Medieval biowar

History and Historical European Martial Arts in the Codex Martialis

Medieval biowar

Postby Galloglaich » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:38 pm

This is rather sinister:

"The Tartars, having distributed the loot they took from Poland and sold their Polish captives to various peoples, decide to leave Ruthenia [The Ukraine] and to destroy the Ruthenians before they go, unable to do this overtly, they poison the rivers and the waters by placing in all still and running water stakes on which were spited hearts taken from the bodies of the Poles, killed for ritual purposes of divination, saturated with a very strong poison, against which no medicine is of any use, so that all who drink the water die. It is not until the poison has claimed a large number of victims that the Ruthenians stop drinking the water."
Jan Dlugosz, Annales, 1480, entry for the year 1288

This is one of several accounts in Dlugosz, and various other sources, describing strange poison or disease attacks by the Mongols, including at Leignica in 1241 and Caffa in 1348, in a bio-war attack which may have started the Black Death.

One of the other 'magic tricks' used by the Mongols at Sajo river in Hungary and later in the siege of Buda, turned out to be the gunpowder weapons used in Europe (fire lances).
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