone, it distributed 682,000

its partners at the lowest cost. Visit to learn more.

You can always reach Kevin directly at 404.566.8964 or (If you ever need it, his cell phone is 404.409.3160.)

2 • KEVINPATRICK.LAW I 404.566.5880

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