Greek fire and its contribution

to Byzantine might

The wonder of the thousand-year Byzantine Empire could not have been achieved without its armed forces, allowing it to maintain its power in the face of constant challenges from external enemies that differed significantly in their nature. In this context, what had been inherited from the Romans was just as important as the adoption of new weapons and tactics in battle.

“Greek fire”, if not the most important of these weapons, was certainly the one that achieved the greatest fame. It was used throughout the course of the Byzantine Empire and granted resounding victories to its navy. This terrifying weapon was legendary, yet almost all we know about it and its use is clouded by the vagueness of contemporary accounts. 

In this work Konstantinos Karatolios attempts to answer a number of questions concerning Greek Fire: What was the formula? How effective was it? Who was its true inventor? How was it used in battles on land and at sea? This book aims not only  to provide an overview of the current state of research that can be easily read by non-specialists, but also to make its own  contribution to the study of the subject, respecting academic research methods.

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Translated by Leonard G. Meachim

1st edition Mytilene 2014

2nd edition Athens 2015, Quest Publications

pages (printed version) 70

ISBN 317675-411596

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