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Only a Dunce Buries a Scotsman Alive

He has fallen to the ground unconscious. The cause of death.... apoplexy... a general term of the Middle Ages for anything that causes one to fall over dead almost immediately.... usually a stroke, but also a heart attack. John Duns Scotus was one of the greatest philosophers of his age, and a Scotsman. Having supported the now dead Pope Boniface VIII, he sensibly fled Paris University to take a position at the University of Cologne, arrived, promptly dropped dead and was buried there. In the years to come his philosophy of balancing religious observance with science will fall out of favor, but a few stalwart supporters will be called "Duns Men" or by their critics... DUNCES. He doesn't deserve such a dishonorable tribute but there it is. Years later his body will be exhumed and it will be noted that his body had turned over, suggesting he was still alive when buried. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Being mistaken for dead is still a fear for many people and it becomes relevant when you've checked the box saying you want to be a organ donor or you happen to mention that you would hate to be disabled for the rest of your life. I am disabled for the rest of MY life. I am at peace with it now, BUT that first year I was dangerously depressed. No one should have listened to my desires in that first year. And when my father was dying one of the hospice nurses was very careful to tell us exactly how NOT to overdose our father with medication... and by implication... telling us EXACTLY how to overdose him so that the coroner would not suspect anything. I assure you we did not murder our father but I wonder how many families are being persuaded into dispatching their parents into the great beyond these days.

The King of Games, The Game of Kings

Some time in the 12th century a few French monks began hitting a ball against a wall. Handball became so popular that the Pope forbade it, making even more popular. Racquets won't be invented for another 150 years so they will use their hands. King Phillip the Fair of France has recently purchased Nesle Mansion in Paris. He will build one of the earliest known tennis courts there and it will be the death of his successor, King Louis X, who will play too vigorous a game, drink a little too much and die at the age of 26. Some will suspect poisoning. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It seems crazy that King Philip thinks he has enough money to buy a mansion in Paris and build a newfangled tennis court yet feels so pressed for money that he must destroy the Knights Templar and expel the Jews from France. Palm to forehead.

"And shall the figure of God's majesty,
His captain, steward, deputy-elect,
Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
Be judged by subject and inferior breath...?"

(Shakespeare's Richard II, Act 4, Scene 1.) [12]

Sleeping with the Enemy

King Edward II of England will travel to France to marry the sister of King Philip the Fair of France. Isabella is all of 14 years old but she will grow up to be beautiful and "dangerously cruel" as some people will put it. Their marriage is already going down the drain. Even now, King Edward II seems incapable of remaining faithful to her.... in all sorts of bizarre ways (bizarre for the Middle Ages, anyway). They will manage to have one child together... Edward III... and it will be the death of him. King Edward II will die a most unnatural death and Isabella will be the number one suspect in planning it though not the mostly likely one to have done the deed. [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Apparently in the Middle Ages murder wasn't considered that bad amongst the aristocracy as long as everyone agreed it was all for the best... and in King Edward II's case... the aristocracy doesn't like him even now and from a purely objective perspective he will be a poor leader. That is not just in the future. He has been goofing this thing up from day one.

See Also


  1. Cantor, Norman F., general editor, "Duns Scotus, John", The Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, Viking Penguin, 1999. p. (BOOK)
  2. Bl. John Duns Scotus, Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, 2013 [last update]
  3. Minges, Parthenius. CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Blessed John Duns Scotus, The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909.
  4. Williams, Thomas. John Duns Scotus (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), plato.stanford.edu, Apr 4, 2013.
  5. DUNS SCOTUS, JOHN - Jewish Encyclopedia, jewishencyclopedia.com, 1906.
  6. Duns Scotus - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 2014 [last update]
  7. Grun, Bernard. The timetables of history, Simon & Schuster, 3rd ed, 1991, p. 185. (BOOK)
  8. Cooper, Jeff. The History of Tennis Racquets - Evolution of the Modern Racquet - Part I, about.com, 2014 [last update]
  9. Louis X of France: Death and Legacy - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 2014 [last update]
  10. Philip IV of France - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 2014 [last update]
  11. Tour de Nesle - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 2014 [last update]
  12. Shakespeare, William. Richard II: Entire Play, shakespeare.mit.edu, 2012 [last update]
  13. Thompson, Ben. Badass of the Week: Isabella of France, badassoftheweek.com, 2014 [last update]
  14. Mahon, Elizabeth Kerri. Scandalous Women: Isabella of France: She-Wolf of England, scandalouswoman.blogspot.com, July 31, 2012
  15. Isabella of France - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, en.wikipedia.org, 2014 [last update]
  16. Edward II of England - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 2014 [last update]
  17. Philip IV of France - Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org, 2014 [last update]

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