©The Trustees of the British Museum

Swarming hornets are depicted on this sixth-century B.C. amphora from Vulci, Italy. Beehive bombs were used as projectile missiles in antiquity, especially by the Romans, who also catapulted earthenware pots filled with stinging scorpions at enemy troops. Greek and Roman tacticians deployed larger animals, too; they would sometimes set pigs afire, so that the animals’ horrible squealing would cause the enemy’s war elephants to stampede.