c. 620 BC: Draco, Athenian law-maker, was smothered to death by gifts of cloaks showered upon him by appreciative citizens at a theatre on Aegina.
455 BC: Aeschylus, the great Athenian author of tragedies. Valerius Maximus wrote that he was killed by a tortoise dropped by an eagle that had mistaken his head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historiæ, adds that Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avert a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.
210 BC: Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, died after ingesting several pills of mercury in the belief that it would grant him eternal life.
162 BC: Eleazar Maccabeus was crushed to death at the Battle of Beth Zechariah by a war elephant that he believed to be carrying Seleucid King Antiochus V. Charging into battle, Eleazar rushed underneath the elephant and thrust a spear into its belly, whereupon it fell dead on top of him.
258: According to tradition, Saint Lawrence of Rome was roasted alive on a giant grill, during the persecution of Valerian.
336: Arius, presbyter of Alexandria, is said to have died of sudden diarrhea followed by copious hemorrhaging and anal expulsion of the intestines while he walked across the imperial forum in Constantinople. He may have been poisoned.
415: Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician, philosopher and intellectual, often called the last librarian of the Library of Alexandria, though it was destroyed long before her time, was murdered by a Christian mob that ripped off her skin with sharp seashells. Various types of shells have been named, including clams, oysters and abalones. Other sources claim tiles or pottery shards were used.