Review for "Greek fire and its contribution to Byzantine might" from

2014-04-19 00:39
5.0 out of 5 stars The fascinating history of a forgotten weapon April 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Karatolios is a teacher and historian (Byzantinologist), and both of these show in his book. He has approached his subject, the weapon known as Greek Fire, with a historian's characteristic combination of passion and distance. Each and every aspect of this formidable forefather of the modern napalm bomb is isolated and examined in detail.

At the same time, the book is separated by topic in easily accessible chapters, as one would expect from a teacher. From the inventor of Greek Fire, to its history, to its military applications; every individual aspect has one chapter dedicated to it. What I enjoyed most is that Karatolios takes care to inform the reader of all theories surrounding this weapon before presenting his own, usually very convincing, conclusion at each chapter's end. He even goes as far as to list an unusual number of primary sources at the end, ending up with almost half the book consisting of footnotes.

This book was particularly timely for me, as I had been researching Greek Fire for my fantasy series. I suspect Martin did the same during his writing of A Clash of Kings, since the battle at King's Landing is saved by use of incendiary flasks that resemble Greek Fire.

More on the book here