Biological Weapons: overview of Biological Weapons Convention

* Plague in an Ancient City – Michiel Sweerts (1652)

-by Mathilde Berger

As far back as the Neolithic era, men have been using poisonous weapons to hunt and fish, using curare or amphibian toxins1. In the Greek Mythology narratives, weapons have been combined with poisons and many different types of bacteria with the goal to kill other men. In Sophocles’ play Philoctetes, the latest have been wounded by its own poisoned arrow on his way to the Trojan War, causing him unbearable suffering for years. Besides the myths, around 400 B.C, Scythian archers infected their arrows by dipping them in decomposing bodies or in blood mixed with manure and Greek have been contaminating wells and other sources of drinking water with dead animals2. Through history, men have been resourceful regarding the diversity of means to destroy their enemies. Catapulting dead animals, contamination of cultures and fields, poisoned drinks are among the most famous examples of the use of what could be called biological weapons.Scientist like Alexandre Yersin were able to isolate the plague virus and send it from Hong Kong to Paris in 1894. Read full article here.

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