Caesar’s Brain Tumour?

Yong-Lin Ow just posted a very interesting item on Facebook by Francois Retief and Johan Cilliers from the South African Medical Journal (100.1, January 2010) postulating the underlying reason for Caesar’s epilepsy was an underlying benign brain tumour. The brief version would be something like: Caesar didn’t display any epileptic-like symptoms until the battle of Thapsus (rather late), deteriorating health (esp. headaches) toward the end of his life,  and the length of the “warning aura” prior to the second attack described by Plutarch lead to the conclusion:

In conclusion, we suggest that Julius Caesar’s epilepsy,
which first manifested after his 50th birthday, was secondary
to underlying intracranial pathology, possibly a benign brain
tumour. Terminal erratic behaviour might even have caused
him to be unduly negligent about his own safety and so have
aided his assassins on the Ides of March.

Definitely worth a read:

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