Trivia

Hard

In Ancient Warfare, Both The Greeks And Romans Fought Off War Elephants With?

Falcons
Emus
Pigs
Mice
War elephants being used in an ancient battle.
Jan Luyken/Wikimedia

Answer: Pigs

If you’re looking for the least glamorous and surely shortest lived occupation in an ancient army, then look no further than the brief and terrifying existence of the war pig. What was the function of a war pig? To frighten away war elephants besieging their host army. How did they do it? With much screaming and fire.

In order to drive back the formidable war elephants, Greek and Roman commanders would send pigs, coated in combustible pitch, crude oil, or resin, and lit aflame, out into the field towards the oncoming army. The combination of the squealing (which we can only imagine was intense) and the fire would severely spook the elephants, not only forcing them to retreat but, often times, inflicting considerable damage on their own army as they stampeded away from the incendiary pigs.

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