Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, & Scorpion Bombs

  • by Adrienne Mayor
  • Narrated by Suzanne Toren
  • 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Flamethrowers, poison gases, incendiary bombs, the large-scale spreading of disease...are these terrifying agents and implements of warfare modern inventions? Not by a long shot.
Weapons of biological and chemical warfare have been in use for thousands of years, and Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs, Adrienne Mayor's fascinating exploration of the origins of biological and unethical warfare, draws extraordinary connections between the mythical worlds of Hercules and the Trojan War, the accounts of Herodotus and Thucydides, and modern methods of war and terrorism.

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What the Critics Say

"Illuminating... Adrienne Mayor marshals not just myth, but also the writing of ancient authors and evidence from archaeological digs to show that biological and chemical weapons saw action inbattles long before the modern era." (The New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very, very, very interesting

This book is an excellent catalogue of every odd or underhand weapon you ever heard of and an awful lot you probably hadn't!

Wow your friends with amazing facts like scorpions have been know to glide on strong desert winds! Wow your mother-in-law with your knowledge of paralyzing honey (believe it or not - I did)! Sicken your wife with stories of the romans scaring elephants with flaming pigs (okay, I may be losing points here).

If you like history, weapons or historical weapons then you'll get a lot out of this book. Like I said, very, very, very interesting
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- kingnoodle

Does what it says on the tin

With an interest in all things military I was looking forward to some unusual ancient weapons and, on the whole, I was not disappointed. The text moves along quite nicely, and frequently draws comparisons between ancient weapons and those of the 20th or 21st century. It also touches on mythological examples of such weapons, which makes sense as myths can illuminate the world in which they were written even though the story is fiction. The book tends to make the most of the material available, sometimes repeating something that was said a chapter or two ago, so it is sometimes rather more wordy than it needs to be, but not enough to seriously spoil the listening experience. Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone with a particular interest in ancient warfare.
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- Dave

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-06-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios