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Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs by Adrienne Mayor

Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs by Adrienne Mayor

Author:Adrienne Mayor
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: Penguin USA, Inc.


Two different Carthaginian commanders, Himlico and Maharbal, were credited with defeating barbarian tribes with poisoned wine. According to Polyaenus, Himilco, a “pertinacious soldier” who owed most of his victories to his enemies’ errors (in the judgment of modern historians), had lost several battles when plague swept through his armies in 406 and 400 BC. With his forces severely reduced by this apparently natural disaster, he devised a biological strategy to conquer a rebellious North African tribe in 396 BC. Himilco defeated the Libyans by taking advantage of their fondness for wine. He tainted jugs of wine in his own camp with mandragora or mandrake, and pretended to retreat.



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