Famous People's Cause of Death Baruch Spinoza

About the famous philosopher Baruch Spinoza, biography, history and cause of death.



Born: Nov. 24, 1632

Died: Feb. 21, 1677

Cause of Death: Tuberculosis

Physician's Notes: Accused of being an atheist and excommunicated by the Jewish elders, the philosopher led a Spartan but unhealthy life as tubercle bacilli began attacking his lungs. He developed a hacking cough and remained in doors for months at a time. Curiously, by observing the mating of spiders, he was able to rationalize his condition. He reasoned that since God was coterminous with the universe, of which spiders were a part, and since the female spider devoured her mate at the end of the mating ritual, God obviously embraced evil as well as good. This explained why a virtuous creature like Spinoza himself was besieged by ill health and a hacking cough. A pantheist who was loved and revered by a wide circle of friends, he died as he had lived, by his definition a "free man"--that is, as one who "thinks of death least of all things" and whose "wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life."

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