Weapons have always played a fundamental role in wars . In the past, the more innovative the ways to attack the enemy, the more advantages you had. In general history, some battles have become famous because of the outcome, what led to such clashes or how long certain wars lasted. Another thing that stands out, as we started this article, are the weapons . The “Greek Fire” is at the top of the means used to win the most mysterious battles of all time. This is because such fire was the devastating incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire in order to defend itself from enemy attacks.
The Byzantines handled the weapon masterfully and thus managed to repel the Arab invasion. This defense was effective for hundreds of years and Greek Fire was even used in invasions from the sea. Many people believe that this was the first incendiary weapon in history, which is a lie. However, it was by far the most historically significant. The fascinating thing about Greek Fire is that the armies that captured the weapon were never able to replicate it.
To this day, no one knows exactly which ingredients were used in the mixture of the liquid that caused the mighty fire . This is one of the biggest and oldest mysteries in the world. Check with us for more details about Greek Fire and be surprised. Take the opportunity to share with your friends now.
Greek Fire: the mighty ancient weapon
As we stated, Greek Fire was the most iconic incendiary weapon of the Byzantine Empire. This was a surviving part of the Roman Empire and its capital was the city of Constantinople (in what is now Istanbul). Sea fire, as it was also known, were flames created from a heated liquid, pressurized and then released through a tube called a siphon. This weapon was mainly used to ignite enemy ships at a safe distance.
What made fire stand out was its ability to burn in water, totally preventing combatants from trying to extinguish the flames during naval battles. Historical accounts indicate that it was, in fact, possible to use the weapon in direct contact with water. To make matters worse for enemies, the weapon was a liquid mixture that easily stuck to anything it touched, whether it was the hull of a ship or human skin. This fire could only be extinguished with three things: sand, vinegar and urine.
Invention of Greek Fire
We do not have much concrete information about fire, but it is believed to have been invented in the 7th century by Callinicus of Heliopolis. This was a Jewish architect who fled Syria to Constantinople after an Arab attack on his hometown. He was responsible for creating not only the liquid that caused the fire, but also the entire contraption that projected Greek Fire onto enemy ships, including a long tube and presumably a furnace-like design to produce the necessary pressure and heat.
These devices were then attached to Byzantine ships. When used, this pressurized liquid fired, which ignited jets of fire that ran over the water. The fire intimidated any enemy, possibly producing a shrill noise and a lot of smoke. They say it was compared to the breath of a dragon. Because of its strength, the formula was very well guarded. Only the Byzantine emperors and Callinin’s family knew the recipe.
Failures when trying to recreate the weapon
Over the years, several people have tried to recreate the Greek Fire formula, but have been unsuccessful. There are even historical records of the Arabs themselves using a new version of fire in the mid-13th century. For many who experienced the devastating power, the most common name was “Roman fire”, as the Byzantines were a continuation of the Roman Empire. But none of these imitations came to compare with the real Greek Fire.
To this day, nobody knows what was used to make the powerful weapon. Oil, lime, sulfur, nitrogen and some type of resin have already been pointed out as possible ingredients used in the Greek weapon, but rest assured, nobody knows exactly what the original formula was. To this day, this secret continues to captivate historians and scientists who started trying to discover the content. The mystery is so fascinating that it led George RR Martin to use it as an inspiration to create the fires described in the books of the “Game of Thrones” franchise.