Monday, December 12, 2016


A Little-Known Ancient Military Tactic

An Essay Upon Wind; With Curious Anecdotes of Eminent Peteurs (Potsdam: Peter Puffendorf, [1800]), pp. 32-35:
The ancients were prodigious great Farters, particularly the Grecians. Peditorius, the elder, hath recorded, that a very important post of the Grecian army was once saved from being surprized by the Persian army, in the following remarkable manner.—The Persians had a dangerous river to ford, and knew that a small opposition from the Grecians would defeat them, if they were attacked in passing the river; they therefore made the attempt in the dead silence of a dark night, at some distance below the out-post of the Grecian army; here they began to ford the river, and several of the Persian soldiers in front had actually made good the landing; but, fortunately for the Grecian army, one of the sentries of their advanced posts had strayed from his station, to this very spot where the Persians made the attempt.

Now, whether this Grecian was seized with a panic, or whether he tried the experiment from former success, cannot now be ascertained, as Peditorius, and all the other historians of that period, are silent in respect to his former notoriety in farting; however, the man did fart, and so loud, and so many,* that the Persians, thinking the Grecian army was in motion, and their artillery coming up, were, at once, seized with a general panic, and retreated in such confusion, that numbers of them were drowned. The Grecian camp was, by this time, alarmed; they soon assembled their army, pursued the disordered Persians, came up with and fiercely attacked them, and, in a very short time, gained a complete victory.—Thus, by the most noble faculty of farting, was the Grecian army saved from being surprized.—Thus, by the vigorous exertion of one farting Grecian soldier, did the Persian army fly.—And thus, by the effect of astonishing preternatural farting, did the Grecian army obtain a glorious victory over the numerous and powerful Persians.

* Crepitus Juvenis says, six thousand or more; but, I think, he must be mistaken, or have exaggerated, as the strength of the most able Farter could not possibly stand so many thundering convulsions.


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