Humor writer Kathy Benjamin has a new book out called Funerals to Die For. And since comedy and death are the only two loves that have never abandoned us, we asked her if she’d share some of her favorites.
Everyone dies, and most of us choose boring good-bye parties. But these three rulers went all out. If they had to shuffle off their mortal coil then, damn it, people were going to remember.
Alexander the Great
These days the mortuary business is a billion-dollar industry, thanks mostly to the fact that it is really hard to take a few weeks to bargain shop when you have a dead body that needs burying. But the cost of a funeral today is nothing compared to what used to be spent on someone’s sendoff. Now, it’s always hard to compare anything ancient to the modern day, but even with limitations like conversion rates and lack of information, historians agree that the most expensive funeral of all time—by miles—was for Alexander the Great. Considering Hollywood couldn’t even make a terrible movie about the guy for less than $155 million, you know everything in his life (and death) must have been over the top.