Rumors of the death of King Louis IX by plague are greatly exaggerated، according to a new study by a forensic specialist، according to the Daily Mail.
The French crusader King may have died from scurvy، he says، or at least complications arising from the dietary disease.
It's claimed that Louis، better known as Saint Louis، died because he committed the cardinal error of many a colonial invader - not eating the local food.
Experts examined a fragment of the King's jawbone، held in Paris' Notre Dame cathedral، to make the discovery.
It shows signs of damage to the gums and jaw consistent with the ravaging effects of scurvy.
Louis' crusade to Tunisia - a land rich with citrus fruits and vegetables packed with vitamin C that would have helped stave off the condition - was his last attempt to recover the Holy Land for Christianity. An international team of researchers - led by celebrated French forensic pathologist Philippe Charlier، whose Twitter handle translates as Doctor Too Late - now believe he fell prey to scurvy.
The painful and potentially fatal disease، caused by a lack of vitamin C، was the scourge of sailors until the turn of the 19th century.
While the local food in Tunisia where the Eighth Crusade landed in 1270 contained lots of vitamin-C rich salads and citrus fruit، the crusaders' meat-heavy diet and Saint Louis' extreme piety appears to have been his undoing.
'His diet wasn't very balanced،' said Dr Charlier، who has also examined the heart of Richard the Lionheart and confirmed that a jawbone held in Moscow belonged to Adolf Hitler.
'He put himself through all manner of penances، and fasting. Nor was the crusade as well prepared as it should have been.
'They did not take water with them or fruit and vegetables.'
Dr Charlier and his team used carbon 14 dating to authenticate that the jawbone held in a reliquary at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris belonged to the king، who died five weeks after landing at Carthage.
Examining the bone، he said it was clear that Saint Louis suffered from scurvy، 'which attacks the gums and then the bone'.
'Saint Louis did not die from plague،' as historians had always thought، Dr Charlier added.
'The scurvy is certain، but one cause of death can also hide another،' said the paleopathologist.