Gangrene claimed Giovanni de’ Medici

It was not a blow in combat that felled legendary Renaissance warrior Giovanni de’ Medici, but gangrene resulting from being hit by a cannon ball, in a battle in Lombardy on Nov. 25, 1526, according to a new study conducted after the exhumation of de’ Medici's body.

The forensic team which exhumed the body was led by Gino Fornaciari, professor of forensic anthropology and director of the pathology Museum at the University of Pisa, who discovered that an amputated leg, resulting from the injury, became gangrenous, but through no fault of the doctor.

The body of de’ Medici's wife Maria Salviati was also examined. Her death appears to have resulted from tertiary syphilis of the bone.