Beethoven died from lead poisoning

By focusing the most powerful X-ray beam in the Western Hemisphere
on six of Ludwig van Beethoven’s hairs and a few pieces of his skull,
scientists have gathered what they say is conclusive evidence that the
famous composer died of lead poisoning.

The work, done at the
Energy Department’s Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago,
confirms earlier hints that lead may have caused Beethoven’s decades of
poor health, which culminated in a long and painful death in 1827 at
age 56.

Wine from lead cups may have been the problem.  Here is the full story.  Just yesterday over lunch I had to shoot down (shout down?) Bryan Caplan’s claim that Wagner was the greater composer of the two.  Bach and Beethoven are at the top, then Mozart and Brahms.  After that it gets hard, but Stravinsky, Chopin, Monteverdi, Haydn, and Wagner come to mind…


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