Aristotle CAN kill you…at least if you’re a bore…er, a boar

Posted on December 20th, 2010 by

Image by Leo Reynolds at

It seems that being force fed Aristotle can kill you. At least if a volume of it is literally shoved down your throat, and you are a wild boar.

According to legend/lore/myth/academic tall tale–as repeated by Phillip Brunelle on Weekend Edition Sunday–in the fifteenth century, a Queens College, Oxford scholar on his way to mass   was attacked by a wild boar. Thinking quickly, he wedged the volume of Aristotle he was so conveniently reading into the boar’s mouth, choking him to death.  Later that day, they feasted on wild boar.    (Start at about minute 6 of this segment, to hear the story.)

Notably, Elaine Fantham, the Classics scholar interviewed by Scott Simon on SATURDAY’S Weekend Edition about the “Boar’s Head Gaudy” that is celebrated to this very day at Queens College, remained silent on the story, suggesting that perhaps it is not exactly and entirely the truth. She did note some juicy tidbits about Pliny, however….


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