In one of the earliest stories of biological warfare (perhaps true, perhaps legendary), the Mongols - attempting to conquer the city of Kaffa - are struck by the plague. To aid in their fight against the town's defenders, the Mongols reportedly catapult bodies of their dead comrades over the walls and into the city of Kaffa.
Now infecting people in Kaffa, the deadly disease travels to Europe on the living bodies of ... seagoing rats.
The Black Death - What Was It?
The Black Death - Where Did It Originate?
The Black Death - Arrives in Western Europe
The Black Death - Cause and Types
The Black Death - Scientific Evidence of Plague
The Black Death - Saving Lives by Fleeing Town
Clip from "The Plague," produced by the History Channel. Released by A&E Home Video in 2006. Total run time: 100 minutes. Clip online, courtesy the History Channel.