Greek Fire, Poison Arrows and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient Worldby Adrienne Mayor
With the news full of talk about bioterrorism and chemical weapons, Adrienne Mayor's exploration of the origins of biological and unethical warfare is an attention-grabber that follows through with fascinating illustrative episodes. A meticulously researched page-turner, Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs draws extraordinary connections between the mythical worlds of Hercules and the Trojan War, the accounts of Herodotus and Thucydides, and modern warfare.
This is the first book to trace biological and chemical warfare to its ancient roots, and Mayor's thought-provoking findings are riveting. Drawing on sources ancient and modern, Mayor describes ancient recipes for arrow poisons, boobytraps rigged with plague, petroleum-based combustibles, choking gases, and the deployment of dangerous animals and venomous insects. She also explores the ambiguous moral implications inherent in this kind of warfare: Are these nefarious forms of warfare ingenious or cowardly? Admirable or reprehensible?
Science magazine called Mayor's The First Fossils Hunters "rich, spirited, and eminently readable" and Newsday praised her ability to "merge the fields of paleontology, archaeology, and classical literature." Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs finds similar success merging mythology with modern science and the ethics of warfare.
Author Biography: Adrienne Mayor is a classical folklorist who specializes in the early history of science. A frequent contributor to Archaeology, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Folklore, and the Journal of American Folklore, she is often interviewed on NPR, the BBC, and on the History and Learning channels.
- Classical Press of Wales, The
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- 5.91(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)
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author of Roosevelt's Secret War
noted translator of The Odyssey and The Oresteia
author of The Sword and the Olive and The Transformation of War
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