Amanda Macias

Alexander the Great had an epic drinking contest and everyone died

Amanda Macias
Alexander the Great had an epic drinking contest and everyone died

Alexander the Great is the embodiment of 'work hard, play hard.'

Before he was 30, the Macedonian king improved the army he inherited from his father and went on to strategically conquer Egypt and Persia. 

And when the young king wasn't expanding his massive empire, which stretched from the Mediterranean to the border of India, he was tossin' em back.

Alexander the Great, undoubtedly one of history's greatest military leaders, knew how to party.

In the spring of 324 BC, Alexander was hanging out in the Persian city of Susa (modern-day Iranian city of Shush) when his advisor Calanus told him that he wasn't feeling too hot and instead of being bedridden he'd rather just commit suicide.

Alexander tried to dissuade his 73-year-old friend but Calanus ended up constructing a colossal funeral pyre and burned himself alive.

According to this translated account from one of Alexander's top military leaders, Calanus' death was quite the spectacle, "at the moment the fire was kindled there was, by Alexander's orders, an impressive salute: the bugles sounded, the troops with one accord roared out their battle-cry, and the elephants joined in with their shrill war-trumpetings."

Anyway, Alexander wanted to honor Calanus so he organized a handful of 'funeral games' and of these, there was an epic drinking contest.

This went wrong, almost immediately.

Thirty-five of the 42 brave souls that accepted the challenge died on the spot and six more died within the week. 

The winner was apparently a Greek soldier who drank nearly 4 gallons of wine and he lived to tell the tale for a couple of days before dying of alcohol poisoning