Research, Technology

5 Examples of Ancient Chemical and Biological Weapons

While military equipment and all sorts ofmachine guns are capable of hitting only certain targets, chemical and biological weapons can lead to the death of all mankind. Relatively recently, my colleague Andrey Zhukov told how in 1346 Khan Dzhanibek threw the bodies of plague-stricken people into the Kaffa fortress and thereby neutralized the enemy military. This event was the reason that people who fled from the captured city began to spread the disease throughout Europe - this is how the medieval plague epidemic began. There were quite a few such examples of the use of weapons of mass destruction in the history of mankind. Within the framework of this article, I propose to consider a few more cases of the use of weapons based on living beings and chemicals.

Did you know that biological and chemical weapons were invented a very long time ago? Now let's prove


  • 1 Using Living Weapons
  • 2 Poison darts and swords
  • 3 Use of Greek fire
  • 4 Poisoning of water and food
  • 5 Red pepper as a weapon

Use of living weapons

In ancient times, long beforefirearms, the military besieged enemy fortresses, throwing nests of wild bees and hornets through the walls. If the battles took place in places where they are not found, scorpions, snakes and other poisonous creatures were used. They were collected, stacked inside barrels and catapulted into enemy territory - getting out, they bit and neutralized enemy soldiers. Some people died after a few hours, and some lay for a long time and suffered from high fever and other consequences of severe poisoning.

In ancient times, scorpions and snakes could be powerful allies.

According to ancient documents, in this waythe inhabitants of the city of Hatra once defended the city from the attack of the Romans. They filled the pots with poisonous snakes and scorpions, then threw the vessels at the camps of the invaders. Judging by the Roman records, most of the soldiers died from bites, while the other part suffered for a long time from the effects of poisoning and could not fight. Perhaps this is the earliest example of the use of biological weapons.

Why are there so many snakes on earth? Understood this material.

Poison darts and swords

And now we propose to talk about a certain mixturechemical and biological weapons - the use of arrows, darts and swords smeared with poison. Scientists believe that people learned how to poison weapons long before the invention of the wheel. In order to quickly hit animals, the ancestors of modern people smeared arrowheads with the juices of poisonous plants or substances that are secreted by deadly snakes and other creatures.

Scientists have found many ancient arrows with traces of poisonous substances

According to historical data, in 326 BCAD, the inhabitants of Garmatelia attacked the army of Alexander the Great with swords smeared with snake venom. Despite the fact that there were few of them, the inhabitants of the city were able to win - the substances contained in snake venom can hit a person in a matter of minutes, even a small incision is enough. In fairness, it should be noted that this method of defeating enemy troops was rarely used, because there is always a risk of accidentally injuring allies.

Related article: When did people start using poison arrows for hunting?

Use of Greek fire

During the Middle Ages, some peoples knew howcreate a combustible mixture to create Greek fire. The recipe for this mixture was lost in the 16th century and, perhaps, this is even good. The fact is that the fire arising from the burning of the mysterious composition was difficult to extinguish with water, and its use in those days almost always meant victory. The Byzantines were especially good with Greek fire - there is evidence that with the help of it they destroyed the Arab fleet that attacked Constantinople without any problems. Weapons that could well be called chemical weapons were used in many other battles.

Grenades used to attack with Greek fire

Poisoning of water and products

In some cases, the military resorted to veryvile strategy - they poisoned the water used by the inhabitants of the cities they were interested in. For example, in 585 BC, the Greeks managed to poison the water of the city of Kirra. They placed the roots of hellebore, a plant that contains poisonous alkaloids and glycosides, in an important water conduit for the settlement. When the inhabitants of the city drank the poisoned water, they suffered from severe diarrhea. The Greek military used the weakness of the population to capture.

Water poisoning is an extremely sneaky combat strategy.

You will be interested: The most poisonous plants in the world

Red pepper as a weapon

As a weapon for self-defense today, manypeople use pepper spray. Did you know that they were invented by the Native Americans? Sources say that during the battles with the invaders, the Indians sometimes put forward people holding large frying pans with smoldering coals. Once in front of the enemy, people sprinkled the pan with powdered pepper. By blowing this dust into the wind, they deprived the enemies of sight - in fact, it was tear gas.

The Indians had great knowledge about plants, and they came in handy

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You may remember other types of ancient weapons that can be added to this list. If so, write in the comments - it will be interesting to read.