The Role of Chemistry in History

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Historical Overview

April 24th, 2008 · 4 Comments ·

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Chemical warfare has been around for a number of centuries, starting with what we now call “Greek Fire”. Allegedly, Greek Fire was liquid fire which was impossible or very difficult to extinguish and was extremely devastating.

Historical records indicate a very important victory involving Greek Fire in 678 AD. The Byzantine Empire was able to overwhelm the Arabs at Constantinople using the secret liquid weapon. This was an emblematic “turning point in the history of mankind” since scientists speculate that had it not been for Greek Fire, Europe could have looked differently today.

Even though the exact composition is unknown, Greek fire appears to have been very close to what we now call Napalm.


From the Skylitzes manuscript in Madrid

Tags: Napalm