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 of Hercules and the Trojan War, the accounts of Herodotus and Thucydides, and modern methods of war and terrorism.
Drawing on sources ancient and modern, Mayor describes ancient recipes for arrow poisons, booby traps rigged with plague, petroleum-based combustibles, 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 reprehensible?
INTRODUCTION: WAR OUTSIDE THE RULES
Chapter 1. HERCULES AND THE HYDRA: THE INVENTION OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
Chapter 2. ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND THE ARROWS OF DOOM
Chapter 3. POISON WATERS, DEADLY VAPORS
Chapter 4. A CASKET OF PLAGUE IN THE TEMPLE OF BABYLON
Chapter 6. ANIMAL ALLIES AND SCORPION BOMBS
AFTERWORD: THE MANY-HEADED HYDRA