Ancient Greeks Used Snakes as Projectile Weapons

Ancient Greeks Used Snakes as Projectile Weapons

A once-lost species of snake, used by ancient Greeks as a projectile weapon, has been recently re-discovered on Sicily.

Now, let's get one thing out of the way. The real story here is that a species of snake, once thought lost in most parts of the world, has re-appeared. That's great, it really is. Hooray for biodiversity!

That being said, let's sit back and ponder the Javelin sand boa's place in history: the ancient Greeks used them as projectile weapons, hurling them onto enemy boats in order to sow confusion and panic before boarding. I am going to go out on a limb (sorry, snakes) and guess that the animal's name is not coincidence.

As the reptiles proved to be an effective weapon, the Greeks brought these snakes with them to places they settled, including what is now Sicily. Talk about an invasive species. Right? Sorry.

Now, Microsoft is still publishing expansions for Age of Empires II. Surely we can get some snake-based naval warfare technology in the next expansion, right? Even better: an FPS set in the classical era where you are armed with nothing but a boa & arrow!

Source: Ansa

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PatrickJS:
Even better: an FPS set in the classical era where you are armed with nothing but a boa & arrow!

YOU ARE BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD.

OT: To be fair, between having to dodge an arrow or a snake, I think I'd rather dodge the arrow.

Oh gee, I wonder how they became extinct? (Sarcastic in case you couldn't tell).

Also yeah, I can easily see projectile snakes being a scary and effective weapon.

I guess Thulsa Doom wasn't so ridiculous after all.

Should definitely give modern Greeks some inspiration. Economy got you down? Snakes!

Or they simply mastered the Sticks to Snakes spell from D&D and threw actual javelins that became snakes...

That's pretty cool. Good job ancestors I am probably too loosely related to to be associated with.

The attack was known as the Bittersweet Symphony Barrage.

And it was amazing.

The article is worth a look. They used both venomous and harmless snakes (like this one) as projectiles. It was brilliant plan really; once word of Greeks throwing vipers onto ships spread around, they could throw easier to handle snakes and enemies would head for the water all the same.

Jadedvet:
The article is worth a look. They used both venomous and harmless snakes (like this one) as projectiles. It was brilliant plan really; once word of Greeks throwing vipers onto ships spread around, they could throw easier to handle snakes and enemies would head for the water all the same.

It would have been amusing for them to start bringing herpetologists in order to reduce turnover rates.

 

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