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Hannibal Barca (by Sébastien Slodtz) and Battle of Zama, 202 BC

Inside the Mind of Hannibal: What Caused Him to Become Rome’s Most Hated Man?

Watching your father’s brave, heroic and selfless act in order to preserve your own life must leave a permanent mark. They were fearsome and powerful Vetton warriors, and when they saw his father’s...
Hercules and Deianira circa 1475–80.

An Unfortunate Fate and Nasty Gods: The Tragic Story of Mythical Deianira and Her Lover Hercules

Deianira became a famous heroine after the release of the TV show ''Hercules,'' with Kevin Sorbo, and the Disney movie about the mythical hero. Her real story, although still juicy, isn't the same...
Exhibit featuring Mongolian arrows, and Mongolian soldier model

How Did They Do It? Masters of the Steppe: Armed to the Teeth with Weapons and Poison—Part II

Much is known about the ancient Mongol military and their incredible victories on the battlefield, but little is ever discussed about their arms, armor, horses, and logistics. What gear did they use...
Herbs to Kill or Heal? Was this 17th Century Faux-Book for a Poisoner or Apothecary?

Secret Stash of Lethal Poisons Hidden in 17th Century Book. Was This Really an Assassin's Cabinet?

When photos of the faux-book first began to circulate online it was considered a hoax. The image was featured on the ArtefactPorn subreddit and commenters quickly denounced it as a fake, a mere...
The Black Masses of La Voisin: How a Fortune Teller Became a Murderess in the French Royal Court

The Black Masses of La Voisin: How a Fortune Teller Became a Murderess in the French Royal Court

Catherine Monvoisin was a woman with a dark story. Her life influenced the world of the occult and the court of Louis XIV, a famous king whose golden palace brought him immortal fame and countless...
A 16th century bezoar in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienne

Bezoars: The Sought After Ancient Jewels Made from Animal Stomach Growths

There is an urban legend fueled by the movie Beverly Hills Cop that people have around 5 pounds of undigested meat in their stomach by the time they are middle-aged. Not so. But bezoars, which are...
Deriv; Werewolf costume and natural landscape

Werewolf Hunting #101 – In Search of Legends, and Busting Folklore Myths

Imagine you have been invited to meet in an abandoned cemetery to go on a werewolf hunt on the night of the next full Moon but you don’t know what to pack? It may sound like something out of a cheesy...
Mithridates VI of Pontus: The Poison King of Pontus and Aggravation to Rome

Mithridates VI of Pontus: The Poison King of Pontus and Aggravation to Rome

Mithridates (spelled also as Mithradates) VI, whose full name is Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysius, was a famous king of Pontus, a Hellenistic kingdom in Asia Minor of Persian origin. Mithridates...
Mithridates VI of Pontus: The Poison King of Pontus and Aggravation to Rome

Mithridates VI of Pontus: The Poison King of Pontus and Aggravation to Rome

Mithridates (spelled also as Mithradates) VI, whose full name is Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysius, was a famous king of Pontus, a Hellenistic kingdom in Asia Minor of Persian origin. Mithridates...
Mix of ancient weapons

Ten Diabolical Weapons and Strategies of War from the Ancient World

Warfare has been a part of the human condition throughout recorded history. While weapons, strategies, and tactics have changed, there are a number of methods that have been used across the millennia...
Paracelsus

Paracelsus: the Father of Toxicology and the Enemy of Physicians

Toxicology is a branch of knowledge dealing with the scientific study of the characteristics and effects of poisons on living organisms. The man considered to be the ‘father’ of this discipline is...
Image from an illuminated manuscript depicting a Byzantine siege of a citadel. A tactic of ancient biological warfare was to hurl infected dead bodies over city walls.

The Devastating and Diabolical Ancient Origins of Biological Warfare

History paints a bleak picture of the devastating effects that disease, contamination, or poison can have on humans. But with those hard lessons came experience and knowledge, and mankind has...
Paleolithic man (Paleoindians) hunting a glyptodon – ancient ancestor to the armadillo. (Illustration 1920) Did these societies use poison to bring down their prey?

Invisible Killers - Poisons may have been used by Palaeolithic society 30,000 years ago, new testing shows

Poisons are ubiquitous in the plant and animal world – some snakes and frogs are venomous, and various trees and plants are lethally toxic. This was well-known by our ancient ancestors, and they...
Photograph of the top of the sarcophagus and mummy of Cangrande della Scala

Analysis of Medieval warlord mummy reveals death by poison

Renaissance Italians who held power are infamous for intrigue, back-stabbing, power struggles, war and homicide, including murder by poisoning. In keeping with this theme, archaeologists have...
One of the skeletons believed to have died during an ancient poison gas attack

Archaeological Evidence for 1,700-Year-Old Chemical Warfare

One of the distinguishing features of the First World War was the widespread use of chemical weapons. Chemical gases of various lethality, including mustard gas, phosgene and tear gas, were used to...
Death of Socrates

Poison: The Good, the Bad and the Deadly

For thousands of years poisons have been both a deadly threat and a protective tool used around the world. Poisons have played a dominant role in our history and legends, persisting both as evil...

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