The Ancients

Biological and Chemical Warfare

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Episode notes

The origins of biological and chemical warfare stretch far back; modern technology has not brought about these terrifying weapons. Throughout antiquity we have cases of societies using poisonous gases, incendiary materials and living organisms against their enemies. From snake and scorpion bombs to the use of ancient naphtha grenades. But how did the ancients view these infamous weapons? Did they try to refrain from using them? And if they did use them, why? I was thrilled to be joined by Adrienne Mayor to chat through this extraordinary topic. Adrienne is a folklorist and historian of ancient science at Stanford University. She is the author of numerous books including Greek Fire, Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World.  

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