review Greek Fire Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World Õ eBook or Kindle ePUB

review è eBook or Kindle ePUB Ó Adrienne Mayor

Weapons of biological and chemical warfare have been in use for thousands of years and Greek Fire Poison Arrows Scorpion Bombs Adrienne Mayor's exploration of the origins of controversial weaponry draws extraordinary connections between the mythical worlds. Honestly I'm not that interested in biological and chemical warfare Maybe because it scares me to the core due to humanity's immature nature and I'm a natural worrier anyway So usually I avoid books about it However it's about ancient examples or at least I thought soDespite my initial worry Mayor does an excellent job at paralleling the ancient world and the present She gives examples of how today's army is looking into strategies of the past no matter how silly eg the army looking into using bees as weapons for targets It's eerie surprising and unsettling like infrasound see below in 'notes'The book is packed with facts and examples well researched and thankfully usually mentions key people repeatedly so the slow students ahem me can remember who they are and their history It may be annoying to people who already know the history but I was uite appreciative so I could get my facts right and it made a longer lasting impressionThe book is balanced wonderfully and I think it was better handled than her first book although I liked the content better in The First Fossil Hunters She is a wonderful teacher and importantly in this case a good writer I took notes and learned a lotuotesOver and over the ancient historians repeated the refrain the only hope of uelling such ghastly fire was to cover it with earth That solution echoed Hercules' method of getting rid of the monstrous Hydra's head by burying it under the earth Now those desperate attempts to bury poison and fire weapons seem to foreshadow our own efforts to dispose of dangerous weapons underground out of sight but never completely out of mind pg 252 3A geologic solution on a massive scale was proposed in 2002 when plans were developed to bury a huge cache of radioactive material deep under the Yucca Mountain in Nevada in the desert about one hundred miles northwest of Las Vegas The seventy seven thousand tons of nuclear material are expected to remain dangerously radioactive for one hundred thousand years The government hopes to make the toxic sepulchre impregnable for at least ten thousand years until the year AD 12000 pg 254There are two bio weapon recipes in the Arthashastra of the fourth century BC however that appear to be evidence of such an attempt in India One describes how to make a poison arrow with a mixture of toxins and 'the blood of a muskrat' Anyone pierced with this arrow will be compelled to bite ten companions who will in turn bite others wrote Kautilya pg 136 reminds me of zombies Oo but it was meant to try for rabiesRandom notesDeli bal aka miel fou is called 'mad honey' for a reason the bees collect nectar from the poisonous rhododendron which causes even in small amounts to get horribly ill and hallucinate Some people in present day use a small amount to give their drinks a little kickMithridates was interesting why did I never learn about him in history So afraid of being poisoned he had poisoned some family members himself after all he had 13 Sycthian shamandoctors called The Agari at ALL TIMES He also built up an immunity to poisons by taking small doses everyday When he finally was on the verge of being capture it took a while he was good at giving the slip he tried to poison himselfonly to survive here's a great example of irony He tried to kill himself but couldn't so had his bodyguard do itAndrea Cesalpino a physician reported during the Naples Campaign 1494 95 the Spanish abandoned a village to the French leaving behind winemixed with blood from leprosy and syphilis patient from the Saint Lazare HospitalThe Hittites had a ritual of driving plague infected women and dogs into enemy territory to infect them this was before the black plague infected bodies were tossed over Kaffa which a lot of people believe was the first instance of awareness of diseasesThe army is doing experiments with infrasound which they've successfully been able to make victims feel nauseous hallucinate and even die from internal injuries makes me think of serenity and the hands of blueElephants hate pigs' suealsIn approx 270 BC Antigonus Gonatus and his war elephants were defeatedby flaming pigsFolk belief cited by Pliny was that it takes 27 hornet stings to kill a manNapalm burns at than 5000 degrees FIn 424 BC short ranged primitive flamethrowers were invented by the BoeotiansIt was believed the black mandrake was female while the white was male In most cases it was harvested according to rituals and pulled out by animals usually

free download Greek Fire Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World

Greek Fire Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient WorldS choking gases and the deployment of dangerous animals and venomous snakes and insects She also explores the ambiguous moral implications inherent in this kind of warfare Are these nefarious forms of weaponry ingenious or cowardly Admirable or reprehensibl. This is a somewhat slapdash treatment of a hugely interesting subjectPoints of annoyance the book could have been cut by at least a third by omitting repetitions the long self congratulatory introduction presents all chapters then come the chapters themselves and finally a conclusion repeating all the author's points several characters in the book dabbled in kinds than one of bio chemical warfare and so show up in different chapters to be introduced anew every time Do we really need to be reminded four times that Mithridates was a threat to the Romans and himself was afraid of being poisoned I have this on audio and was treated to extra annoyance from the US English mangling of Greek and other names eg Kyzikos probably spelled Cyzicus pronounced 'Sissicus' That is pretty standard though and not the fault of the author comparisons are made without much regard to chronology over distances of centuries This method can be useful in bringing new insights but only so long as it is based on a firm grasp of the facts avoiding superficial similarities words like δορύκνιον and πῦρ αύτόματον being referred to as Latin words the author seems not to have grasped the concept of differential diagnosis the dramatised effect of an envenomed garment Herakles' tunic in Sophokles' tragedy are compared to accounts of the effect of cobra venom and concluded to have been just that Later the symptoms of the Athenian 'plague' whichever disease that may have been in 430 BCE are described in much the same terms though not claimed to be the same One might conclude that widely differing causes can produce effects on the human body which are described by the sufferers using similar terms a 'burning' can be caused by fever acid nerve toxin actual fire c the same goes for literary echoes Thucydides in describing the Athenian plague consciously echoes the homeric description of the plague afflicting the Greeks at Troy the Roman general Lucullus while chasing the aforementioned Mithridates during the 70s and 60s BCE is said to have found a statue of the dying Herakles and to have brought it back to Rome placing it next to a statue of 'Divine Caesar' That would have taken some foresight

Adrienne Mayor Ó 3 review

review Greek Fire Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World Õ eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Weapons of biological and chemical warfare have been in use for thousands of years and Greek Fire Poison Arrows Scorpion BombsOf Hercules and the Trojan War the accounts of Herodotus and Thucydides and modern methods of war and terrorismDrawing on sources ancient and modern Mayor describes ancient recipes for arrow poisons booby traps rigged with plague petroleum based combustible. This was a pretty thorough look at the different types of biological and chemical weapons use in ancient warfare It is broken down into sections each detailing a different type of tactic She describes how poisons incendiaries biological weapons such as plague corpses and even animals such as hornet’s nests were used and cites examples of battles in which these techniues were employedI thought this was very enlightening read Many people assume that the use of biological and chemical weapons is an issue that is uniue to our current society but this book shows that this type of warfare is nothing new The ancients knew how to fight dirty and their battles weren’t exactly as fair and honorable as some romantics would have us think At the same time these ancient civilizations battled with the same issues of conscience that our civilization is facing today as to the use of these highly effective but often needlessly destructive techniues It’s definitely food for thought I enjoyed this author’s style of writing She was able to share this material in a way that was informative but still interesting and not at all dry as some historical narratives can be I would recommend this book to anyone interested in ancient history and seeing how our own society mirrors these past events