Precinct 333

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Next Up -- Who is Buried in Grant's Tomb?

One would naturally assume that St. Mark is buried int he Tomb of St. Mark. Guess what -- a new book claims it is really Alexander the Great, who died some 300-400 years earlier!

How did this happen? Author Andrew Chugg has a theory:

Mr Chugg, the author of several books on Alexander, believes the confusion occurred when the warrior's body was disguised as St Mark to protect it from destruction during a Christian uprising.

"Both bodies were said to be mummified in linen, and one seems to disappear at the same time that the other appears - in almost exactly the same place, near the central crossroads of Alexandria," he writes. "It's a strong possibility that somebody in the Church hierarchy, perhaps even the Patriarch himself, decided it might be a good plan to pretend the remains of Alexander were those of St Mark.

"If this is true, then it was Alexander's remains - not those of St Mark - that were stolen by Venetian merchants and taken back to their native city some four centuries later." In fact, three early Christian sources state that St Mark's body was burnt after his death.

If true, it would be one of the great archaeological finds in recent memory.


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