Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In the last month, chemical and biological weapons and the horror they wreak have been front page news. It's horrifying, but this type of warfare isn’t new. Forms of biological and chemical weapons have been used since ancient times.

In 590 BC, during the siege of Cirrha, Solon of Athens is said to have used hellebore roots (a purgative) to poison the city's water in the aqueduct.

In 187 BC, Roman soldiers were tunneling under the walls of the town of Ambracia in Epirus. The inhabitants filled a bronze covered, perforated jar, with feathers, which they lit with fire. They inserted bellows in the bottom and pumped smoke into the tunnels until the Romans called for a truce.

In 184 BC during a naval battle against King Eumenes of Pergamon, Hannibal of Carthage filled clay pots with venomous snakes and instructed his sailors to throw them onto the decks of enemy ships.

After the defeat of Carthage, the Romans sowed the fields with salt to prevent resettlement.

In 130 BC, the Roman commander Manius Aquilius poisoned the wells of enemy cities.

Texts in China from the Fourth century B.C. describe how ox-hide bellows were used to pump smoke tainted with mustard and other toxics vegetable matter into tunnels being dug by an attacking army.

In 198 AD, the city of Hatra hurled clay pots filled with live scorpion at the attacking Roman Army.

During the Middle Ages, diseased or putrefying corpses, including those infected with the bubonic plague, were catapulted over castle walls.

My internet search on this topic led to reference after reference for historical chemical and biological weapons. Sad to say, man has always looked for new and bigger ways to kill. But it's not really a surprise to those of us who know the Bible. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

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