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.


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

A great read for those interested in Antiquity

The books flows quickly and is very interesting. If it were in print, I'd call it a page-turner. There's a lot of material about Greek gods and Greek mythology, but it seems necessary to put the actual history into context (or in fact, the reverse - the actual use of these weapons puts the mythology into perspective for the modern reader). It is amazing how brutal and unmerciful human beings can be to each other. And how much pain and suffering must have been endured in ancient times. I am surprised that none of the other histories of antiquity I've read mention these weapons. For that reason, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the period. It also provides a perspective from which to consider modern nasty weapons.
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- Christopher


I have been bragging about this book to everyone. Excellent. Superb entertainment, plus its all true. The Scythian arrow poison sounded revolting and frightening. You will learn of vipers, water witches, neuro-toxin honey- there is no weakness in this book. Every single word feels vital. You get no filler, no slow spots, no long editorials. Every chapter is fascinating and enlightening. Flaming pigs! War elephants. Its the ultimate brainy MAN book, but I think anyone would enjoy it. A great war history, that may even appeal to those who don't normally like non-fiction. The narration is good. Lively and far from the monotone you often get in "heady" books.
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- andrew

Book Details

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