Ancient weapons of mass destruction

Weapons of mass destruction of the ancient worldPhotos from open sources of

They say that we often underestimate the ancients, that they were smart and savvy no less than us. And we overestimate the ancients. They are were cruel, ruthless, heartless, just like us. Having in his at the disposal of swords, bows and spears, they also looked for means to kill dozens, hundreds and thousands of people. And when they found something, experienced indescribable delight.

Greek fire

Well, who did not hear about this napalm of the ancient Byzantines? Historical chronicles write with horror and enthusiasm about action Greek flamethrower. The damage range was only 25-30 meters, but it was enough to sow panic among the soldiers. Special liked the Greek fire naval commanders. “Sprayer” installed on the bow of the vessel and when approaching, they “spit out” a portion of the burning liquid to an enemy ship.

A photo from open sources

As contemporaries wrote, extinguishing the Greek fire was impossible. A universal fire extinguishing agent is not water suited, Greek fire burned even on the surface of the water. Composition fuel mixture was a state secret. The Byzantines are so hard it was kept that the secret was lost over the years.

Nevertheless, the military were unhappy and demanded from their sages something more scary and more effective. They searched and found.

Chemical weapon

The Athenians wrote with anger that the Spartans used in the war unworthy methods: a tree was burned under the walls of besieged cities, impregnated with tar and sulfur, as well as mustard, excrement of wolves and other muck. However, “unworthy methods of warfare” applied all sides. Supporters of the “chemical war” were Hannibal, Julius Caesar and Alexander of Macedon.

In the 20s of the last century, the French together with the Americans unearthed the city of Dura Europos in Syria, destroyed by the Persians. Archaeologists have found a siege tunnel through which the Persians intended infiltrate the city. The Romans dug a countershop – normal practice fight with tunnels from the enemy. And here are two tunnels have met.

A photo from open sources

At the rendezvous point, archaeologists found the remains of 19 Roman centurions and one Persian warrior. Really one brave Persian laid 19 Roman soldiers? One of the researchers removed a scraping from the wall and found it contains bitumen and sulfur. This helped restore the events of that historical meeting.

Instead of the usual way to engage in battle and capture tunnel, the Persians with the help of bellows filled the dungeon with a gas mixture burning tar and sulfur. Of course, there were still some unknown to us additives, from which 19 soldiers suffocated before they reached exit. And the Persian was apparently the daredevil who set fire to the mixture and he shook his fur until he died.

Biological weapons

In ancient times, they did not disdain biological weapons. No one him forbade, and therefore everyone izgalalsya as best he could. Opponents threw each other’s pots with poisonous snakes and scorpions, the Romans clay shells with wasps were catapulted into besieged cities and bees and barrels of sewage. But all this did not draw on weapons mass destruction. Few, few killed!

The first, as is commonly thought, thought of putting in the service of war bacteria and viruses ancient hittites. In 1335 BC in Phoenician an epidemic erupted in the city of Simiru. The city weakened by the disease was easily taken by the Hittites. According to symptom descriptions, scientists made speculation that it was tularemia – a dangerous infectious disease.

A few years later, they attacked the Hittites. The aggressor has become the mighty kingdom of Artsav, about which few have heard of today. The chances of surviving the Hittites were minimal, but suddenly among the army the invaders began an epidemic of the same tularemia. Interesting that in both cases, the disease was called the “Hittite pestilence”, apparently suspecting that the Hittites could not have done it. Like smart Hittites brought the carriers of infection to the besieged city only suppose. But as for the second case, there is no secret.

When retreating, the Hittites left dozens of tularemia-infected donkeys and rams. Artsavians gladly caught animals, drove them into their herds, rams of spruce, donkeys were used as pack animals. After that the “Hittite pestilence” mowed down the Artsavian army, the Hittites won several victories and defended their independence.

Used biological weapons and subsequently. Abandon a catapult to a besieged city the corpse of a deceased from plague or smallpox was normal things. But such practice did not become widespread. Viruses and bacteria could not be kept within certain limits. Epidemics never confined to the camp of the enemy and mowed people on both side of the front.

Since 1925, biological weapons have been prohibited. But despite the ban, many countries have its reserves and are ready to put it into move at any moment – in this we are no different from ours ancestors.

Posted by Klim Podkova

Viruses War Water Epidemics

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