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The first case of biological warfare in history | Ancient Origins

Plagues and pandemics are a very unfortunate part of life on earth, as many of us have found out the hard way throughout history. 

But while some plagues can occur accidentally in nature, others are much more deliberate - even being used as a weapon of war or bio weapon. Sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, doesn’t it? Well, today we’ll be looking at the first recorded case of biological warfare in ancient history, which frighteningly may have indirectly killed 200 million people. 

Our story is set in the 1300s, and takes place on a little peninsula in the Black Sea known as Crimea, after it was conquered by the Golden Horde of the Mongols. 

Since ancient times, empires have sought after Crimea, because whoever controls its Black Sea ports has access to three huge markets: the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. As a result, it’s a hugely important location not only for naval security, but for trade in particular.