Perhaps I have been reading the wrong kind of scurrilous literature, but I have seen it asserted that the Empress Catherine the Great of Russia died from injuries received by committing unnatural acts with a stallion. Is there any truth in this assertion?
This claim doesn't seem to have any factual underpinning; none of the books about Catherine the Great support it. While I haven't read any of them, I did read the reviews on Amazon, and none mentioned such an event; some reviewers specifically point out that there are no records of Catherine the Great having equestrian sex partners.
In addition, a number of other on-line resources discuss this issue, and all come to the same conclusion, that this rumor is false.
From The Straight Dope:
I think it is safe to conclude that there is not a single speck of truth in the assertion.
Short answer is NO, NOT Tue.
Straight Dope has a good though un-sourced article on it: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/100/is-it-true-about-catherine-the-great-and-the-horse
Actual details of death (In bed, after a stroke) can be found, for example, in this book:
Rounding, Virginia (2007) "Catherine the Great: Love, Sex, and Power" (New York: St. Martin’s Press ISBN 9780312328870), pages 499-502
The reason the rumors are easy to believe is that she did, admittedly, lead a very active sexual life taking many young lovers up to pretty old age. Wiki has all the sordid and not so sordid details.