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Volume 8, Number 9—September 2002

Historical Review

Biological Warfare at the 1346 Siege of Caffa

Mark Wheelis*Comments to Author 
Author affiliation: *University of California, Davis, California USA

Main Article

Figure 2

The first page of the narrative of Gabriele de’ Mussi. At the top of the page are the last few lines of the preceding narrative; de’ Mussi’s begins in the middle of the page. The first three lines, and the large “A” are in red ink, as are two other letters and miscellaneous pen-strokes; otherwise it is in black ink. Manuscript R 262, fos 74r; reproduced with the permission of the Library of the University of Wroclaw, Poland.

Figure 2. The first page of the narrative of Gabriele de’ Mussi. At the top of the page are the last few lines of the preceding narrative; de’ Mussi’s begins in the middle of the page. The first three lines, and the large “A” are in red ink, as are two other letters and miscellaneous pen-strokes; otherwise it is in black ink. Manuscript R 262, fos 74r; reproduced with the permission of the Library of the University of Wroclaw, Poland.

Main Article

1Technically trebuchets, not catapults. Catapults hurl objects by the release of tension on twisted cordage; they are not capable of hurling loads over a few dozen kilograms. Trebuchets are counter-weight-driven hurling machines, very effective for throwing ammunition weighing a hundred kilos or more (22).

2Medieval society lacked a coherent theory of disease causation. Three notions coexisted in a somewhat contradictory mixture: 1) disease was a divine punishment for individual or collective transgression; 2) disease was the result of "miasma," or the stench of decay; and 3) disease was the result of person-to-person contagion (23).

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