Research Discovery: Scorpion Bombs

While editing Part 4 of the Mythical Menagerie series, I found myself googling for “Roman era projectile missile gas bombs”. Okay wait, I may just have every country scouring the Internet for keywords hot on my tail right now, but bear with me.

There’s a scene where Ambrose is attacked with a hand grenade-like bomb that spews out some kind of sleeping gas. Aren’t first drafts fun? Anyway. So I thought it might be more interesting if the bomb tossed at him actually stemmed from ancient times – hence the dodgy search string.

Did you know that the Romans and Persians were already engaging in chemical warfare way back in the early ADs? Neither did I, and it fits in nicely with my plans for that scene. But, what really caught my interest was mention of a thing called “scorpion bombs”.

Picture this: clay pots raining down from the sky, and when they break open, a bunch of deadly scorpions are deposited all over you, stinging and pinching and generally causing havoc. I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s the stuff of nightmares. If you’re so inclined, you can read more here.

Scorpion – not to be lobbed at people’s heads, thank you very much | Pixabay

Ambrose (probably) won’t have creepy crawlies lobbed at him, but life’s definitely going to get a little harder for him after this particular discovery.


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