Did Avicenna kill himself by having too much sex?
I have just read an interesting piece about the story in Avicenna's biography, by his student al-Juzjani. As you might remember from my podcast on his life, the biography says that Avicenna self-diagnosed himself with colic and realized that he should refrain from sex. But he couldn't manage to do this, and died. A very convincing case has now been made, in this article:
J. Lameer, “Avicenna’s Concupiscence,” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 23 (2013), 277-89.
that this part of the story is a later addition by someone who was trying to besmirch Avicenna's reputation. The part about not being able to refrain from sex is missing from the earliest manuscript. It does look as though al-Juzjani said that Avicenna was a sensual man and particularly given to sexual activity, but nothing about sex was mentioned in the account of his last days.