Poison Arrows Essay

883 WordsDec 14, 20134 Pages
Mayor, Adrienne. Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World. Woodstock: Overlook Duckworth, 2003. Print. Book Review of Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World Biological and chemical warfare are generally thought of as modern inventions. Most histories trace them back to first world war, with perhaps a mention of Greek Fire thrown in an as afterthought. The historian Adrienne Mayor explores the biological and chemical warfare of the ancient world. Adrienne Mayor is an independent folklorist and historian of science who investigates natural knowledge contained in pre-scientific myths and oral traditions. Her research looks at ancient "folk science" precursors, alternatives, and parallels to modern scientific methods. In her book Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World, Adrienne Mayor shows that these weapons have colored most of human history. The book Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World is a subjective book on ancient stories and chemical and biological weaponry in the ancient and classical Eurasian civilizations recited by Mayor with few sources. Like the greek historian Herodotus, Adrienne Mayor appears to report every tall tale that comes to hand and, like the Athenian general Thucydides, she leaves many sources unidentified. Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World is the result of Mayor's consultation with fifty ancient and classical authors and her sampling of the growing body of recent scholarship on her topic. She has produced a fascinating catalog of poisons, incendiaries, reptiles, insects, burning pigs, infectious diseases, and ersatz weaponry, all of which she

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