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History Of Chemistry Essay

1442 words - 6 pages

Society today has been the witness to the use of chemical weapons upon various
groups of people. A prime example is the use of poison gas in Syria.( http://fair.org/take-action/action-alerts/iraq-then-syria-now) Chemical weapons were made by chemist to do great harm. Typically, a chemical weapon is defined by chemist as any toxic chemical or its precursor that can cause death, injury, temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation through its chemical action. Because of the destruction caused by the use of chemical weapons, society has tried to place controls on their use with the development. Throughout the years, many treaties and conventions have been developed in an effort to control the use of chemical and biological warfare.(http://www.opcw.org/news publications/history)The intent of this paper is to address an overview of the history, the development, and the use of both chemical and biological weapons in modern society.
Contrary to popular belief, the history of the use of chemical and biological warfare date back to ancient and classical times. Ancient evidence points to Hannibal's use of pots filled with snakes in a battle with the NAVY of King Eumenes of Pergamon. The pots were hurled onto the decks of the ships, where they broke where the Pergamene were forced to fight both the snakes and Hannibal's armed forces resulting in a loss for Hannibal's men. Further evidence is documented in that the Solon of Athen is said to have used hellebore roots (a purgative) to poison the water of an aqueduct leading from the Pleistrus River around 590 B.C. during the siege of Cirrha. Writings of the Mohist sect in China dating from the Fourth century B.C. tell of the use of ox-hide bellows to pump smoke from furnaces where balls of mustard and other toxic vegetable matter were being burnt into the tunnels being dug by an attacking army to discourage the diggers. It is documented that Sparta used toxic smoke generated by burning wood dipped in tar and sulfur during one of its periodic wars with Athens. In addition, early manuscripts document the use of cacodyl (arsenic trioxide) smoke in warfare. Based upon surviving accounts, it is clear that the Chinese were the original masters of chemical warfare. There formulas for "fire lances" may be found in Biringucio's 1540 treatise Pirotechnia. It is said that the pursuit of chemical weapons may have originated in the fumigation of dwellings to eliminate fleas dating back to the Seventh century B. C. by the Chinese. Regardless of the official origin of chemical weapons, Chinese writings document hundreds of recipes for the production of poisonous or irritating smokes for use in war and other household uses as well. The Chinese Army manuals also document many delivery systems as well. (http://www.cbwinfo.com/History)
As mentioned earlier the Greeks first used their sulfur mixtures with pitch resin which produced suffocating fumes in 431 B.C. during the Trojan War. Attempts...

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